29 Feb 2016

Vetrazzo & Green Initiatives

Vetrazzo Blog
Feb 29, 2016



Vetrazzo Cobalt Skyy

Over the years Vetrazzo has enjoyed a successful track record of being featured in many commercial projects, due in large part to its immediate visual appeal but also in that it carries a specific message of being an environmentally friendly product produced in a socially responsible manner. Its versatility makes it suitable to a variety of design styles, especially within the educational, retail, institutional and hospitality sectors.

And it’s not just regional charitable organizations and non-profits that are touting the benefits of using more sustainable products but also larger corporations who understand the power of brand identity and leveraging specific value propositions that are actively communicated to their target audiences by aligning themselves with a particular product or cause. No matter what the focus of the company is, employing Vetrazzo recycled glass countertops in a design creates an outward expression of eco-conscious lifestyle choices and clearly places their organization’s mission and ethics within sustainable business practices.

Whether it’s a national retailer, restaurant chain or smaller, regional business with one or more locations there’s a deliberate story being told in every surface of Vetrazzo which can be positioned within the overall brand’s message, establishing themselves as thought leaders with an eye toward the forward, being both the change and the solution for bigger issues.


With consumer demand driving greater corporate social responsibility among big businesses, it’s no surprise to see social media contributing to an increased transparency, building more brand advocates and friends. Some brands even strive to influence consumer behavior, inspiring them to take action. One of the nation’s largest home loan mortgage companies, Quicken Loans, promotes greenbuilding initiatives in home remodeling and tips on eco-friendly living through their blog, Zing.


Recently they’ve been opening many new locations throughout the US and have been including Vetrazzo recycled glass countertops in their offices, mother’s rooms and employee kitchens. Their selection of our Vetrazzo Ruby Red reycled glass surfaces for this Washington D.C. conference table wasn’t just for the token red color of the Quicken brand, but also for the 600 lbs of recycled glass contained in the slab from decommissioned traffic lenses and post industrial waste glass from the manufacturing process of producing certain types of tableware.


The historic Detroit News Building designed by Albert Kahn and built in 1917, is now the home of the new Detroit, MI Quicken Loans offices where 875 employees will occupy a 175,000 sq ft space including 10 training rooms and multiple conference and event rooms. Preserving the elements of the original architecture, this new-meets-old design completed by dPOP! unifies the building’s impressive history with more modern features and amenities. Not only were the aesthetics of Vetrazzo Ruby Red Patina a driving force in the project, so was the durability which was another important factor in the selection process. Their team had used the product previously on other projects and knew it not only looks great, but it also performs well.


At its very heart, Vetrazzo tells a story and has always been a fantastic teaching tool for students encouraging them to continue making conscious decisions about the changes they can make in their lives to create a better future and environment for everyone. Schools have been making their own changes in their operations like instituting designated recycling containers that separate glass, plastic and aluminum from landfill as well as implementing community outreach and public service programs like tree plantings and beach clean-ups. When it comes to closing the loop and physically connecting these concepts to a tangible product there’s no better choice than including sustainable countertops into the mix.


The recently completed Chapman University in Orange, California has staked their own claim on ‪sustainability with the Vetrazzo Cubist Clear recycled glass surfaces they just installed throughout their new Performance Arts building, made from salvaged auto and tempered safety glass. Used for the reception, ticket and concession counters as well as for the restrooms, the overall design of the building incorporates other green building systems with Vetrazzo being the most visible outward expression in the plan. Visited by thousands of people every year, the Auditorium will host performances and top musical acts for the public as well as University staff and students.


Cubist_Clear_Chapman_College_Concession_Stand_3-837640-edited.jpgNatural and organic foods retailer Whole Foods believes in transparency and attributes its success to finding ways to engage and connect with consumers, said Walter Robb, Whole Foods co-CEO, at last year’s Global Retailing Conference. “Customers know how animals are raised and where their foods come from. We’re building trust and loyalty,” he said. In the same way, Vetrazzo was built on a foundation of transparency and just as in the ‘farm to table’ concept, you can trace our glass and the manufacturing process right back to the source through third party certification and verify the life-cycle analysis of the product itself.

And it’s for this reason that many Whole Foods locations across the US feature our Vetrazzo Charisma Blue Patina recycled glass countertops in their coffee bars and food service areas. And there’s no trade-off when it comes to the aesthetics of the product as the appearance of the recycled beer bottles lends an inner warmth and luminosity due to the white cement binder that reflects light back through the glass particles while the surrounding dark patina finish highlights the effect.


Vetrazzo delivers a very powerful statement and retailers are aware of this in the collective conscious of consumers. Even smaller, local businesses are embracing the message that Vetrazzo conveys by positioning their brand in line with its mission. Take the popular New Jersey frozen yogurt chain YoMon, with multiple locations across the state.

Their image of sustainability shows through their focus on the feel good nature of the outdoor lifestyle portrayed in their ‘live simple, less is more’ Caribbean theme and with their offering of organic toppings and recycled, biodegradable packaging as well as their use of green building materials. They used Vetrazzo’s Cobalt Skyy eco-friendly countertops to complement the blue color of their branding and the bamboo millwork all throughout their stores, serving a dual purpose by also being a very resilient product in a high traffic environment where customers create their own tasty concoctions.


So considering that brands are able to evoke positive or negative feelings, especially in the context of sensitive social and ecological issues, the more positive the perceptions and feelings are towards a brand, the more likely they will be to gain loyalty amongst consumers. If your business or educational institution is looking to implement some of these changes as well, why not include Vetrazzo’s sustainable recycled glass countertops into the design, it’s an easy and very visible way to make an immediate impact on your business while diverting tons of glass and wasted embodied energy from overcrowing landfills for millions of years to come.