Going Green with Renewable Choice Energy

*This is an outdated post from 2014. Please see our latest sustainability efforts post here for an updated version.

Since 2006 Lifeway Foods has procured 65,447 MWh of Green-e Certified RECs from Renewable Choice Energy/Schneider Electric.  The avoided GHG emissions associated with this initiative is 28,312 MTCO2e.  According to the EPA, this action is equivalent to the carbon emissions avoided by not burning 156 railcars of coal or the electricity generated annually by 7.9 industrial-scale wind turbines.  The GHG emissions avoidance associated with the Lifeway Foods green power initiative is equal to the carbon sequestered by 468,141 tree seedlings grown for 10 years or 33,763 acres of U.S. forest annually.



In honor of Earth Day, we invited Amy Haddon, Vice President of Marketing & Communications for Renewable Choice Energy to author this guest post. We are pleased to work with Renewable Choice Energy to get our company a little more green and spread the word on how Renewable Energy Credits help make the world a better place.

For the past eight years, Lifeway Foods has purchased renewable energy from our team at Renewable Choice Energy. This partnership has enabled Lifeway to continue its longstanding commitment to environmental stewardship and corporate social responsibility.

But just how does this partnership work? Lifeway buys what are known as renewable energy credits, or RECs, from Renewable Choice to offset the environmental impact of its purchased electricity. Lifeway purchases enough RECs to offset 100 percent of the electricity used to produce its products, an ambitious commitment that helps the company avoid over 3.7 million pounds of carbon dioxide pollution annually. This reduction has the same impact as planting 44,034 tree seedlings and growing them for ten years, or removing 362 cars from the road for a full year.

RECs are how green power is tracked and traded in North America. While businesses are implementing onsite renewable energy production in increasing numbers, it is still cost- and operationally prohibitive for many companies to do so. The alternative is to purchase RECs, which are produced at the same time clean energy is in a one-to-one ratio. While the clean energy itself gets blended into the power mix that we call the “grid,” along with electricity from carbon-based sources like coal and natural gas, the RECs become a tradable commodity that represents the environmental benefits of the clean energy produced. RECs are the standard and accepted way for companies without onsite clean energy options to help neutralize their carbon footprint and are recognized (and used) by environmental agencies, including the U.S. EPA.

Because Lifeway purchases RECs to offset 100 percent of its grid electricity consumption, the company can make the claim that it is 100 percent wind-powered. The RECs that are purchased by Lifeway are tracked, certified, and retired by Green-e Energy, the leading renewable energy certifier in the US, which ensures that no other company can claim the environmental benefits attached to Lifeway’s RECs.

Purchasing RECs also helps to stimulate the development of a vital clean energy industry. The use of RECs provides financial feasibility for renewable energy facilities and their development. Voluntary purchasers like Lifeway have helped to significantly grow US renewable energy in the past decade, keeping energy production here in the US, promoting job growth, and helping to reduce air pollution, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and ecosystem degradation.

Alongside its green power purchase, Lifeway has undertaken additional steps as a leader in voluntary environmental action, including the use of local ingredients and biodegradable or recyclable packaging materials, both of which further contribute to a reduction in GHG emissions.

We’ve been a proud partner of Lifeway Foods and look forward to continuing to work together toward solutions for a cleaner, more sustainable environment. Happy Earth Day from all of us at Renewable Choice!

For more about how Lifeway is Going Green from the Inside Out, click here.