Department of Design and 
Environmental Analysis
Cornell University

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901 Cherry- Gap Headquarters
In the hills of San Bruno, California, lies the Gap offices.  In 1997, William McDonough + Partners collaborated with Gensler on the 195,000sf building.  "People would rather spend their days outdoors rather than indoors," says McDonough.  The building is designed to bring in daylighting through a number of strategies, the delivery of fresh air and views to the exterior.  The roof is designed to be an undulating field of wild grasses to enhance views and encourage the return of wildlife. 

Gap on...
the environment 

Gap Inc. is a leader in the world of business, and we aspire to be a leader in the world of environmental responsibility too. We care about the earth and are committed to finding ways to minimize our effect on the environment. 

environmental principle

At Gap Inc., we believe that business profitability and environmental responsibility are not mutually exclusive. We strive to keep this in mind in principle and practice. To this end, we have developed two basic tenets to guide us in our work: 

1.We will operate with respect and sensitivity to the environment wherever we do business. 

2.We will encourage our employees to take individual steps to protect and restore the environment, and empower them to ensure that Company activity is consistent with our environmental policies. 

Through the application of these principles, we feel confident that our environmental practice will evolve and mature, and that our ability to manage our own operations -- as well as our suppliers' -- will improve over time. Our employees are responsible for the bottom-line results of their decisions. Increasingly, they are also held accountable for the environmental impact of their work. 

empowering employees to shape environmental policies 

Because we believe that environmental considerations should be weighed when making business decisions, our employees are called on to shape our environmental policies. Our environmental practice is led by Bob Fisher -- Executive Vice President, Gap Inc., and President, Gap Division -- and Gap Inc.'s Environmental Affairs department. Working with other departments, Environmental Affairs facilitates Company decisions on supplier management, store construction, purchasing, transportation, energy efficiency, food services and recycling. 

improving production processes 

The textile and apparel industry has not stepped lightly on the environment. Gap Inc. is committed to changing that. Although we do not own mills or factories, we are concerned about our suppliers' impacts on the earth. We work with clothing manufacturers around the world to minimize the negative side effects of their production. We educate our vendors about alternatives to harmful manufacturing practices and we try to use products that have been obtained or manufactured in environmentally intelligent ways. For example, we are working on ways to increase use of organic cotton and are looking at alternatives to electroplated fasteners. 

rewarding employees who make a difference

To date, we have not talked much to the public about our environmental efforts. That's because we've been busy figuring out what an effective environmental practice looks like. We have a long way to go, but we are making progress. Along the way, we have communicated our goals to employees, business partners and stockholders. We take our environmental performance seriously. Each year, a President's Award, which includes a gift of stock in the Company, is given to the employee who has done the most extraordinary work on behalf of the community. The message is clear: we reward our employees for their commitment to finding innovative solutions to community and environmental problems. 

building better stores and offices

Gap Inc. is one of the fastest-growing clothing retailers in the world. They also frequently update, expand and redesign them. At the construction and demolition stages, they encourage contractors to recycle 
wherever they can. In addition, the architects, store designers and building planners use recycled and low-toxic building materials, wood from "well-managed" forests, and energy-efficient lighting and mechanical systems to create environmentally sensible retail  and office spaces wherever feasible. 

setting goals, then following through

There is no end to the job of protecting the earth. Gap understands this, and is committed to improving their environmental practice over time. To focus their efforts, Gap Inc. develops environmental action plans for key areas of their operations. In time, they will require the same from their business partners. The Company's environmental performance will be evaluated periodically to identify 
opportunities for improvement. 

reducing waste

Reams of paper, truckloads of packing material, tons of garbage -- Gap Inc. works hard to reduce these side effects of big business. We encourage our employees and business partners to reduce waste, recycle waste that can't be eliminated and close the recycling loop by purchasing products that contain high percentages of post-consumer recycled material. Over the years, we have organized recycling programs in our stores and distribution centers. Employees are empowered to find re-uses for fixtures, packing material and paper products. To further minimize 
paper waste, employees at our stores and offices communicate increasingly by electronic mail.