Southwire has a long-held and deep commitment to environmental stewardship and corporate sustainability. Aligning with that commitment, the organization’s priority is to exceed the expectations of its stakeholders, while supporting the well-being of the communities and environment in which Southwire operates. To meet this commitment and other sustainability goals, the company is investing in renewable energy to prepare for the future.
Last October, Southwire announced the completion of a rooftop solar array at the Thorn Customer Solutions Center in Carrollton, Ga. This renewable energy addition is one example of the organization’s commitment to environmental stewardship.
Since its installation, the 124-kW solar array has an estimated carbon emissions reduction of approximately 86 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents, which is equal to almost 10,000 gallons of gasoline not consumed. This array was purchased as part of Solarize Carrollton-Carroll, a community-based campaign to make solar energy more affordable for residents, businesses and non-profits in west Georgia. Because of its bulk-purchasing model, more participation results in lower costs, and Southwire’s involvement triggered a rebate for all other participants in the program.
“Southwire has a long-term commitment to sustainability dating back to 2007 with its first Sustainability Report,” said Rich Stinson, Southwire president and CEO. ”This has been a core value of our organization and culture for our employees, and the completion of the rooftop solar array at the Thorn Customer Solutions Center is just one example of this long-standing commitment.”
Southwire's first Sustainability Report focused on the environment, employee health and safety and quality of life. Since then, the organization has matured and built its sustainability efforts on five key tenets: Growing Green, Living Well, Giving Back, Doing Right and Building Worth.
An important part of Southwire’s sustainability journey has been its partnership with Keep Carroll Beautiful (KCB). For the past 15 years, Southwire’s Project GIFT® volunteers have participated in multiple events with KCB that focus on two of the five key tenets, Giving Back and Growing Green. These events include opportunities such as E-Recycling, the Great Greenbelt Clean-Up, the Adopt-a-Road program and more.
Moving forward on its commitment to sustainability, Southwire plans to continue its efforts with KCB and other organizations but has a new Carbon Zero goal that states the company will eliminate or offset by 2025 all greenhouse gas associated with direct combustion emissions and indirect emissions associated with purchased electricity for company operations. However, this goal was not created overnight. Dating back to 2016, the company began introducing renewable energy solutions at five Southwire facilities in west Georgia. Now, the company has a solar canopy and electrical vehicle (EV) charging at the Villa Rica Plant (2016), a roof-top solar array and solar tree at the Thorn Customer Solutions Center (2019), EV charging at the Cofer Technology Center (2019), EV charging (2016), solar picnic tables (2020) and a solar canopy (under construction in 2020) at the Corporate headquarters and EV charging at North Campus (2020).
“Keep Carroll Beautiful has been active for 15 years, and Southwire has been an integral part of our history and growth in the west Georgia community,” said Martyna Griffin, executive director for the non-profit organization. “At the end of the day, we only have one world and it is our job to protect it. The endless number of environmentally-focused events that Southwire has contributed to with KCB does not go unnoticed, and we are so thankful to have this organization as a partner. I look forward to this partnership growing for years to come.”
Hannah Smith, environmental, health and safety (EHS) specialist, believes in the importance of renewable energy and cites Southwire’s commitment to sustainability as a major reason for her joining the company.
“Our organization has made tremendous strides in sustainability, especially over the last few years with our emphasis in renewable energy,” said Smith. “Every day that we invest in making our company more sustainable, we are investing in the world and making it a better place for future generations. I truly believe that I work for an organization that cares for its employees, communities and the environment at large.”
As stated in the first Sustainability Report, Southwire’s commitment to environmental stewardship is a work in progress, and the adoption of renewable energy is simply the latest step in our mission to support sustainability both now and in the future. Moving forward, Southwire will continue to look for opportunities to enhance this effort and work toward making its organization more sustainable, supporting the local community and the world.
To learn more about Southwire’s commitment, visit the sustainability website at https://www.southwire.com/sustainability.
*Please note that the pictures in this article were taken prior to the US outbreak of COVID-19. Please excuse any reference that is no longer accurate, seemingly disrespectful or unhealthy due to general effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.