Rafn Company First in Western Washington to Obtain Green Contractor Certification

• Diane Stephan
• Senior Project Coordinator
• Rafn Company

Much attention in the construction industry has been placed on sustainable buildings, and rightly so. If left unchecked, outdated construction processes and job site waste could account for a huge impact to our natural environment. But there is another aspect to sustainable construction that is often overlooked, a sustainable workplace environment. Both in the main office and in the on-site construction office, contractors have the opportunity to reduce their environmental impact as well as enhance productivity based on a healthy work environment.

The Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) saw a need to recognize contractors that are green industry leaders who promote sustainability in the workplace as well as document the merit shop construction community's efforts to develop a sustainable workplace environment - both on and off the jobsite. This led to the development of the Green Contractor Certification program.

Rafn is proud to be the first company in Western Washington to achieve the ABC's Green Contractor Certification and we feel that pursuing this certification was important for several reasons: to provide another layer of commitment, outside of our general construction practices, not only to ourselves for creating a cleaner and healthier environment for our employees, but also demonstrating a commitment to our customers and the community.

The Certification process is comprised of three categories: Core Requirements, Elective Items, and Education.

  • Section 1 contained the 12 Core Requirements that applicants must comply with and provide documentation for. Items in this area included recycling toner cartridges, providing a staging area for recycling office goods, paper policies (recycling, printing), and using biodegradable cleaning products.
  • In Section 2 we choose 12 elective items (out of 36) to complete. These items included: installing low flush toilets, installing bike racks, insulating hot/cold piping, and installing motion sensors in all of the offices and conference rooms to turn off lights when the room is not in use.
  • Section 3, Education, broke down employees into 3 categories: Craftsmen, Executive, and Administrative. Each category was required to have a percentage of employees complete green education training. This training was done through webinars, classes outside of the office, and reading sustainability related books.

Rafn has a long history of being committed to sustainability and green building practices. From our numerous LEED projects and over a dozen employees with Green Advantage certification, it was a natural fit for us to become Green Contractor certified.

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