Following The Natural Step
In the 1990's, Neil Kelly Cabinets President Tom Kelly saw other businesses in his
region going green, and he knew that was the right direction to go. But the problem
was how to get there? How can a company be truly sustainable - not just
pay lip service to the idea - and still be a profitable and reliable company that
makes products of the highest quality?
Tom had an epiphany when he attended a Natural Step seminar in 1997. He explains:
"The Natural Step helped us develop a framework where our company could grow and
meet our goals. What the Natural Step taught me was that with every decision, no
matter how small or how big, the environment enters into consideration… and now,
from the top down, everyone in the company thinks this way." A lot of people want
to go green, but the process is daunting and they don't know where to begin. It's
all about taking steps in the right direction when you can't quite turn a complete
360 overnight. Tom continues, "I realized that we did not have to conquer Rome in
a single day. We could incrementally improve what were doing." And grow they did!
The company is now considered one of the nation's top 10 Design - Build Remodelers
by Kitchen and Bath Designers.
Using low VOC finishes, PureBond® plywood made with formaldehyde free technology,
reclaimed building products, FSC® certified lumber, and efficient building practices
that minimize waste to the landfill and reduce energy use, Neil Kelly Cabinets is
a trustworthy source. Neil Kelly Cabinets makes going green simple! And their claim
to green fame can be well substantiated. In 2006 the company built a net zero energy
home, which actually produces more energy than it uses. The company built Oregon's
first LEED Silver certified residence in Parkdale, the first of its kind on the
west coast and the fourth of its kind in the country.
But Neil Kelly Cabinet's sustainable practices are only half the story. Their award
winning designs are just as compelling. Tom explains, "We have been making cabinets
since the 1960s. In the early 1990's we asked ourselves 'Are we going to simply
be a cabinet making entity, or are we going to try and do something better?' We
developed styles that no one else had. We looked at what was in the built environment
in the Pacific Northwest and saw that there were design trends that came from that
region. As a result we developed cabinets that followed arts and crafts, Asian,
contemporary, and mid century modern design themes." At Neil Kelly you will find
magazine-worthy designs that no other supplier will have. Whether you have a cutting
edge modern or very traditional home, a palace in the city or a cabin in the woods,
Neil Kelly will have a design to suit you.
This year Tom Kelly received the prestigious Building Excellence Lifetime Achievement
Award by the Home Builder's Association and Remodeler's Council of Metropolitan