Home Depot partners with U.S. Green Building Council
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), in conjunction with The Home Depot, has launched an online green home products database. The database is a special “microsite” within homedepot.com that features products geared toward green home building, many of which may contribute toward earning LEED points and prerequisites for the LEED for Homes program, making it easier for homeowners and builders to find the products they need, according to the joint press release.
Currently, more than 2,500 products sold at The Home Depot are listed on the website.
“As the world’s largest home improvement retailer, we want to show our customers that building green can be easy and affordable,” said Lindsay Chason, senior manager of environmental innovation at The Home Depot. “We have innovative, environmentally friendly products that make LEED certification simpler. Now through our partnership with U.S. Green Building Council and their LEED for Homes program, we are simplifying the process of bringing healthier, greener homes to reality.”
The USGBC and The Home Depot product database debuted last month as part of the TED Conference during which Steve Glenn, CEO of LivingHomes, a LEED home builder since 2006 and the builder of the first LEED Platinum home in the nation, showcased LivingHome C6. C6 is the first affordable housing line from the pre-fabricated builder. Once sited in their final locations, C6 homes are designed to meet the requirements of the LEED for Homes rating system. The home was designed as part of a new partnership with Make It Right, a nonprofit founded by Brad Pitt and renowned architect William McDonough to build 150 Cradle to Cradle-inspired LEED Platinum homes in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each C6 will help support the efforts of Make It Right.
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N.M. Gov vetoes tax on big boxes
Facing a last-minute deadline, Gov. Susana Martinez vetoed a bill on March 6 that would have increased taxes on big-box retail stores. Senate Bill 9 would have slightly lowered New Mexico’ corporate income tax rate but raised the tax treatment of some multi-state corporations.
Supporters of the bill said it would stop big-box retailers from avoiding taxes by shifting income to out-of-state subsidiaries. The measure would have forced some companies to combine the income from their nationwide operations when calculating what is subject to taxation under New Mexico’s laws. Retailers with stores of more than 30,000 sq. ft. were among those targeted by the restructured tax.
Martinez described the bill as a tax increase on “an arbitrarily chosen set of retailers” that would kill jobs, pass higher prices on to consumers and drive business out of the state.
"While proponents of this legislation may have had a few particular corporate targets in mind when pushing for this tax increase, the result would be much broader and raise taxes on businesses like grocery stores," the governor said in a prepared statement. "Increasing taxes on grocery stores, clothing retailers and home improvement stores, while choosing to cut taxes for a different set of corporations — such as large banks, casinos, payday loan companies or any other large corporation that pays corporate income tax — is not only misguided and an arbitrary tax policy, but it’s also not the way to foster economic growth in New Mexico."
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Technology provider launches installed sales program
Cilio Technologies, a Brookfield, Wis.-based specialist in automated order distribution and management of installed sales for the building materials industry, has announced the launch of the Cilio Partners Portal, a Web platform for home improvement retailers and manufacturers. The cloud-based software solution gives all trading partners real-time visibility and insight into orders and the sales channel, according to the company.
“Today, most orders for countertops, cabinets, windows, doors, flooring and other installed products are managed by a manual, paper-based system. A customer goes to a retailer or dealer and places an order where it is kicked out to a complex network of manufacturers, distributors, fabricators and installers with little or no ability to know where an order is in the process,” said Randy Olejnik, president of Cilio Technologies. “Hours are wasted manually tracking order status, and critical information is easily lost.”
Companies that use Cilio’s technology to manage their installed program include Lowe’s, Cosentino Group, Sage Surfaces, Origin Point Brands, and LG Hausys America. The Cilio Partners Portal captures orders electronically via a single, consistent process and distributes those orders automatically to the proper partners within the channel making the order available for viewing any time, from any computer or mobile device. Additionally, the Cilio Partners Portal can be up and running within as little as 30 days.
The Cilio program also allows standard and custom reporting on a complete history of orders and the ability to monitor and measure performance of partners, products, campaigns and incentive programs.
According to estimates provided by the company, installed sales programs account for nearly 20% of the $155 billion home improvement retail business.