GoMacro is committed to leading the way for a more sustainable future. We hope to inspire people and businesses to embrace alternative energy and reduce their carbon footprint. We’ve worked hard to reduce our footprint in everything we do – from our sourcing to our manufacturing. Through the use of organic ingredients, packaging with compostable materials, planet-friendly transportation, and powering our facility with renewable energy, GoMacro has made significant progress on our overall sustainability.
Our journey to green manufacturing began over 15 years ago, when we made a commitment to protect the environment as our business grows. We envisioned building a manufacturing facility that reduces waste and runs on 100% renewable energy. Our vision finally came to life in the summer of 2017, when we built our new facility in Viola, Wisconsin. We remained committed to our pursuit of using 100% green energy to power our operations, despite the many costs and hurdles we faced. With the help of our friends at Ethos Green Power, a woman-owned, local Wisconsin solar company, we successfully installed 844 solar panels (each 3-feet wide and 6-feet-long) on the roof of our new building. Today, our solar panels generate almost all of the power used by for our facility.
Building Structural Support for Over 800 Solar Panels
One of the biggest challenges our team faced was figuring out how to design the building to support the robust array of solar panels. The solar energy system quickly became the foundation of our architectural plan, with the rest of the project taking shape around it. With a team of contractors, installers, and electricians, we structurally designed the roof of the warehouse to hold the weight of the solar panels. We strategically built the roof with a 7-degree, south-facing slope in order to maximize the sun exposure throughout the year. The roof had to be reinforced in many places to support the weight of the solar panels. While the work and cost were more than we anticipated, we remained committed to bringing our vision to life.
In our research, we learned of a local manufacturing facility that had a large amount of solar panels, but had suffered a structure fire. As a result of there not being a shut-off switch, the panels fed power into the fire, making the damage much worse. To ensure the safety of our building and local community, we applied technology for fire prevention and added protection by installing an emergency shut-off system.
Supporting Our Local Community
When we began this project, GoMacro was buying and using 10% of Viola’s energy. We knew that making the change to produce our own energy would have an impact on the city’s income. In order to protect the town we call home, our team worked hand-in-hand with the city to develop a solution. GoMacro now sells the excess power we generate to the city of Viola at a wholesale price, thus supplying clean energy to our local community.
Clean Energy When the Sun Doesn’t Shine
Our vision of using 100% green energy faced another challenge- how do we power the facility when the panels didn’t produce enough energy on cloudy days? The solution was to purchase wind energy from the Rugby Wind Farm in North Dakota. We partnered with our local government to get a tariff approved by the state of Wisconsin, allowing us to build the infrastructure the city needed in order to receive energy from the wind farms and from the solar array.
Today, thanks to the incredible efforts from Ethos Green Power, the GoMacro team, and our local government, the Viola community has access to clean, renewable solar and wind energy!
To track our progress, we’ve installed a Daily Solar Meter in our facility’s front lobby. This allows visitors to see a real-time sum of the impact the solar arrays have had on our operations and community. This month alone, our solar array has generated over 37.99 MWh of energy and over 208.45 MWh in its lifetime. That's enough energy to power 50 American homes for an entire year!
We’re so thankful for our team and our partners that made this initiative a success! We couldn’t be more proud to see our dream come to life and we hope that sharing our journey to solar energy will inspire others to incorporate sustainability into their daily lives!