From hair recycling to building design to the products Empire Education Group students use, the new Empire location in Lauderhill, Fla., is an environmentally friendly concept school and a meaningful first step in the greening of the entire company. Consistent with the company’s core value of continuous improvement, Empire has developed a plan to become more environmentally conscientious. The goal is to improve the eco-practices of the school operations and products, while continuing to provide exceptional cosmetology education to thousands of students across the country.
Empire has partnered with a hair recycling program run by Matter of Trust, a non-profit organization that collects human hair to be used in the cleanup of oil spills. Hair is extremely efficient at collecting oil out of the air, off surfaces, and even out of the water. Matter of Trust creates “hairmats” that have proven to be very effective in the cleanup of spills.
Eco-friendly design features at the school include the following:
• Empire has installed water-saving devices for a 50% reduction in water consumption in shampoo sinks, 50% reduction in hand-washing faucets, and a 60% reduction in front-load washing machines, which also result in a reduced drying time for salon hand towels.
• Empire has achieved a 40% reduction in natural gas usage by using a more efficient water heater model.
•Low voltage halogen lighting has resulted in a 60%-70% reduction in energy usage from lighting.
• Motion-sensing light controls result in lights going out automatically when rooms are left unoccupied.
• LED lighted exterior signs will be installed, which will use less energy and less maintenance than a traditional neon sign.
• Floors are constructed out of100% post-consumer and post-industrial material. Flooring products are 100% recyclable and comply with indoor air quality and emission requirements adapted in California, the nation’s leader in pro-green legislative standards.
•Green paint products were incorporated into the design of the school.
• A heat recovery ventilation system maintains indoor air quality without the loss of tempered air, potentially saving 1,000 BTUs daily.
•Custom-built recycling centers in the school’s common areas will make student recycling of paper, plastic, and glass convenient and second nature.