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Plantronics Complex Becomes First to Earn LEED Certification in China

Plantronics' new manufacturing and design center in Suzhou, China, has earned the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification for environmental sustainability. Plantronics Suzhou is the only manufacturing facility in all of China to achieve LEED certification.

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), which has developed the world's only common standard of measurement for a "green" building and is recognized as the leading accrediting body for the industry, certified the Plantronics Suzhou manufacturing facility at gold status under its rigorous LEED rating system. The USGBC recognized Plantronics Suzhou's best practices for sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

"It is of great importance to us that Plantronics Suzhou feel like a world-class Chinese operation and not an American company operating in China," said Ken Kannappan, president and CEO of Plantronics. "One of the best ways we know how to accomplish that is to combine respect for the local community and its culture with our vigorous commitment to environmentally sound practices."

Plantronics partnered with Bechtel on the construction of the new Suzhou facility. Together, the companies developed innovative building and landscape designs aimed towards energy conservation, environmental sustainability and employee wellness. Plantronics Suzhou environmental benefits include:

  • Increased Energy Efficiency: All buildings feature insulated roof systems, natural light, energy-rated roof coating, and insulated block walls. The main office building is designed with a slight angle to take advantage of sunlight, without causing over-consumption of energy for heating during the winter and cooling during the summer.

  • Reduced Water Consumption: Plantronics Suzhou uses rain water collection ponds, storm water irrigation, recycled condensation water from air conditioning units, and an innovative reverse-osmosis system to make city water drinkable.

  • Reduced Air Pollution: The Suzhou manufacturing complex promotes alternative transportation by providing covered ports with battery chargers for electric scooters, coordinated bus transportation, and bike air pumps and storage. Plantronics estimates that more than 90 percent of employees will use alternative transportation.

  • Indoor Air Quality: Non-toxic interior finishes, a fume extraction system, and natural lighting are used throughout the Suzhou facility to ensure a quality work environment.

    "The opening of the first LEED-certified manufacturing facility in China marks a significant milestone in the global shift to green buildings," said S. Richard Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chairman of the U.S. Green Building Council. "Committing to building green, as Plantronics has done, as China has done, is the hallmark of a resource-saving, environment-friendly society, and we applaud their vision and leadership in this important area."

    The Suzhou facility enables Plantronics to develop and produce product in the same facility, expedite part delivery from neighboring regions and improve quality control. Suzhou also allows Plantronics to optimize product builds for the local supply chain to speed time to market, while reducing development and product costs. In conjunction with Plantronics' world-class manufacturing facility in Mexico (Plamex), the Suzhou facility will improve global supply chain efficiencies and maximize cost efficiencies through local materials procurement.

    In addition to manufacturing, the Plantronics Suzhou facility houses other core business functions, including product development and industrial design. By expanding Suzhou's capabilities beyond manufacturing, Plantronics will react faster to global customer needs and market fluctuations. Suzhou plant production will initially focus on Plantronics' growing mobile Bluetooth and wireless office product portfolios.

    Plantronics' presence in Asia Pacific continues to grow. The company now has offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo, Manila, Singapore, Taiwan and Melbourne.

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