In early 2011, Avon launched the Avon Green Building Promise, a corporate policy that outlines the tangible metrics, goals and policies to mitigate and reduce the environmental impacts of Avon buildings worldwide. Adding to that promise, Avon has thoroughly redesigned their U.S. headquarters at 777 Third Avenue in New York City—275,000 sq. ft. of space occupying 10 floors, or 50% of the total building.

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The redesigned company store, designed by SpaceSmith interior architects.

“Our corporate responsibility mission is to be an agent of positive change worldwide through three strategic pillars—economic empowerment, philanthropy and sustainability,” said Tod Arbogast, vice president of corporate responsibility and sustainability for Avon Products, Inc. “These pillars are the basis of why we exist.”

In an effort to reduce their carbon footprint, Avon has been making “green” changes to several of their key manufacturing, distributing and R&D facilities across the globe using the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. Known for certifying the greenest performing buildings in the world, LEED bases their scores on levels of water efficiency, recycled content, Energy Star appliances, lighting efficiency and public transportation.

“Our LEED certification is currently pending, but we hope to be among the 10% of buildings to achieve LEED Gold in New York City,” said Louise Matthews, vice president of global real estate for Avon Products, Inc. “We are especially proud that our U.S. headquarters has been designed and built to ‘Gold’ standards during Avon’s 125th anniversary year, right here in the city in which we were founded, and we hope this will serve as an inspiration to other companies in New York City and around the globe.”

Partnering with NEW, Non-traditional Employment for Women, Avon set a new record for New York City, achieving 17% participation of women in the trades during the construction project.

“We decided to be proactive and go beyond the LEED standards with the cutting edge pieces and 100% Green Power that was purchased
for the space,” said Doug West of HOK Architects. “Our commitment to reuse is evident in the recycled content we chose for the ceilings, glass office fronts and carpet tile. We also created low work stations to permit natural light, and give external views to 95.8% of seated spaces. It is important for employees to have a connection with the outdoors.”

In addition, Avon installed high efficiency faucets and toilets throughout each floor (35% more efficient than baseline), as well as LED lighting, and enhanced the indoor air quality using mold-tough sheetrock and low-VOC paints and sealants.

“It is crucial for us to be internally authentic,” said Arbogast. “We are the largest social network for women in the world, reaching over 300 million women, and we hope to continue spreading the message about our ongoing commitment to sustainability.”

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A new kitchen and recycling station
in the back of the reception area.

Avon’s U.K. headquarters in Northampton, England.

Renovated work stations with external views to maximize access to light.

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