At A&R Solar, we’re proud of our role in bringing clean, limitless solar energy to Washington and Oregon.
Let’s take 2021 as an example. The solar panels we installed prevented the emission of 181x more metric tons of CO2 than it took to install them.
We’ll take that win. These efforts align with our mission as a Social Purpose Corporation, whereby we put people and the planet above profits. What does that mean in practice?
As it relates to the planet, we’re committed to being carbon neutral, which requires measuring our CO2 emissions, offsetting those emissions, and reducing future emissions. Seems straight forward; though the challenge is anything but, as it requires time, resources, and an earnest commitment to addressing areas of the business that move the carbon needle back to zero.
Ever since we became a Social Purpose Corporation, we’ve been tracking our carbon footprint. Installing solar all over Washington and Oregon, while running two offices and warehouses creates more CO2 emissions than we’d like, but measuring our carbon emissions is necessary, as it provides a baseline to work towards. However, it’s not enough just to measure, it takes action to be carbon neutral, so that’s why we choose to purchase carbon offsets.
Each year we purchase carbon credits to offset our fossil fuel usage at the office, on the roads, and in the skies, so we can proudly state that we are a carbon neutral company.
Beyond purchasing carbon offset credits, our efforts to minimize carbon emissions is literally part of our mission as a business! Remember, solar is a source of green, renewable energy. Using 2021 as an example, we installed 6,066 kilowatts of solar capacity. That’s 6,066 kilowatts of energy that likely won’t come from emitting CO2 into the atmosphere.
What’s more, we expect that 71,638 metric tons of CO2 will be offset in 25 years by A&R’s 2021 installs alone. And beyond our commitment to offsetting emissions, we continue to reduce and reclaim 100% of the recyclable packaging and construction waste produced by our solar installations, including nearly 25,000 lbs of scrap metal in 2021.
But what about the people part of our social purpose pledge? Well to start, we practice responsible sourcing, whereby we actively avoid supporting companies, directly or indirectly, that may be connected to human rights violations such as slave labor. While the majority of solar panels are manufactured outside of the United States, and therefore outside the purview of U.S. labor laws, this is a major commitment to promoting ethics within the industry.
However, here at home, it all comes back to the Golden Rule: treating others like you would like to be treated. That means investing in our employees, communities, and the industry as a whole. For our employees, we consider their experience, education, and mentoring as important as profitability and productivity. This commitment is realized through the wide range of benefits, perks, training, and competitive, family wages.
You might be asking: what are these “perks”? Well here are a few.
- Company ownership (after 3 years)
- Fitness and health stipend
- Flexible work hours
- Ability to work remotely
- Clean commuting stipend
- Continuing education units reimbursement
- Education enrichment stipend
- At-cost solar energy system for your home
- Phone reimbursement/company plan
- Maternity/paternity leave
- Fun company events and parties
- Work wear stipend for crews
- Tool stipend
- Company-sponsored group outings
- Employee assistance program
As it relates to our communities, we believe in turning corporate profits into community benefits. Each year we offer employee-owners a choice to donate a portion of A&R’s earnings towards a nonprofit organization of their choice. While 2021 was a good year for solar installations, it allowed us to donate to 149 charitable organizations, contributing $55,571 in total (a 73% increase from our previous high), with contributions being dispersed to numerous communities across Washington and Oregon.