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Nichols release

January 22, 2010
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MUSKEGON, MINichols is pleased to announce that Renae Hesselink, vice president of sustainability and LEED accredited professional (AP), has been elected to the chair position for the U.S. Green Building Council of West Michigan.

Renae has been with Nichols for 16 years in various roles. Two years ago, she was selected to fill the role of VP of Sustainability, a newly created position to focus the company on sustainability both internally and with its customers. With Renae in the lead, Nichols submitted an application and is currently awaiting certification from the USGBC for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings Operations and Maintenance (LEED EB-OM). The LEED certification process led Nichols to many positive results with the two most prominent being a 34% reduction in energy usage and a 90% reduction in waste hauling fees.

Renae has been a principal in the development of the Nichols Green Cleaning Program. A cleaning program which involves a holistic, comprehensive approach to cleaning which includes a large selection of environmentally friendly products, ongoing education of customers, and the training of building maintenance professionals and building occupants to better understand their role in the health and safety of the environment. Green cleaning has a significant impact on indoor air quality. The primary markets for the cleaning program are organizations who have developed formalized environmental and sustainability objectives. This includes, but is not limited to, government offices, manufacturers, K-12 school systems, colleges and universities, hotels and other commercial and industrial facilities. Renae has worked with several organizations in Michigan to document green cleaning programs to meet LEED requirements.

Nichols is the largest independent distributor of cleaning, protection and packaging supplies in the state of Michigan, has been in business for nearly seventy years, is headquartered in Muskegon and services over three thousand customers. Nichols also has branches in Wixom, Holland, Traverse City and Grand Rapids.

The U.S. Green Building Council is a committee-based, member-driven, consensus-focused non-profit organization founded in 1993. The council currently represents over 20,000 companies and organizations. The West Michigan Chapter of the USGBC, organized in 2004, is one of 70 chapters operating under separate licensed non-profit across the United States.

The mission of the USGBC is it to transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated, enabling an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy, and prosperous environment that improves the quality of life in one generation. It accomplishes that mission with a dedication to expanding green building practices and education with its LEED Green Building Rating System™ and other educational resources.

The U.S. Green Building Council of West Michigan is very proud of its accomplishments. There are over 110 LEED Buildings in West Michigan, number one in the country for LEED buildings per capita, and 740 LEED APs in the area. Nichols is pleased by the success of the organization and the leadership role that Renae plays in the West Michigan Chapter.

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