Designtex Goes Carbon Neutral


NEW YORK – Recognizing that climate change is at a critical juncture, Designtex has cemented its commitment to operate as a carbon-neutral company.  

The New York-based textile and surface solutions company recently announced that it has reduced the greenhouse gas footprint of its operations to net zero. 

"I am pleased to say that we have reduced or offset 100 percent of the CO2 emissions from all of our facilities. In addition, we are offsetting all of Designtex's business travel, employee commuting, and all product shipments into and out of our warehouse," says Tom Hamilton, president and CEO of Designtex.

Since the mid-1990s, Designtex has been at the forefront of innovative, sustainable product design. In early 2007, Designtex began a commitment to reduce its corporate footprint with a three-year contract to offset its headquarters' energy use. The company's environmental strategy department has spent the intervening years implementing internal waste reduction and energy efficiency measures, while researching and analyzing its carbon footprint and potential carbon offset partners.

In 2009, Designtex enlisted Vermont-based NativeEnergy, a recognized leader in carbon reduction and offset services, to assess its footprint and offer guidance in making on-site reductions and providing verified offsets. NativeEnergy helps finance the construction of high quality Native American, family farm, and community-based renewable energy and carbon reduction projects.

"Designtex's actions to address climate change are impressive," says Jeff Bernicke, president of NativeEnergy. "They have taken important steps to operate more efficiently, and they are also supporting innovative carbon-reduction projects. They provide a powerful example for all companies who are looking to incorporate climate solutions into their operation."

Designtex's 2010 footprint of 3336 tons of CO2 will be directly reduced by an on-site LED lighting retrofit at its headquarters. Designtex partnered with LED Savings Solutions of Devon, PA, to retrofit its NYC facility with LEDs (light-emitting diodes), which will save 71 percent of the energy used by traditional lighting. Besides their energy efficiency, LEDs last up to 80,000 hours and have higher luminous efficiency. 

Designtex's footprint for 2010 has been further balanced with Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) and two carbon offset projects. The RECs, which offset 1,533,000 kWh of energy, are from U.S.-based wind power and are Green-e certified. The first offset project, the Clinton County Landfill Gas-to-Energy plant in Morrisonville, NY, captures the potent greenhouse gas methane from the landfill and converts it to clean power1. The second offset project consists of a 10-turbine wind farm that was built in Greensburg, Kansas—a town devastated by one of the worst tornadoes in U.S. history in 2007. The citizens of Greensburg decided to rebuild as the "greenest town in America."

Designtex and other NativeEnergy customers helped finance the Greensburg Wind Farm2, which generates enough energy to power the town, and bring additional renewable energy to the grid. Designtex is excited to support such forward-thinking projects.

As Designtex looks ahead to its 50th anniversary in 2011, the company is focused on identifying new efficiencies and technologies to further reduce its footprint. "We will continue to support valuable renewable energy and emission reduction projects to remain a zero-carbon company," adds Hamilton.

1 This project is being verified to the Climate Action Reserve Standard.
2 This project is being verified to the Voluntary Carbon Standard.

Designtex is a design and product development firm that celebrates inquiry and collaboration. A Steelcase company, the Designtex family of products includes: Designtex (textiles, walls, panel fabrics, drapery, cubicles and digital printed surface imaging), Fusion (architectural panels), writeUp and loophouse (custom handmade rugs). Designtex maintains showrooms, offices and sales locations in 110 global locations. For more information, call (800) 221-1540 or visit