Today, officials from Method joined Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to unveil designs for Method’s first manufacturing facility, located in the Pullman neighborhood of Chicago’s south side. Method is building an advanced facility with the goal of being the world’s first and only LEED Platinum certified manufacturing plant in its industry.
Designed by William McDonough + Partners, the plant features include a refurbished wind turbine, solar panel installations, large amounts of natural light throughout the factory, and native land renewal across 22 acres.
“Building our world-class factory is an important evolution in our company’s growth and we hope it serves as a model of what manufacturing and urban revitalization looks like in the 21st century,” said Drew Fraser, CEO of Method. “We aim to show that sustainable business is better business by creating an advanced, flexible and cost-effective facility that will fuel both the growth of our business and the renewal of the Pullman area.”
The new space will bring close to 100 manufacturing jobs to Chicago and Method plans to recruit Pullman residents in the hiring process for the plant’s workforce. Method has hired Chicago-based Summit Design + Build as its general contractor, known for its experience working with sustainably advanced facilities.
“The City of Chicago continues to attract companies looking to access our highly skilled workforce, transportation system and diverse business climate,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Method choosing to build their state-of the-art manufacturing facility in Chicago’s historic Pullman neighborhood is a major economic investment for the south side of the City. Method has made a significant commitment to corporate responsibility and sustainability and I am proud they will open their doors in Chicago.”
Attracting and retaining manufacturing jobs is a key component of Chicago’s economic development plan, the Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs, produced by World Business Chicago at the mayor’s request. Promoting green jobs in Chicago neighborhoods is also a key focus of the plan. Method is building an advanced facility with the goal of being the world’s first and only LEED Platinum certified manufacturing plant in its industry. Method’s choice demonstrates the City of Chicago continues to be the ideal choice for cutting-edge companies.
Partnering with William McDonough + Partners, Method is selecting materials certified by the Cradle-to-Cradle Certified Program and sustainably advanced features for both outside and inside the plant. A refurbished 230 foot wind turbine will generate a significant portion of the plant’s energy. The turbine, combined with the solar energy from solar panels in the parking lot and on the building, will provide approximately half of the facility’s annual electrical needs. Method also plans to have a functional roof with urban agriculture to benefit the local community.
According to architect and sustainability leader, William McDonough, “Method’s new manufacturing home is a clean home – using clean energy, water and materials to create innovative household products. The manifestation of ‘industrial hygiene’ at this scale is beneficial to communities; it provides healthy jobs and is embodied by a facility that is a delightful neighbor. Entrepreneurial companies like Method are modeling a new, clean industrial model for our country. It’s a genuine pleasure to work with them.”
Five of the 22 acres Method occupies will house buildings while the remaining acreage will remain as greenery that Method maintains. A sidewalk will be built around the facility, instead of a fence, and only native trees and perennials will be planted throughout the area using non-irrigated, sustainable landscaping. The tree selection for planting is based off the natural pre-settlement oak-hickory savannah that once inhabited the Pullman area and will provide array of brilliant fall color. Method is looking into using some of the land for a community garden as part of its local integration efforts.
Method’s high design aesthetic and bright colors will be incorporated into the exterior of the facility with unique flower patterns etched into the concrete walls and bottle shapes surrounding the windows.
“We have built Method to be the business of tomorrow, aligning our interest as a business with the interest of society and the environment so that the bigger we get, the more good we do,” said Adam Lowry, co-founder and chief-greenskeeper of Method. “Our plant is the next step in this journey and we’re incredibly grateful to the City of Chicago and State of Illinois for their partnership and support in bringing this vision to life.”
Method’s U.S. factory will open in early 2015 and the facility will include the manufacturing and bottling of formulas for both Method and its sister eco-cleaning brand, Ecover, as well as an on-site distribution center.
Founded in 2000, Method is the pioneer of premium planet-friendly and design-driven home, fabric and personal care products. Formulated with naturally derived, biodegradable ingredients, Method cleaners put the hurt on dirt without doing harm to people, creatures or the planet. Today, Method can be found in more than 40,000 retail locations throughout North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. Major national retailers include Target, Lowe’s Home Improvement Centers and Kroger. Method is a privately held company headquartered in San Francisco, Calif. For more information, visit methodhome.com.