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Ceremony marks environmental and safety achievements by Cargill and Opus at Excelsior Crossings campus in Hopkins

13 April 2009

Contact: Bill Brady, Cargill, 952-742-6608, bill_brady@cargill.com
Carolyn Parsons, Opus, 952-346-6318, cparsons@webershandwick.com

HOPKINS, Minn. - Cargill and Opus Northwest Construction, L.L.C. will be recognized for two major environmental and safety milestones at Cargill's new Excelsior Crossings campus in Hopkins at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 14, outside the building at 9350 Excelsior Blvd.

Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry Commissioner Steve Sviggum will present Opus, developer of the property, with a flag denoting certification by the Minnesota Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (MNSHARP). In addition, Opus will present Cargill with a plaque marking the building's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED(r)) Gold certification achievement.

"We congratulate Opus for its achievement and recognize them as a true leader in safety and health," said Steve Sviggum, Department of Labor and Industry commissioner. "We applaud their efforts to attain MNSHARP Construction status for the second time and ensure more workers go home at night in the same condition they came to work in the morning."

Opus is the only company to receive two MNSHARP Construction awards, and Excelsior Crossings is the only MNSHARP Construction site to achieve LEED Gold certification. The MNSHARP Construction designation recognizes companies whose managers and employees work together to develop safety and health programs that go beyond basic compliance with U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards. The honor results from safety evaluations conducted by Minnesota OSHA during 18 months of construction

"These honors are a result of the combined efforts of all supervisor and management teams," said Jim Larson, safety manager for Opus Northwest. "Because of Cargill's culture of safety and commitment to sustainable design, the entire team went above and beyond all OSHA requirements and achieved one of the few LEED Gold certifications in our state."

LEED is the nationally accepted benchmark for high performance "green" buildings. There are four certification levels: Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum. The Excelsior Crossings project is Cargill's first office project to achieve the Gold level and is one of only five Gold-certified new construction projects in the state of Minnesota, according to the U.S. Green Building Council

"Our design and construction teams have worked very hard for almost two years to ensure this Gold certification," said John McCabe, Cargill's vice president for Office Services. They should be congratulated for achieving this milestone. It is a point of pride for us and especially for all the employees who are now working at the new campus."

The seven-story, 250,000-square-foot structure, which opened in July 2008, is the first of three for the Excelsior Crossings campus at the northeast corner of Highway 169 and Excelsior Boulevard. The campus consolidates employees who are presently at several locations across the Twin Cities and will be home to approximately 1,700 Cargill employees by mid-2010. Cargill's world headquarters continues to be in Wayzata, Minn.

Some sustainable elements of the new building include:

* maximized lighting efficiency, with more than 90 percent of occupants having views to the exterior;

* an advanced water treatment process - collected rainwater and snowmelt go through five water retention ponds to control regional storm run-off;

* use of BiOH® soybean-based polyols in the foam cushion chairs in the reception area, soy backing on conference room carpets, and NatureWorks fibers on the furniture panels in the fitness center;

* enhanced landscaping that compares with the property's previous use as a warehouse.

The April 14 ceremony and flag-raising will be followed by a lunch to honor all the contractors who helped build the site.

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Cargill is an international provider of food, agricultural and risk management products and services. With 160,000 employees in 67 countries, the company is committed to using its knowledge and experience to collaborate with customers to help them succeed.

Opus Northwest, L.L.C. is headquartered in Minneapolis and is one of five regional companies within the Opus Group. The Opus Group, a group of independent operating companies, is a full-service real estate development company with more than 55 years of experience. Opus is recognized as a national leader in office, industrial, retail, multifamily, government and institutional development and has offices across the United States and in Canada. Committed to creating great real estate, Opus implements best practices in sustainable design and construction to maximize building performance and reduce environmental impact. A community steward since its inception, the Opus Group is committed to the long-term development of people and communities by contributing 10 percent of its pre-tax profits to community organizations. For more information, visit www.opuscorp.com. MNSHARP Construction is a Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MNOSHA) program that recognizes major-construction companies where managers and employees work together to develop safety and health programs that go beyond basic compliance with all applicable OSHA standards and result in immediate and long-term prevention of job-related injuries and illnesses. Only construction projects at least 18 months in duration are eligible for participation in MNSHARP Construction. DLI representatives will commemorate the company's employee-employer partnership by presenting a MNSHARP flag and a certificate that exempts the worksite from MNOSHA Compliance scheduled inspections for one year. MNSHARP Construction began in Minnesota in 2007.

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