Nestle Purina PetCare today unveiled the Company's largest solar array at its Atlanta pet food manufacturing facility. The solar array, designed and installed by United Renewable Energy (URE), represents the latest step in Nestle Purina's commitment to environmental sustainability.
Fairburn Mayor Mario Avery joined a Nestle Purina delegation, as well as representatives from the offices of U.S. Senators Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson and URE on the factory's rooftop during a dedication ceremony for the nearly 1,900 glistening solar panels.
"Congratulations to Nestle Purina on this tremendous achievement," Mayor Avery said. "I'm excited to be here on behalf of the people of Fairburn to mark another major milestone for this great company. Nestle Purina represents what we're trying to promote in this community, and we're glad you're here."
Nestle Purina Atlanta's solar array will produce more than 585,000 kilowatt hours of clean sustainable energy each year, with this energy used to power equipment in various areas of the plant, including Processing, Packaging and the Warehouse. The amount of electricity produced annually by the solar array could power nearly 52 average-sized homes – or approximately 5,000 light bulbs – for one year. The carbon offset for a system this size equates to a CO2 emissions reduction of approximately 16 million pounds.
Nestle Purina Atlanta, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2012, produces many of the world's most popular and trusted pet food brands, including ALPO®, Purina Cat Chow®, Purina Dog Chow®, Friskies®, Purina Pro Plan® and Purina Beneful®.
"We at Nestle Purina are passionately committed to creating a better world for pets and their owners, today and in the future," said Mark Burns , Vice President and Director of Manufacturing for Nestle Purina PetCare. "Employing renewable energy at our manufacturing facilities is just one aspect of our overall company plan to create shared value for society, which means going the extra mile to make a difference for generations to come."
Scott Sethman , Nestle Purina Atlanta Plant Manager, added, "We are committed to the continuous journey of doing the right thing for the environment, while looking for ways to remain competitive, not just here in Atlanta, but everywhere we conduct business."
Nestle Purina purchases its electricity from Georgia Power Company, which derives seven percent of its total electric energy from renewable sources, including solar, wind and biomass.
All of Nestle Purina North America's manufacturing locations have now implemented and maintain comprehensive environmental management systems, which have been certified by independent auditors to meet the internationally recognized ISO 14001 standard. Each Nestle Purina plant in the United States employs a person who is responsible for environmental and energy issues.
To help celebrate the launch of the new solar array, Nestle Purina made a donation of $5,000 to the Douglas County (Ga.) K9 Unit.
After Mayor Avery and Nestle Purina representatives spoke at today's event, they participated in a "Purina-style" ribbon-cutting, conducted with the help of a Border Collie named Dealer. The three-time American Kennel Club Master Agility Champion traveled from Miami with his owner, Annette Alfonso , to take part in the celebration.