For Arvato Supply Chain Solutions, switching to clean energy for five more U.S. distribution centers requires multiple approaches. The company is an international service provider in the field of supply chain management and e-commerce, and a a wholly owned subsidiary of Bertelsmann, a media, services and education company headquartered in Germany with operations in about 50 countries around the world
Bertelsmann aims to be carbon neutral by 2030, and to do so, it is working on powering all its locations with clean energy.
“It’s important to us that our success is measured not only by economic figures, but also by the measures we’ve implemented to build a more sustainable organization,” said Mitat Aydindag, president of Arvato North America.
With the company’s warehouses and distribution centers located in different locations across the U.S. including Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin, Louisville, Kentucky, and Valencia, California, it has found that making the switch to clean energy is sometimes difficult, depending on the region. The solution was to apply different approaches for different regions.
In Louisville, Kentucky, Arvato is working with two local electric utilities, LG&E and East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC), which both offer a green power program that buys “green” energy to offset the electricity consumed on-site. LG&E has a goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050, and is planning to add nearly 1 GW of solar and 125 MW of battery storage. EKPC’s sustainability plan establishes targets for reducing carbon dioxide emissions 35% by 2035, 70% by 2050 and to increase energy from renewable sources 15% by 2035.
“Because our distribution centers in Louisville are among the first in the U.S., we are especially proud that these sites are now purchasing green electricity to support the expansion of renewable energy in the region,” says Rachael Miller, site director for Arvato’s Louisville campus.
The Valencia, California site relies on the Clean Power Alliance. Founded in 2017, Clean Power Alliance is a not-for-profit community choice aggregator that is reportedly the fourth largest electricity provider in California including providing power for 30 cities across Los Angeles County and Ventura County, as well as the unincorporated areas of both counties. In the community choice aggregator model, a local utility provides transmission and distribution of the electricity, while a third party purchases the green power on behalf of its program participants. In 2020, Clean Power Alliance sourced 70% of its electricity from solar and the rest from wind power.
“It’s very encouraging when businesses make the leadership decision to select 100% renewable energy as their preferred power option,” said Matthew Langer, chief operating officer at Clean Power Alliance. “When companies like Arvato choose to use renewable energy in their operations, it can help spur demand for more renewables in the market and contribute to the renewable energy transition.”
Overall, switching its five locations to clean energy will reduce Arvato’s reported annual greenhouse gas emissions by an average of around 3,100 metric tons of CO2.
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