The building is being marketed as a showcase for theconservation economy, bringing together environmentally savvybusinesses and organizations. It features a roof-top bioswale toabsorb runoff, paints with low toxicity, energy-efficient windows,certified sustainable wood products and multiple transit options.In turn, Ashforth Pacific says it will use this assignment aplatform for the company to demonstrate a new management approach,one that conserves resources, minimizes pollution, and improves thehealth of people, the planet, and the owner's bottom line.

"Our company feels strongly that businesses need to take thelead in resolving pressing environmental concerns," says HankAshforth, CEO of Ashforth Pacific. "The Natural Capital Center willbe a beacon in this community, demonstrating that -- from bankingto retailing to government to the very nature of our workplaces --we can create a vibrant economy in harmony with our naturalsurroundings."

Ashforth launched its own environmental initiative in 1999. Thecompany now reinvests a portion of its energy savings in clean,renewable energy, purchasing 5% of its energy supply throughPacifiCorp's Blue Sky program. The company also now has a full-timesustainability coordinator on staff to support the effort, sayscompany president Scott Langley.

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