With over 65,000 associates and 300 distribution facilities serving 500,000 customer locations, there's no doubt that Sysco has some high energy needs. On June 6th, the company signed a ten-year renewable energy agreement; subsequently, three solar garden sites are being constructed in Texas, which will provide about 10% of Sysco’s U.S. electricity usage.
Chances are, you've seen Sysco trucks delivering goods to businesses in your area. But if you're unfamiliar, Sysco is the global leader in selling, marketing and distributing food and non-food products to restaurants, healthcare and educational facilities, hotels, and many other establishments. Especially considering the amount of freight trucks they have on the road, the company releases regular statements on their sustainability initiatives. Although they have had a history of reducing emissions from transport, solar energy is an entirely new feat.
The new solar gardens will reduce approximately 37,000 tons of CO2 emissions a year, which is like taking more than 7,000 cars off the road. The three solar garden sites— located in and around Houston and Austin Texas— will generate a total of 25 megawatts. That's enough to support the majority of Sysco's electricity load in Texas, including the Corporate Headquarters. Following the announcement, President and CEO Tom Bené stated:
“The Texas Solar Garden Project is a new addition to several initiatives we have in place to address our carbon footprint. Reducing the environmental impact of our operations makes good business sense as we continuously improve efficiencies in our supply chain.”
Now, Sysco will join the list of big companies, such as Target, Apple, and even Disney, who are making commitments to renewable energy with solar power. Clientele and investors alike are becoming more and more swayed by companies that are reducing their carbon footprint. However, under the surface, commercial solar is about much more than just corporate responsibility— it's about profitability.
Since the costs associated with installing PV panels has been dramatically falling over the past decade, installing solar panels has become economic for businesses of all sizes. With more incentives than ever before, solar development has become a goal for businesses in every industry. What may have initially seemed to be only for Fortune 500 companies is now a possibility for small and medium businesses nationwide. If you are, or know, a business owner, get in touch with Solbid about how you could be the next to go solar!