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SKF USA Inc. announced October 18 at a special ceremony attended by Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell and approximately 500 employees and distinguished guests, that it has been awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Platinum certification, established by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute.
Other dignitaries attending today's event included U.S. Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz, D-Pa.; Pa. Rep. Robert W. Godshall and Pa. Senator Bob Mensch.
SKF USA is the first commercial building in Pennsylvania to achieve Platinum level certification under LEED for Commercial Interiors — and one of only 60 worldwide. LEED is the nation's preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings.
"SKF USA's extraordinary efforts to achieve LEED Platinum certification are helping to lay the groundwork for a cleaner, healthier future for all Pennsylvanians," said Governor Rendell. "Making buildings greener is incredibly important. By using resources more efficiently, these buildings reduce operating costs and make a sizeable reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. So green buildings like this one contribute to 'greener' bottom lines for companies and a healthier environment for everyone."
The Governor added that the commonwealth was making an investment in the new facility to help it further reduce its environmental footprint. In December 2009, the Commonwealth Financing Authority approved a $346,000 Solar Energy Program Grant that will help SKF USA build a new, $2 million rooftop solar panel project that is scheduled to be completed in April 2011.
Poul Jeppesen, president and chief executive officer of SKF USA, thanked the governor. In separate remarks, he discussed the significance of the October 18 events:
"This celebration is the culmination of an 18-month-long, $23 million redevelopment project, during which our team worked with local partners and suppliers to invest more than $1 million in sustainable strategies for energy, lighting, water and material usage.
According to Congresswoman Schwartz, "The building we celebrate today is an impressive model of green infrastructure. Green infrastructure is a key to a more sustainable, livable environment, and I am proud that this award winning building is located right here in my district."
Janet Milkman, executive director of the Delaware Valley Green Building Council, detailed a few of the many green design and construction features included in the 117,000-square-foot headquarters facility, including:
During the ceremony, Jeppesen also recognized the key firms who partnered with SKF USA in the redevelopment project:
SKF is a leading global supplier of bearings, seals, mechatronics, lubrication systems and services which include technical support, maintenance and reliability services, engineering consulting and training. SKF is represented in more than 130 countries and has 15,000 distributor locations worldwide. Annual sales in 2009 were SEK 56,227 million (USD 8.1 billion) and the number of employees was 41,172.