In its continuing effort to be the most sustainable solar development company in the United States, Inovateus Solar announced that its entire sales, executive, and operations teams will now commute to the office and to local job sites with horses equipped with flat-bed carriages instead of gas-powered pickup trucks.
The truck-to-horse transition comes as Inovateus tries to meet its company sustainability goal of being 100% carbon neutral by 2025 or sooner.
In its original sustainability strategy, Inovateus had carbon-budgeted for all company trucks and vehicles to be electric and charged by solar. However, Inovateus recently recognized that electric pickup manufacturing would not scale in time to meet its aggressive energy reduction goals.
“If Rivian, Tesla, or any other electric truck manufacturer were ready to deliver trucks in 2021, we’d have made those purchases,” said Tyler Kanczuzewski, Inovateus Vice President of Sustainability and Marketing. “Unfortunately, none of them could meet our needs at this time. Rather than weaken our carbon-neutrality goals, we decided that horses and flat-bed carriages would provide a sustainable and affordable alternative to purchasing electric pickup trucks.”
Working with local horse breeders, Inovateus will lease 10 horses with 10 custom flat-bed horse carriages for its sales team and solar project managers. While the executive and sales teams could have used today’s EVs technology, Kanczuzewski realized that Inovateus-branded carriages would be great advertising and a market differentiator.
In terms of greenhouse gas emissions, horses also win the race compared to the carbon footprint of manufacturing EVs. Horses are locally and organically manufactured, and unlike an EV, the horses will not need to gas up or even plug into a grid that is just transitioning to renewable energy.
The only fuel needed for the horses will be locally grown hay bales delivered to the Inovateus office. Away from the office, the horses help maintain Hoosier roads by grazing off medians and the natural grasses that grow on public roads.
While horse operations and maintenance are not zero-waste, Inovateus has pledged to use the emitted solids as nitrogen-rich fertilizer that will help nurture the bee and butterfly pollinator grass mix that the company plants at all of its solar projects. The solids can also be used for Inovateus’ agrovoltaics solar projects.
Elizabeth Martin, Founder of Bike Buchanan and a Southwest Michigan equestrian enthusiast, commended Inovateus for its zero-waste policy. “For starters, plants love horse manure because it’s super rich in nitrogen, which fosters plants like corn, potatoes, and garlic. You can also add it to general compost piles and mix it in with topsoil for gardening—and bee & butterfly ground cover under solar arrays.”
“I know people are going to say we’re crazy for doing this, but we really didn’t want to weaken our sustainability commitment,” said TJ Kanczuzewski, CEO of Inovateus Solar. “Besides, our kids love the horses, and my lawn is always mowed, so that’s great except when someone steps in those solids. It happens. But other than that, horses are super sustainable.”
Hope your enjoyed our bit of April Fool’s Day humor!–David
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