Mars Petcare flipped the switch on a brand new solar garden linked to the company’s San Bernardino, California, manufacturing facility that produces PEDIGREE Brand dry dog food. Mars partnered with Ahana Renewables, a subsidiary of ATN International, Inc., to develop and fund the project under a 25-year power purchase agreement.
The new solar garden features 3,420 individual solar panels that will annually deliver 1.9 million kilowatt hours, which can power more than 50 percent of the 78,000 square foot site’s daily energy needs. The four-acre solar garden is projected to yield a 549-tonne reduction of greenhouse gases (GHG). The San Bernardino site opened in 1983 and was acquired by Mars Petcare in 2006. The company currently employs 75 full-time associates at the site.
“At Mars Petcare we’re working towards our mission: A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS, because we whole-heartedly believe they improve our lives,” said Kevin Rabinovitch, Global VP of Sustainability, Mars, Inc. “This new solar garden is a great example of the steps we need to take in order to achieve the ambitious goals set out in our new Sustainable in a Generation Plan to reduce the total environmental impact of Mars to ensure we foster a healthy planet for future generations—of people and pets.”
“Mars Petcare’s decision to add a solar garden to their San Bernardino manufacturing facility speaks highly of their commitment to the environment,” said Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes. “This solar garden will not only help improve conditions for our community, but will show other businesses in the area the powerful benefits of renewable energy.”
This is the third solar garden constructed by Mars in the United States, joining Mars Wrigley Confectionery solar gardens in Hackettstown, New Jersey, and Henderson, Nevada. Mars also co-owns a 25,000-acre wind farm near Lamesa, Texas, featuring 118 turbines, that annually generates nearly 800,000 mega-watt hours of power. As part of the Sustainable in a Generation Plan, Mars plans to reduce its total GHG emissions across its entire value chain by 27 percent by 2025 and 67 percent by 2050.
“Ahana Renewables is excited to help support Mars in reaching its sustainability goals and looks forward to providing additional energy solutions to its operations worldwide,” Managing Director Marvin Tien said. “Strategic corporate partnerships like this allow Ahana to enhance its expanding platform of high quality commercial solar projects in the United States.”
In conjunction with the unveiling of this new solar garden, Mars Petcare will also be making a $20,000 charitable contribution to GRID Alternatives Inland Empire. The donation will go towards furthering the organization’s mission of providing access to clean, renewable solar energy to low income families throughout the Inland Empire area.
In the above photo: Global VP of Sustainability for Mars Kevin Rabinovitch (center,left) and Mars Petcare San Bernardino Plant Manger Stuart Harness (third from right) ‘flip the switch’ on the third solar garden constructed by Mars in the U.S. alongside (L-R) Michael Townsend representative from the office of California State Senator Connie M. Leyva, Laura Abernathy-Mancha representative from the office of San Bernardino County Supervisor Josie Gonzalez, Ahana Renewables Ivo Pitanguy, San Bernardino Mayor Carey Davis, Kevin Rabinovitch, California Assemblymember Eloise Gomez Reyes, Stuart Harness, Erika Flores, representative from the offices of U.S. Representative Pete Aguilar and Ahana Renewables’ Zac Christie at the Mars Petcare San Bernardino Solar Garden Unveiling on December 12, 2017 in San Bernardino, California. (Photo by Joshua Blanchard/Getty Images for Mars Petcare)