Lake Forest-based Sole Technology, the parent of skate apparel and footwear brands etnies, Emerica, Altamonth and ThirtyTwo, has opened its new European headquarters to much fanfare. The office building is a testament to founder Pierre-Andre Senizergues’ dedication to making his company as earth-friendly as possible.
Sole Technology founder Pierre-Andre
Senizergues stands on the roof of the
company's new European HQ office
overlooking the harbor in Amsterdam
Sole Technology originally opened a European headquarters office in 2007, but the staff and operations have relocated to the new building. The office incorporates a number of energy-saving features, which lower the company’s total carbon footprint.
“I remember over a decade ago we were just learning about new and innovative ways that buildings can create energy,” said Pierre-Andre Senizergues, founder and owner of Sole Technology. “What’s amazing to me today is that our global headquarters in the U.S., and now our European headquarters, create energy and give to the grid. We dreamed about it, imagined how it could happen and now we made it a reality!”
Among the new office’s features is a hydrothermal heating/cooling system and a 60-unit solar panel array on the roof that produces 11 kilowatts of electricity to power the building, which is also on the city grid; when the panels create more energy than the building uses, it is cycled back into the grid and distributed to the city. The building has received an EPA Label rating of A++, the highest grade possible, from energy advisors to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency based in the Netherlands.
The building’s location was selected due to its proximity to the harbor, Amsterdam being a city situated near trading ports. The reduced travel distance for shipping also lowers the company’s products’ overall carbon footprint.
Senizergues, a former pro skater, has brought his passion for environmentally friendly practices to many aspects of the company. The etnies and ThirtyTwo brands both feature a line of eco-friendly products made from recycled materials, and the company’s ‘Buy a Shoe, Plant a Tree’ reforestation initiative has planted 169,000 trees in Costa Rica and Brazil over the past two years, with a goal of 200,000 additional trees in Brazil in 2013.
Closer to home, the Sole Technology headquarters in Lake Forest also features a number of energy-saving commitments and facilities. The building includes solar panels and reduced-use water-saving features; 60 percent of the company’s total waste is diverted and recycled; and a number of products are manufactured using earth-friendly alternative materials.
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