Etsy Global Headquarters Achieves Living Building Challenge Petal Certification

Apr 12, 2017 1:15 PM ET
Campaign: Events + Education

Etsy envisioned its new global headquarters as an opportunity to instigate change, to set a new standard for sustainable construction and design in a renovation project, and to create a space that reflected its values, especially those related to community, craft, and sustainability. They approached each decision with careful consideration of the long-term health of both the project’s and the surrounding community’s ecosystem.

Early on in the project, it became clear that Etsy’s aspirations to hold this project to the highest standards for sustainability aligned with the goals and Imperatives of the Living Building Challenge, particularly those of the Materials Petal.

These five principles guided the project from concept to ribbon-cutting:

  • ASPIRE TO BE A FULLY INTERDEPENDENT, REGENERATIVE ECOSYSTEM: Carefully consider the long- and short-term effects of design and materials selection on all stakeholders.
  • CELEBRATE THE HANDMADE: Design a reprogrammable work platform that is committed to working with and engaging makers and local artists on a large scale.
  • CREATE POSITIVE COMMUNITY IMPACT: Support local businesses and the responsible use of local, natural resources.
  • IMPLEMENT RESILIENT, MISSION-ALIGNED INFRASTRUCTURE: Use resilient and efficient materials and systems.
  • MAKE SPACES THAT EMBODY ETSY’S VALUES: Integrate local, sustainable materials from makers and artists, with an emphasis on inspiration from the natural world.

The wide range of collaborators on this project is nearly innumerable. They included many of the internal Etsy teams—Workplace Ecology & Design, Sustainability & Social Innovation, Culture & Engagement, Global Food, Brand Design, Audio Visual, and IT, among many others—the design firm Gensler, dozens of local artists and Etsy sellers, and hundreds of other partners. This collective effort resulted in a space that reflects Etsy’s values and its overarching mission. The final product is an embodiment of community, craft, and sustainability.

Read the full Etsy Headquarters Case Study from the International Living Future Institute at