Muskegon-based Nichols Paper and Supply has achieved LEED EB Gold status (U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings).  Nichols has become the 7th LEED for Existing Building in the state of Michigan and the first in their industry in the state.  They have also demonstrated their leadership in their industry by being what they believe is the second distribution company of custodial and packaging supplies in the country to achieve LEED for Existing Buildings.

The LEED for Existing Buildings Rating System helps building owners and operators measure operations, improvements and maintenance on a consistent scale, with the goal of maximizing operational efficiency while minimizing environmental impacts.  LEED for Existing Buildings addresses whole-building cleaning and maintenance issues (including chemical use), recycling programs, exterior maintenance programs, and systems upgrades.

“This was a major undertaking for our organization and important achievement. This demonstrates to our customers and potential customers that we are serious about green buildings and can help them achieve their goals when it comes to creating their own clean and healthy facilities.” says Mike Olthoff, CEO.  “An organization can earn a significant number of LEED credits by implementing a Green Cleaning Program. We felt going through this process would add to our credibility.”  Olthoff also added, “We are very proud of this important achievement and feel it demonstrates our leadership in helping Michigan create a new economy.”

Renae Hesselink, LEED AP and Vice President of Sustainability says it took them approximately two years to get through the process.  “It is about culture change and implementing policies and procedures that support living in a green building” says Hesselink.  Hesselink also said: “It also doesn’t end with achievement of certification; it is an on-going continuous improvement process, a journey because technology and innovation will continue to change products and processes.”