Ashley Furniture's solar initiative an environmental friend
November 1, 2021 | 9:34 pm CDT
Solar panel installation at Ashley Furniture. The project earned the company an Environmental Stewardship award.

Solar panel installation at Ashley Furniture. The project earned the company an Environmental Stewardship award.

Photo By Ashley Furniture

ARCADIA, Wis. -- For the 31st year, the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) chamber has awarded nine companies with the Wisconsin Business Friend of the Environment Award.

Amongst the 9 winners was Ashley Furniture Industries in Arcadia, Wis. The company was one of three firms to be named in the Environmental Stewardship category. This year’s winners have been chosen for programs that demonstrate an innovative approach to environmental protection, or a level of effort beyond that which is required by regulatory compliance.

K Bauer, Jessie Ebben, and A Meinerz of Ashley Furniture accept the Business Friend of the Environment Award.
Kurt Bauer, president & CEO of WMC, Jessi Ebben, Ashley Furniture Industries, and Andy Meinerz, Ashley Furniture Industries

As.hley’s operations started in Arcadia in 1970 and have since expanded throughout the United States, as well as overseas. Ashley is committed to being an environmental leader and sustainable company through energy reduction, waste management and recycling.

In 2019, Ashley began a company-wide solar panel installation initiative, which included individual projects across the United States at many of its manufacturing and distribution facilities. The initial goal of installing solar panels was to offset its electric energy needs by 35% using solar energy. So far, Ashley has installed nearly 45,000 solar panels on the rooftops of its distribution, manufacturing and retail facilities, with more installations to come in the next few years.

The current 45,000 installed panels are set to generate nearly 16 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity annually. This is equivalent to the energy needed to power approximately 1,500 homes annually. In February 2020, Ashley finished a 4,000 solar panel installation on one facility. This location alone produced 1.14 kWh of clean energy. Comparing July 2019 to July 2020, the facility required 86% less energy from the grid. For its successful solar panel installation project, Ashley Furniture Industries, LLC received this award.

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Larry Adams | Editor

Larry Adams is a Chicago-based writer and editor who writes about how things get done. A former wire service and community newspaper reporter, Larry is an award-winning writer with more than three decades of experience. In addition to writing about woodworking, he has covered science, metrology, metalworking, industrial design, quality control, imaging, Swiss and micromanufacturing . He was previously a Tabbie Award winner for his coverage of nano-based coatings technology for the automotive industry. Larry volunteers for the historic preservation group, the Kalo Foundation/Ianelli Studios, and the science-based group, Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST).