What is Renewable Energy?
Renewable energy is produced from any resource that can be naturally replenished, such as wind, solar, biomass, landfill gas, geothermal or small hydroelectric. Conventional methods of electricity generation in the United States use fossil or nuclear fuels – forms of power generation that can be harmful to human health and the environment. In fact, electricity generation is considered the largest source of pollution worldwide.
Onsite Energy Production
We have invested millions of dollars in energy efficiency and renewable energy sources at our Chico, CA, facility, including significant investments in waste water treatment to capture methane gas, which is then converted to electricity to power our facility. We also capture all the waste heat from our operation to assist in the pasteurization process on both of our production lines. Our facility employs two Photo Voltaic (Solar Energy) systems, totaling 450 kilowatt. That power generation, in combination with our other on-site power sources, permits us to generate more than 25% of our total energy needs from renewable resources.
Our Commitment to Renewable Energy
In addition to our onsite renewable energy generation, we purchase wind Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). Our wind REC purchase supplements our on-site solar energy generation to ensure that our entire line of great tasting Santa Cruz Organic® brand products is made with renewable energy. The purchase of renewable energy helps limit the impact of how we make our products by supporting clean, renewable power instead of polluting fossil fuel such as coal and oil.
Our renewable energy purchase, in conjunction with our on-site solar power generation, prevents more than 1,562 metric tons of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions, a key greenhouse gas, from being released into the atmosphere every year. This is equivalent to the amount of CO2 absorbed by 333 acres of forest or taking 306 cars off the road for an entire year! We continually strive to find additional ways to integrate environmentally sound practices into our business. By supporting renewable energy, we are working to close the loop of our production cycle and make our products sustainable from start to finish. You can rely on us to always be thinking ahead and acting in the best interest of families, farmers and our planet.
How Do We Buy Renewable Energy?
Renewable Energy Certificates allow customers anywhere in the U.S. to support the generation of renewable energy by purchasing the renewable attributes of a specific quantity of renewable energy. This ensures that more renewable energy is added to the electricity grid, displacing conventional fuels, such as coal, nuclear or gas from the electricity system. Renewable Energy Certificates (sometimes called RECS, green tags or green certificates) act like a claim check on each megawatt hour of renewable electricity delivered to the grid. The purchaser of a Renewable Energy Certificate owns a claim to the environmental savings (such as CO2 reduction) that results from the production of that electricity. Green Certificates contribute to an improved, more sustainable environment - for the good of today and for the benefit of future generations.
Our Green Energy is Certified
Just as our organic certification is a public assurance that products have been grown and handled according to strict procedures, we are also purchasing Green-e® certified renewable energy. The Green-e® program certifies that the Renewable Energy Certificates we purchase meet strict environmental and consumer protection standards established by the non-profit Center for Resource Solutions. Look for the logo on our packaging! For more information on Green-e® certification, visit www.green-e.org.
Santa Cruz Organic and the EPA Green Power Partnership
The Santa Cruz Organic brand is a participant in the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Green Power Partnership. This voluntary program aims to stimulate businesses and other organizations to support new, clean renewable energy technologies that will reduce the environmental impact of electricity generation. For additional information on the EPA's Green Power Partnership program, please visit www.epa.gov.
Our Partner, 3Degrees®
3Degrees'® mission is to mitigate the effect of climate change by accelerating the development of the low-carbon renewable energy economy. The organization delivers customized, global climate change solutions to U.S. businesses, utilities and institutions. The company engages customers to develop, execute, and communicate sustainability strategies that add value to their brands. Its expertise in sourcing verified carbon offsets and certified renewable energy certificates enables customers to reduce their carbon footprint. Information on 3Degrees® may be found at: www.3degreesinc.com.
For more detailed information about renewable energy, and our commitment, please see our Renewable Energy FAQ.