Interview with Green Chamber Member: Caletti Jungsten Construction

So Jeff, why do you call Caletti Jungsten a green business?

We've always been on the cutting edge and have built high performance homes; we just weren't calling it "green". What really changed the tide for us was when we began seeing products that we're starting to catch up with our socially conscious mindset of sustainable building. So we started to incorporate more products in our construction that market themselves as green, are healthier, and give customers more choices. Were excited that we are able to keep going even further into being a green business now because the products have really caught up to our mindset.

Officially, we have been a certified Marin green business since April 2007 throughMarin County's Green Business Program. We are members ofBuild it Green,USGBC,NARI,Green by DesignandLiving Architecture. We have certified green professionals through NARI since 2003, Sonoma StatesGreen Building Professional Certificate Program, Build it Greens green point rated program and theLEED Professional Accreditationprogram. By 2010 all management will be green certified through Build it Green or LEED. We actively participate inWest Coast Greenand regularly hold seminars and events through our affiliate members to enhance, promote, and educate the public and ourselves on best practices in green building and climate action planning.

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Tells us about innovative programs you have created internally to green CJC?

We developed a green committee internally to audit our efforts at jobsites, inter-offices, and to enhance our community outreach. CJC not only has a robust recycling program and uses only environmentally sensitive cleaning supplies, but we went solar on our building (13kw) and added a part of the Cell Phones for Soldiers program, which allows service personnel to call home while providing a better way to reduce E waste. We encourage our personnel to use the Caletti Jungsten Smart cars for local errands and meetings as well as providing bikes for all employees and building tenants. For those employees that commute the 101 corridor we encourage the carpooling program. Office paper consists of 100% post consumer recycled content paper, default double-sided printing to reduce paper usage and we make use of a "plan scan" program which helps reduce the number of blueprint copies needed. We outright banned single use plastic bottles company wide and provided each employee with their own Kleen Kanteen. This has helped reduce plastic bottle waste by 100% in the company, and we also decreased water consumption by 40% by installing water efficient practices. CJC has worked with several cities to develop new green building guidelines to promote a consistent and clear vocabulary that is easy to understand and that can be a model ordinance for all municipalities.

Another thing we are working on is value engineering and sustainability planning with architects, engineers, and clients early into the design phase of project to help direct an efficient path to the final project. We've partnered with insulation companies to find old blue jeans to turn into cotton insulation; banned all formaldehyde in projects and only use no or very low voc (volatile organic compounds) paints and finishes. We utilize Green Waste Recycling to harvest trees that have been cut down and only pick services and companies that use biodiesel delivery trucks/equipment. Lastly, CJC utilizes local resources for soil that we have to remove to make into bricks and block.

It sounds like you have really tried to think about every angle of your business with the environment in mind. What advice would you offer to other businesses who are struggling to be more green or who aren't convinced it's worth the hassle financially?

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