Flipping the Switch: Badger Goes Solar!
In a little patch of New Hampshire woods, hundreds of trees are hard at work, soaking up sunlight and transforming it into energy. Now, they aren’t the only ones catching the rays.
Here at Badger, we strive to imitate the processes of nature whenever possible. After all, nature knows best! That’s why we were so excited to officially unveil our 1,384-unit, 486.7 kilowatt array of solar panels last week. Mounted on our grounds and stretching across our rooftops, the panels produce enough clean solar energy to power all of our operations—and even send extra electricity back to the grid.
Our shiny new solar panels work a little differently than our tree neighbors. The panels are actually made up of smaller charged cells, which create an electric field. When particles of sunlight hit the panels, they release electrons full of energy. The electric field pushes those electrons to the side, where they’re collected by metal conductive plates and transferred to wires as a flow of electricity.
The panels can generate 600,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year. (Yeah, we don’t really know how much energy that is, either.) So to put it into more relatable terms...
We won’t exactly be doing those things, although we do drink a lot of coffee. Instead, we’ll be powering all our operations here at Badger—all the way from our production lines to our desk lamps. Next time you use one of our sunscreens, balms, or oils, it’ll be kind of like you’re opening a little package of sunshine.
Journey to net-zero
Badger believes that business can be a force for good. And that includes addressing one of humanity’s most widespread and pressing challenges: climate change.
At the 2019 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP25) in Madrid, we joined a group of over 500 other B corporations in committing to Net Zero by 2030. That means reaching a perfect equilibrium with the earth—drawing all of our energy from renewable sources, and releasing zero carbon into the atmosphere. To achieve that goal, we needed to produce enough renewable energy onsite to power all of our manufacturing processes.
Solar panels were the perfect choice. They produce enough clean energy for all our operations, eliminating about 636,000 pounds of carbon pollution every year. That’s what we call a brighter future.
Solar power and people power
The panels aren’t just good for the earth; they’re good for business, too. In fact, they’ll save us more than $3.5 million over the next 40 years. So how does a small business prioritize people and planet—while actually saving money in the process?
Well, we couldn’t have done it without our friends at ReVision Energy. Founded in 2003, ReVision Energy has built more than 7,000 solar energy systems in Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire. A fellow B Corp, they’re recognized as the region’s most experienced solar company.
“Through our partnership with ReVision Energy, we’re able to transition into solar through a power purchase agreement (PPA), which, in the short term, provides us with green energy at a lower rate than fossil fuels,” explains our co-CEO, Badger Rebecca. “The partnership also gives us the ability to purchase solar panels, providing even greater savings in the long term.”
A sunnier future
For us, the project means a few things. It means that a small, rural manufacturer can set a big climate goal and achieve it. It means that our products aren’t just good for the planet; they’re made by the planet. And it means that with the support of a community, anything is possible.
“There’s more support now than ever to help companies transition to solar. It’s rare that something offers the triple win of being environmentally friendly and higher quality while saving money,” says Rebecca. “For companies considering going solar, it’s not a matter of whether or not. It’s when.”
We still have a long journey ahead, but we’ll keep on walking this healthy trail—now with warm sun lighting the way.