5 December 2008
OfficeMax’s green dream a commercial reality
Auckland 5 December, Today OfficeMax officially opens its environmentally friendly and sustainable head office and distribution centre at
Highbrook Business Park, Manukau.
Kevin Obern, OfficeMax New Zealand managing director said the new site is a green dream for OfficeMax and has been
purpose built to fit with the company’s strong stance on environmental sustainability.
“OfficeMax is hugely committed to sustainability and Highbrook has been designed to reflect this. From features that
minimise electricity usage, to desk tops that are low formaldehyde emitting MDF; every nook and cranny has been
carefully designed with people and the environment in mind.”
Richard Ismay, building services consultant from Medlands Metropolis and New Zealand Green Building Council green star
professional, says the facility at Highbrook has been built to a high environmental standard using the framework of the
New Zealand Green Building Council “Office Design” Green Star tool for an unofficial evaluation.
“This building is one of the first of its kind with regards to the green star design techniques. Currently there is not
an available rating tool for combined office and industrial buildings in New Zealand, however we believe that were the
building able to be rated, it would comfortably achieve a ‘NZ best practice’ rating” said Mr. Ismay.
In addition to the environmentally friendly attributes of the facility, the building delivers on efficiency and
cost-effectiveness; the distribution centre lighting dims in reaction to the amount of available daylight from the sky
lights and is movement activated in low use areas, both of which save considerable quantities of energy. Plumbing
fittings have being installed that minimise water consumption.
“These are some of the examples where environmentally sustainable practices form a platform which help deliver our
commercial objectives. Being environmentally conscious is not just about being a good corporate citizen, it makes good
business sense too,” says Mr. Obern.
Hon Dr Wayne Mapp, Associate Minister for Economic Development, says the new complex is an impressive example of
commercial and environmental considerations being brought together in a mutually reinforcing way.
“This building epitomises the contemporary understanding of the importance of brand New Zealand as an economic driver,”
he says. “Businesses that innovate in an authentic way like this will be among the leaders within a more prosperous New
The passion for sustainability has become a strong part of OfficeMax’s organisational culture and has developed a strong
sense of pride for employees.
“If our employees think we aren’t being as environmentally friendly as we could be in any area they are very quick to
hit us up, which I think is just great,” added Obern.
Hon Dr Wayne Mapp and Manukau City Council Mayor, Len Brown will address guests at the official opening and New Zealand
green celebrity Te Radar will act as master of ceremonies. A pohutukawa will be planted by Mayor Brown and Kevin Obern
to commemorate the opening.
Notes to editors:
• Images of the building and the tree planting ceremony are available.
• Additional commentary about the facility is available from: Kevin Obern, OfficeMax, managing director and Richard
Ismay, consultant from Medlands Metropolis and New Zealand Green Building Council green star professional.
Facts about the building:
• The new 15,000sqm distribution centre and 4,500sqm office has replaced three Auckland sites
• The building is purpose built for OfficeMax which means there was no wasted construction activity and materials caused
by re-designing and re-building post construction in order to meet the needs of tenants.
• The air conditioning system negates the need for a cooling tower which is both a potential health risk and increases
the waste of mains water
• The distribution centre is ventilated via a combination of natural and fan forced ventilation with a manual occupant
• AAA rated, technically advanced plumbing fixtures and fittings have been installed that reduce water consumption
• All enclosed offices and meeting rooms are provided with separate individual switches ensuring lights are not used
• From light fittings to fridges, all equipment purchased for the building have a high efficiency rating
• The feature carpet on the wall in the cafe and on the bridges over the atrium is a range by the name of Tretford, The
principal component in Tretford is goats’ hair which constitutes 80% of the products fibre content.
• OfficeMax reconditioned existing seating and recovered them with a 100% recyclable NZ wool fabric rather than
scrapping them for new chairs
OfficeMax is one of the top three office products companies in the world, employing 41,000 people worldwide including
900 in New Zealand. A key global player, OfficeMax New Zealand prides itself on its local focus.
OfficeMax believes in integrity, total quality and safety. It prides itself on the depth of industry knowledge possessed
by its workforce and confidently believes it has the most skilled personnel in the office products industry.
OfficeMax delivers on its commitment to stock paper products from environmentally sustainable sources. In addition, all
OfficeMax branded copy paper supplied by Mondi South Africa carries FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) Chain of Custody
certification. OfficeMax also offer recycled papers from 30% to 100% Recycled Content which are manufactured using a
Totally Chlorine Free (TCF) method.
OfficeMax holds the Enviro-Mark NZ Gold standard which recognises their commitment to sustainable practices.
OfficeMax is actively working toward developing good environmental practices within their organisation to enable
consumers to make environmentally friendly purchasing decisions, already selling over than 300 products with
exceptionally high environmental credentials.