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GOJO Wooster Solar Array

Wooster Solar Project: Reflections One Year Later

Tom Marting

2/20/2020


By Tom Marting


Facilities, Environmental, Health, Safety, and Sustainability Director, GOJO Industries

It’s been a year since we flipped the switch and started generating solar power for the fulfillment operations at GOJO Wooster Campus.

By the end of 2019, we generated more than 725 megawatt-hours and surpassed our 2020 renewable energy goal a year early. To put 725 megawatt-hours in perspective, the typical US home uses 10,400 kilowatt-hours, so that’s equivalent to the power of 70 typical houses’ use each year.

While the solar panels have performed flawlessly by meeting the renewable energy generation goals originally outlined in 2015, we also learned how much this project matters to our employees, customers, and the local community.

Last April, the GOJO Sustainable Ways of Working (SWOWSM) team organized an internal sustainability fair that included a demonstration of solar power for all GOJO team members. I talked about how it worked at Wooster, the simplicity of solar power, and the results we were achieving.

The response we got was tremendous, many colleagues were excited that GOJO was addressing climate impact. They were eager to learn about how they might also do something with solar power in their homes.

I have spoken with many GOJO employees, both in field services and on the sales teams, who have told me that our customers and distribution partners often ask questions about what GOJO is doing for sustainability. When employees bring up our solar power goal and point to the results that were detailed in the most recent GOJO Sustainability Report, our business partners are very impressed.

The solar panels – along with other sustainability initiatives like green chemistry, sustainable packaging, and SWOW – give an impressive physical demonstration of our commitment to sustainability. It matters to our customers that we did the solar project.

We showcased this project in the Green Energy Ohio Tour in 2019, where more than 40 local business leaders and interested members of the community came to GOJO Wooster Campus and got a tour of the solar project. We’ve also been contacted by a few regional businesses who have seen our example of leadership in solar energy and wanted to learn from our experience.

Jane Harf, Executive Director of Green Energy Ohio said, “Having companies like GOJO on the Green Energy Ohio Tour allows members of the community to experience the innovative ways in which corporations are embracing clean energy. A solar array the size of GOJO’s is very different from the one on your neighbor’s house, and it reinforces the commitment that Ohio businesses have to sustainability.”

I’ve been happy to share the lessons we’ve learned over the past few years with our neighbors and local businesses who we’ve inspired to explore their own renewable energy projects.

The solar panels will go on producing renewable energy for GOJO Wooster Campus for many more years to come. This project will continue to matter as an inspiration and leadership example to GOJO team members, customers, and the community.

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