The Greenest Contractor award celebrates the greenest contractors making their companies and communities as environmentally friendly as possible.
Like most solar companies, Innovative Power Systems (No. 51 on the 2019 Top Solar Contractors list) ticks many boxes to be considered green-minded just by doing day-to-day installation work. And yes, a 20-kW system at its Roseville, Minnesota, office spells out the company’s initials (IPS), covering its rooftop and some of its electricity needs. But for a company to be considered the greenest, there needs to be something more than what your installers are constructing every day.
At its office, IPS Solar installed electric vehicle charging stations, available to customers and employees. Every lightbulb has been replaced with low-voltage LED lights. The office lobby façade is constructed entirely of local reclaimed wood. Every employee has a recycling bin at their desk, and single-use silverware and dishware is absent from the kitchen. In the field, IPS Solar couples solar gardens with pollinator-friendly plants and apiaries. And in the community, the company sponsors local environmental and renewable energy nonprofits and events, including Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light’s Climate Justice Night at the Museum.
“IPS is extremely committed to leading the local transition away from fossil fuels toward renewable energy — that’s our mission statement. But really, we want to go beyond energy savings and help address fundamental issues like environmental justice and stewardship. For example, we plant pollinator-friendly habitat at all of our community solar sites, which will soon number in the thousands of acres. Several sites lease land to apiaries that cultivate honey; some of which finds its way into local beer and cider. At our offices we recently installed rooftop solar and four electric vehicle charging stations; software controls the charging rate based on how much solar power is produced, which reduces demand charges.”
— Eric Pasi, Chief Development Officer