Mars Chocolate North America corporate headquarters facility located in Hackettstown,New Jersey, recently received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)Gold Certification. This project is the first private sector Commercial Interiors project inNew Jersey and the first existing Mars site globally to achieve this designation.
LEED is an internationally accepted benchmark for designing, constructing and operatinggreen buildings — from the U.S. Green Building Council. For Mars the certification isthe culmination of months of work to incorporate more than 30 Green Building strategiesinto the renovation of the 100,000-square foot office facility. Enhancements include theinstallation of water-conserving fixtures that reduce water usage by more than 30 percent;a reduction in energy use by 15 percent through the use of a newly upgraded BuildingEnergy Management System, variable frequency drives and energy-efficient lighting andcontrols; an upgraded roof utilizing a highly reflective roofing material that reduces heatgain to the building; the utilization of more than 20 percent recycled content in materials,from carpet to ceiling tiles; and the installation of bike racks and preferred parkingfor carpools/vanpools.“The achievement of LEED Gold certification at the MarsChocolate North America headquarters is a tremendous achievement and a testamentto Mars’ commitment to the environment and to the communities in which we conductbusiness,” says Todd Lachman, president of Mars Chocolate North America. “Thisaccomplishment joins a host of others that comprise our larger sustainability strategyfocused on sourcing, operations and our brands.
”LEED certification of the Hackettstown corporate headquarters follows closely onthe heels of the site’s November 2009 opening of the largest ground-based solarfacility installed in New Jersey. The solar garden is comprised of more than 28,000ground-mounted solar panels on 18 acres adjacent to Mars Chocolate North America’sheadquarters, where more than 1,200 associates work and M&M’S® Brand ChocolateCandies are manufactured. The solar garden provides 2 MW of power during peak hours,which is equivalent to approximately 20 percent of the plant’s peak energy consumption.It reduces carbon dioxide emissions by more than 1,000 metric tons, equivalent toremoving 190 vehicles from the road each year.
Mars Chocolate North America’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond its NewJersey headquarters. The company’s Waco, Texas, manufacturing plant was recognizedby the federal Environmental Protection Agency for its use of methane gas from the locallandfill to replace 60 percent of the site’s natural gas usage. Several of the company’smanufacturing facilities also recycle 95 percent of their waste, significantly reducing theamount of waste sent to landfill.