Sustainable Contribution: Panasonic Marks One Year in Newark

Two Riverfront Plaza

Two Riverfront Plaza

By Suzann D. Silverman, Editorial Director

On Aug. 21, Panasonic Corp. of North America celebrated the one-year anniversary of its move to a new headquarters in Newark, N.J. The principal North American subsidiary of electronics giant Panasonic Corp. relocated to the new, highly sustainable office tower from its decades-long location in Secaucus in a monumental effort to address the No. 1 goal in a mission statement and plan dating back to the early 1930s: Contribute to society.

Located adjacent to Newark’s Penn Station train and bus hub, Two Riverfront Plaza provides easy access to public transportation while at the same time bringing some 1,000 employees to a city in the midst of improvement via a wave of new construction geared at attracting businesses, noted the company’s chief technology officer, Todd Rytting. Further efforts at contributing to the city included hiring a local concrete company to pour the lobby floor (depicted in the slideshow).

The 360,000-square-foot building further addresses Panasonic’s goal of becoming a leader in sustainability by 2018, when it turns 100, Rytting added. The goal applies to the multitude of business and consumer products the company manufactures, as well as to its offices and Fujisawa, a “smart town” it has under construction on the site of a former manufacturing facility 30 miles southwest of Tokyo.

Rooftop solar panels

Rooftop solar panels

Two Riverfront Plaza achieved a LEED Gold for New Construction certification for its exterior and is on track to achieve a Platinum certification for its interior. In addition to its proximity to public transportation (the use of which is encouraged through commuter incentives and limited parking options), green features include 234 rooftop solar panels; extensive use of locally derived and Forest Stewardship Council-certified building materials and furnishings; extensive natural lighting and automatic artificial light dimmers; outside views for 91 percent of its employees; and use of filtered, reconditioned and recirculated air.

Within the first 11 months of operation, it decreased greenhouse gas emissions by 56 percent compared to performance of its Secaucus facility, and in the first five months of this year it reduced water consumption by 49 percent over the Secaucus facility.

Rytting sat down with CPE TV to discuss the move, the sustainable efforts and response from employees (video player above). The slideshow below depicts details of the new building’s design and sustainable features.