At GoMacro’s HQ in Viola, Wisconsin, the summer sunshine powers more than just sunny days, bike rides, and a bountiful harvest at our family farm; it also helps power our facility! Since our founding, we’ve been committed to helping protect the environment as our business grows. We envisioned building a manufacturing facility that ran on 100% renewable energy and set the standard when it came to waste reduction and sustainability. Seven years ago, that vision started coming to life in new ways as we prepared to install solar panels on our facility. Today, solar power continues to supply a significant portion of the energy used at our facility annually!
Our Journey to Solar Power
We successfully installed 844 solar panels (each 3-feet wide and 6-feet-long) on the roof of our building in October 2018 with the help of our friends at Ethos Green Power, a woman-owned, local Wisconsin solar company, along with a team of local contractors, installers, and electricians.
The solar energy system quickly became the foundation of our architectural plan, with the rest of the project taking shape around it. We strategically built the roof with a 7-degree, south-facing slope in order to maximize the sun exposure throughout the year.
Our company, community, and planet continue to reap the benefits of our commitment to using renewable energy. In 2022, our solar panels generated 306,057 kilowatt hours (kWh), which is 46.7% of the energy needed to power our facility.
That means our solar panels alone offset about 217 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions in 2022, which is equivalent to the carbon sequestered by 257 acres of U.S. forests in one year.
Clean Energy - Even on Cloudy Days
As hard as our solar panels work, cloudy days and dark nights are inevitable. In order to achieve our goal of 100% renewable energy at our production facility, we supplement our solar power with wind energy purchased from local and regional wind farms. In 2022, we purchased 444,888 kWh of wind energy via renewable energy credits to make up the remainder of our electricity consumption.
Supporting Our Local Community
Before our solar panel installation, GoMacro was buying and using approximately 10% of Viola’s energy. In order to help protect the town we call home, our team worked hand-in-hand with local leadership to develop a solution. GoMacro now gives the excess power we generate back to the grid at a wholesale price, thus supplying clean energy to our local community. In fact, in 2022, we donated 96,452 kWh of solar energy back to the grid.
In 2020, we took our renewable energy initiatives in the community a step further. We had already partnered with our local government to build the infrastructure the city needed to receive energy from the wind farms and from the solar array. With the groundwork complete, we began covering the additional costs associated with purchasing wind energy for the entire town of Viola. This means that all homes, businesses, and schools in town are now powered by 100% renewable energy – at no additional cost to residents.
“With the infrastructure in place for our needs, we saw an opportunity to reach beyond the walls of our facility and make wind power available to everyone in the community that we’re proud to call home,” said Jola Sonkin, Co-Founder, and CEO of GoMacro.
Thanks to the successful conversion to 100% renewable energy at our Viola facility, GoMacro is also a part of the EPA's Green Power Partnership, a program that recognizes and supports the environmental leadership of businesses and communities across the country.
"EPA applauds GoMacro for its commitment to using green power and for taking a leadership position on the environment," said James Critchfield, Program Manager of EPA's Green Power Partnership. "GoMacro is helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provides an excellent example for other businesses to invest in environmental progress."
Striving to Make a Positive Impact
We’re so thankful for our team and our partners that have made this initiative a success! While we’re incredibly proud of the progress we’ve made with solar and wind energy, we’re always striving to find ways to further reduce our carbon footprint. As we continue to expand our facilities in Viola, our impact on the planet is a key consideration at every step of the journey. We hope that our green energy initiatives inspire other businesses and individuals to find creative ways to live more sustainably.
To learn more about our current sustainability initiatives, review our recent Sustainability Reports..