Coldicott Woodworks, setting green standards
for shop and employees in the Bay Area.
Bay area green building pioneer... hoping one day to make both our work and our
lives carbon neutral.
When looking for a cabinetmaker committed to green practices, you'd be hard pressed
to find a company more dedicated than Coldicott Woodworks, Inc. Based in the Bay
Area, just southeast of San Francisco, Coldicott utilizes no or low VOC materials
and finishes, as well as local and/or sustainably sourced materials whenever possible.
But this was not enough for Steve Coldicott. He took this thinking a step farther
by offering year end bonuses to employees who ride their bikes to work! Coldicott's
commitment to the health of the planet and their employees is a benchmark others
According to owner Steve, "Coldicott was green before we even knew what that meant."
The epiphany occurred shortly after the arrival of his first child. "We are a family
operated business. This means that my family spends most of the day at the shop."
explains Coldicott. "My wife and I are both experienced woodworkers. When our first
child was born we would bring them to work and we wanted to make sure we weren't
exposing our child to environmental toxins. We also have a number of award winning
wood workers in the shop who care about their own health. This is how we began to
learn about the chemistry involved with products."
Coldicott was the first shop in this region to ask for PureBond® plywood made
formaldehyde-free technology. "It wasn't difficult to tell that imported plywood
was made with a lot of toxic adhesive. You could smell it! I didn't want to use
anything like that so we began to hound the vendors in our area to carry PureBond.
Now we buy it exclusively." Explains Steve. "PureBond was a catalyst for us to then
look into other areas where we could be sustainable. This process of looking deeper
has turned into a strong sense of social responsibility for us: we believe we are
personally responsible for our impact on the world.
We are continually researching new green products to find the superior product at
the most competitive price. We have put a lot of research and development into using
non-toxic materials and finishes. Because of this we now have a second business;
Eco-Friendly Finishes, and we are the only environmental and IAQ focused finishing
company in the bay area. Now other shops ask us how to use many of the new wave
Coldicott has taken environmental thinking to a level farther than most shops. "We
hope one day to make both our work and our lives carbon neutral," says Steve. "One
of the ways we are moving in this direction is by having a bike to work
program. We offer a twice a year mileage payback for employees who ride their bikes
to work, paying a set amount per mile. If someone does not have a bike we help them
get one and if they have mass-transit we supplement that. I want to reward everyone
using alternative energy."
Coldicott is one of the few cabinet shops in the country that is also a member of
the US Green Building Council.