The Solar Store (No. 344 on the 2018 Top Solar Contractors list) has strived to be greener every year since its founding 20 years ago. For example, the company has taken great steps to ensure its office building is as sustainable as possible. This includes fitting windows with movable screens and adding reflective coating to the roof to manage heat, installing low-flow aerators on water faucets, using LED lights and adding solar to the roof as well as a solar hot water system to cover all its hot water needs. The company uses monitoring to ensure that all systems are working and reviews utility and fuel bills in a monthly staff meeting to see to it that energy use is minimized. Work areas have recycling bins and recycled paper is available to use when printing is necessary. Crews are also instructed to segregate waste on site, and upon return trucks are emptied and wastes are directed to appropriate areas. The company’s weekly recycling is about 30-times that of its garbage. Funds generated from recycling are used for company events. The Solar Store is recognized as a certified green business by the City of Tucson Office of Conservation and Sustainable Development.
“The Solar Store’s commitment to be green is part of our company’s core values. Monthly team meetings cover new technologies and strategies that we implement at work, add to our customer offerings and adopt in our own homes. Our customers expect us to show the way to greener living and we strive to live up to that expectation.”
–Katharine Kent, president
SunPower by EmPower Solar (No. 178 on the 2018 Top Solar Contractors list) embodies the “EmPowering Way” philosophy with a tenet being “commitment to clean energy.” Its sales and permitting teams only drive electric cars and other employees can get money toward an EV or public transportation.
In an effort to maintain a plastic-free office, EmPower Solar offers reusable take-out containers and shopping bags for employees. Cashiers know not to offer anyone wearing an EmPower Solar shirt a plastic bag. Also, to eliminate paper use, almost all marketing collateral is online-only and client records are digital, using a shared network drive between offices.
The company volunteers for community beach cleanups, as well as offers space in its solar design center for local environmental non-profits to use. It also advocates for plastic bag legislation and waterway protection.
“For over 15 years, EmPower Solar’s commitment to clean energy has been the guiding light in everything we do. We are not just in the business of selling solar panels, we are here to EmPower others to use clean energy to reduce their environmental impact and achieve energy independence.”
–Tara Bono, marketing manager