Source: Syngenta Seeds

Switzerland-based Syngenta CEO Mike Mack and Minnesota agriculture leaders gathered with 300 employees Sept. 21 in Minnetonka. Minn., to celebrate the grand opening of the new Syngenta Seeds Inc. headquarters building for North America.

Among those attending the morning ceremonies were Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce President David C. Olson, Minnesota Department of Agriculture Deputy Commissioner Jim Boerboom, Minnesota State Senator Terri Bonoff and Minnetonka Mayor Terry Schneider.

Activities included building tours and the dedication by Gov. Pawlenty and other speakers of a red pine, Minnesota's state tree, on the building grounds. Guests each received a red pine seedling and Syngenta will donate 100 seedlings to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.

"We are so proud of this extraordinary building, which embodies the forward-looking, sustainable qualities and spirit of innovation that have driven Syngenta and its predecessor companies for more than a century," Mack said in remarks delivered to an employee gathering outside the new building at 11055 Wayzata Blvd. The three-story, 116,000-square-foot structure houses 300 employees and was built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold Certification standards. Employees moved into the building in July, most coming from other buildings in the area.

Examples of the many sustainable elements in the new building include high-efficiency heating and cooling; natural day lighting, which provides 78 percent of employees direct access to outside light from their work area; reduced water usage; and building-wide recycling and composting. Wall accents are made from Kirei board, an environmentally friendly alternative to wood that uses a Syngenta sorghum product. Mack noted that he was especially pleased with the building's proximity to bus lines and bike paths, enabling many employees to get to work without driving.

Syngenta Seeds President David Morgan called the new building a symbol of the company's increasing strength in the seeds business.

"Our reputation is growing as a leader in agriculture and our new headquarters reflects our accomplishments and underscores our intent as we move confidently into the future," he said. "We are signaling our commitment to the Minnesota community in which we work and are living the sustainability principles that, as Syngenta, we embrace."