Canada-based Agropur Dairy Cooperative officially opened its new head office complex in Longueuil, Quebec, Canada. The $100 million, near-90,000-square-meter facility keeps Agropur's decision-making center in Quebec. Eventually, 800 employees will work at the smart, collaborative offices, which have been integrated into their natural setting.

"We are proud to open our new head office here in Longueuil," says Serge Riendeau, president. "It represents a major investment and long-term commitment to Quebec in keeping with our members' vision of corporate sustainability. We have spent a total of $100 million on this project, which includes our head office and a new laboratory; the head office complex also includes a distribution center and Canada's largest dairy R&D center. Agropur, now the world's 16th largest dairy processor by milk volume, has equipped itself with a modern head office that reflects its cooperative values."

"With this move, Agropur Dairy Cooperative renews its commitment to Quebec and demonstrates that it is a driver of economic development," adds Robert Coallier, chief executive officer. "Agropur now has annual sales of almost $6 billion. The new head office is part of our organization's transformation, which has included a string of recent mergers and acquisitions, major investments in our plants, a strong focus on R&D and improvements to our ways of doing things. Our new head office reflects our new stature, and we are very proud of it. The businesses that will succeed in highly competitive global markets are those that are able to differentiate themselves through a culture of innovation. Having nearly 800 qualified employees working synergistically in high-tech facilities respectful of the environment is already having a visible impact on our organization's performance. We are also confident that our new head office will help us attract and retain the best talent."

The opening of the head office complex is the culmination of more than three years of planning and construction. The building's features include a design that is integrated into nature and respectful of the environment. Head office employees will be in daily contact with nature just as Agropur members are. The low-rise building with abundant windows is below tree height. Five cranes were used during construction to limit the impact on vegetation at the site. The complex, designed by Canada-based Le Groupe Architex, received Canada Green Building Council certification and is in the process of obtaining LEED certification.

The state-of-the-art building also boasts electronic booking of conference rooms, Skype phones and employee card-controlled printers, and was designed to make maximum use of natural light with smart blinds and motion-activated lighting. The perimeter heating is hot water, and a solar energy system was installed on the south wall to heat the cafeteria.

The underground parking contains electric charging stations, and the complex also includes a gym and bicycle parking.