LAKE FOREST, CA. (January 17, 2013) – A driving motivation for Sole Technology, manufacturer of action sports footwear and apparel for popular brands etnies, Emerica, Altamont and ThirtyTwo, is to care for the planet because of the need for clean air to skate, clean water to surf and snow to snowboard. As part of its commitment to the environment, Sole Technology also believes that a sustainably designed building will make a dramatic impact in its efforts to lighten its carbon footprint. True to its continued goal to become carbon neutral by 2020, the company officially opened the doors of its brand new European headquarters building in the Houthavens district of Amsterdam, Holland. The building is equipped with innovative applications for reducing energy consumption that minimizes environmental impact.
Sole Technology’s founder and owner Pierre-Andre Senizergues’ passion for the environment is the main force behind the company’s sustainability initiatives and guided the criteria for the design of the building. A variety of innovative solutions have been incorporated to keep the building’s energy consumption as low as possible. Because of these efforts, its energy consumption is as much as 60 percent lower than comparable buildings.
One of the most remarkable features is a state-of-the-art geothermal heating and cooling system. In the summer, cold groundwater is pumped up to cool the building. The warmed water is then pumped back into the ground and brought up again in the winter to heat the building. The application of this system alone accounts for a 40 percent reduction in energy consumption compared to a conventional system. In addition, 60 solar panels have been fitted on the roof of the building. When the sun is shining, these panels supply 11kW of electricity, which is used directly in the building. The building is on the city grid, so when the panels are overproducing, the excess energy is distributed to households in Amsterdam.
“I remember over a decade ago we were just learning about new and innovative ways that buildings can create energy,” said Pierre-Andre Senizergues, founder and owner of Sole Technology. “What’s amazing to me today is that our global headquarters in the U.S., and now our European headquarters, create energy and give to the grid. We dreamed about it, imagined how it could happen and now we made it a reality!”
Furthermore, the entire building is fitted with LED lighting, motion sensors and advanced insulation. The environmentally-driven features have contributed to the overall energy efficiency of the building, which has been awarded a rating of A++ by EPA Label certified energy advisors based in the Netherlands. This European rating means that based on current technology, there is little or no room for further improvement in terms of energy efficiency.
Sole Technology’s brands each have showrooms in the building that are utilized for sales meetings, key retailer showings and a myriad of other functions to include special events and art shows.
The location of the new building was a key factor in the move. The company originally opened its European headquarters in 2007 and selected Amsterdam not only for its proximity to large ports, but because it is an area where many countries come together producing a rich, diverse culture. As a global company, Sole Technology is able to incorporate that diversity in its European operation and continue to build a positive community through this new location, which is located next to the harbor and near its first etnies retail store on the Damrak. Damrak is part of the city’s “red carpet project,” which is aimed to make the area from Central Station to the Dam Square in Amsterdam the entrance to the city with nice shops and restaurants. Plans are already underway, working directly with the city, to create an action sports hub for the industry and local community, with a BMX park that is slotted to open early 2013 and a skatepark shortly after.
Over the years, Sole Technology has launched numerous initiatives to contribute toward a better world including its global headquarters building in Lake Forest, California, which also operates on 616 solar panels and has a variety of ecologically-focused features. Its largest brand, etnies, has the Buy a Shoe, Plant a Tree initiative on select footwear that involves consumers in reforesting efforts. The collection has yielded close to 175,000 trees being planted in rainforests in Costa Rica and Brazil. The Buy a Shoe, Plant a Tree project is slotted to expand in 2013, with a goal of reaching close to 400,000 total trees planted from 2011 through the end of this year.
Sole Technology’s globally recognized action sports footwear and apparel is available in more than 70 countries worldwide. Additional information about Sole Technology and its brands can be found at www.soletechnology.com.
About Sole Technology
Sole Technology, Inc. is the creator of etnies, Emerica, ThirtyTwo, Altamont and the Sole Technology Institute (STI). Sole Technology is the global supplier of its brands, which are responsible for many of the incredible innovations that have become staples of action sports. As a true industry leader, the company created the STI, the world’s first and only biomechanics research organization, to test and develop new technologies to make the highest performing skateboard footwear. Sole Technology is headquartered in Lake Forest, Calif. with offices worldwide in China, United Kingdom, Spain, the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany and European operations based in Amsterdam, Holland.
For more information on Sole Technology’s footwear and apparel brands visit soletechnology.com.