Pajaro, CA: SunRidge Farms is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year with the completion of its new solar panel expansion. 2,500 USA-made solar panels now line the roofs on top of its candy-making facility and warehouses.
"We founded our company on a commitment to respect the sanctity of the earth and to contribute to a healthy lifestyle. Our investment in solar energy is an important part of that commitment" said Morty Cohen, president and CEO of SunRidge Farms. "We are excited because this expansion will allow us to continue delivering the high quality foods that our consumers love and deserve, at a reduced environmental cost."
The addition of 1,960 new solar panels brings the company's solar panel system from 99,000 Kilowatt hours to 785,000 Kilowatt hours of annual production. This enables the system to supply 35-40 percent of the company's energy needs. In addition, the system will keep an estimated 1.3-million pounds of CO2 from entering the earth's atmosphere each year. That's the equivalent of planting 1,800 acres of trees.
The expanded solar panel system is just the latest living green effort implemented by
SunRidge Farms. In fact, this year the company celebrates 30 years of green practices, including the following:
- Offering a bike-to-work program that pays employees $5 a day to bike to and from work.
- Using biodiesel delivery trucks and hybrid cars for its sales team.
- Providing staff with a 24 hour work and recreation center with state of the art equipment,
- Onsite yoga classes, recycling education classes, and more.
- Installing full spectrum lighting in office workspaces, low voltage/low energy lighting in the warehouses, and optimal, clean, filtered air system for its staff.
- Installing low-flow water-saving devices and making use of recycling programs throughout its facilities.
"We are delighted to be operating on clean energy," said Mark Devencenzi, national sales director and company spokesman for SunRidge Farms. "We are always looking for opportunities to expand and improve our vision. Our new solar panels are a huge help towards that end."
SunRidge Farms has worked diligently over the past several years and is now certified as a Green Business by the Monterey County Green Business Program. The initial installation of solar panels in 2007 was a key component in achieving its green business certificate in September of 2010.