Ames, Iowa, USA
Becker Underwood, Inc., international leader in the development and production of inoculants, beneficial nematodes and biological agricultural and horticultural products, has announced the completion of a 29 kW Solar Photovoltaic (PV) system on their facility in Littlehampton, United Kingdom.
The 120 solar panels will have a total capacity of approximately 25,000 kWh per year and will decrease the amount of electricity imported by the site. The panels are expected to pay back within six to eight years.
“Since their installation, the panels have been producing about 10 percent of the site’s electricity requirements,” said Krohn. “Over the next few months, we will begin to see additional efficiency improvements from other sustainability initiatives, which will increase the solar panel contribution and further decrease overall energy usage and cost.”
In addition to the solar panel project, the U.K. facility has installed new air compressors, which are estimated to decrease energy usage by 30-percent compared to the old compressors. This is estimated to save $30,000 per year. The site also recently switched energy suppliers to Good Energy, the only U.K. electricity company to supply 100-percent renewable electricity, which is estimated to reduce the facility’s CO2 emissions by 552 metric tons per year.
“At Becker Underwood, we are continuously working to improve the sustainability efforts of the company, and the completion of this project is an exciting result of these efforts,” said Daniel Krohn, Sustainability Lead for Becker Underwood. “We look forward to seeing the positive impact these efforts will continue to have on our U.K. facility.”
This project was completed as part of Becker Underwood’s overall sustainability strategy to protect and reduce the company’s impact on the environment, as well as to reduce their exposure to increasing energy prices. Additionally, the projects correlate with Becker Underwood’s NET positive strategy, which states that all businesses have positive and negative impacts on the environment and society through their policies, processes and products. NET positive is about total transparency, and measuring and communicating the goals put in place to have a net positive impact on the environment, society and economic company growth.
The U.K. solar panel installation is the second solar panel project for Becker Underwood. In April 2011, the Becker Underwood facility in St. Joseph, Missouri announced the installation of 84 solar panels on their facility, making it the largest private solar panel array in the city. Since their installation almost a year ago, the site has reduced their carbon dioxide emissions by 18.5 metric tons of CO2 -eq.
Becker Underwood’s Sustainability Commitment
It is the mission of Becker Underwood to engage in practices that promote and sustain its business, customers, suppliers and community in ways that also protect and reduce the company’s impact on the environment. The company is moving towards these goals by implementing its NET positive (sustainability) initiative, a framework and guidance document developed to allow its facilities a standardized structure in which it can measure its progress for improving its economic, environmental and social impacts. The framework focuses on eight core environmental and social priorities: energy, water, supply chain, transport, leadership and innovation, stakeholder engagement and wellbeing and staff development. These initiatives are contributing to the company’s sustainability commitment to “Be Legendary, Be Positive.” For more information, visit www.sustainbu.com