Clarke, a global environmental products and services company with a mission is to make communities around the world more livable, safe, and comfortable, has reached its tenth anniversary working with Carbonfund.org as part of the company’s overall sustainability and environmental responsibility initiatives.
Clarke’s sustainability journey began in 2008 when J. Lyell Clarke, the company’s president and CEO, invited the entire company to envision a more purpose-driven Clarke. That invitation was a catalyst for the company’s first set of sustainability goals and the formation of organizational processes and structure specifically designed to embed sustainability into the company’s DNA.
Starting in 2011, Clarke began calculating and neutralizing a portion of its Scope 1 and 2 annual operational emissions with Carbonfund.org, reaching 100% carbon neutrality for Scope 1 and 2 emissions in 2019 and continuing to present. Over the past ten years, Clarke has neutralized almost 13,000 metric tonnes (almost 28 million pounds) of carbon dioxide emissions through its partnership with Carbonfund.org, equivalent to mitigating the carbon dioxide emissions produced by almost 1.5 million gallons of gasoline. Clarke’s carbon offset donations to Carbonfund.org have supported third-party validated and verified voluntary carbon offset projects around the world.
In 2015, Clarke introduced their second set of sustainability goals. These new goals were designed to ensure continuous improvements in areas where they had already begun work and to focus on opportunities to have a greater impact beyond their internal operations. As part of the 2015 sustainability program, Clarke announced new 2020 goals to transform its energy portfolio. In the five years since, Clarke have invested in renewable energy, increased operational efficiency and achieved carbon neutrality through the purchase of Green Power contracts and carbon offsets through the partnership with Carbonfund.org.
At the end of 2019, Clarke has commissioned its Flourishing Garden’s 130,000-kilowatt solar array, delivering 15,000 excess kilowatt hours from it to the grid, and exceeding the company’s 2020 renewable energy goal by sourcing 16 percent of electricity from on-site renewable energy.
The Flourishing Garden facility is actually a set of buildings that house the company’s mosquito and aquatic service operations teams as well as the management and administrative staff for both service and manufacturing operations. At the conception of the project in 2015, Clarke’s goal was to design and build a net positive energy facility, one that produces more energy than it consumes.
The Flourishing Garden, Clarke’s new Roselle, Illinois office, was conceived with a vision to produce more energy than it consumed. Architect, Serena Sturm Ltd., applied energy design strategies to the building in order to capitalize on site features and alternative technologies. The building was recently certified as LEED Platinum by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Clarke staff took occupancy of the first phase of the construction (the administrative building) in the fall of 2017 and the entire project was completed in the summer of 2018. The building has certainly exceeded its original goal of being net positive. In fact, Clarke is only able to utilize about 50% of the energy that the onsite solar installations are producing. That is now the longer term challenge – how to store the energy or to redirect the energy to other, older, buildings on the property.
It’s been an exciting project; one that is consistent with Clarke’s company goals and commitments to reducing its overall environmental impact. Just as important is the impact that this new facility has on the morale and culture of the employees who work there, and on the company’s ability to attract and retain talent. It really is a remarkable case study for the value and benefits of sustainable building design.
Carbonfund.org congratulates Clarke on all of the sustainability and environmental responsibility goals and achievements that contribute to Clarke’s leadership in its industry, including those achieved through our ten-year partnership.