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Nestle Purina’s Atlanta Facility Unveils Company’s Largest Solar Array


Nestle Purina PetCare on Wednesday unveiled the company’s largest solar array at its Atlanta pet food manufacturing facility. The solar array, designed and installed by United Renewable Energy (URE), represents the latest step in Nestle Purina’s commitment to environmental sustainability, according to a news release.

Fairburn Mayor Mario Avery joined a Nestle Purina delegation, as well as representatives from the offices of U.S. Sens. Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson and URE, on the factory’s rooftop during a dedication ceremony for the nearly 1,900 solar panels. “Congratulations to Nestle Purina on this tremendous achievement,” Avery said. “I’m excited to be here on behalf of the people of Fairburn to mark another major milestone for this great company. Nestle Purina represents what we’re trying to promote in this community, and we’re glad you’re here.”

Nestle Purina Atlanta’s solar array will produce more than 585,000 kilowatt hours of clean sustainable energy each year, with this energy used to power equipment in various areas of the plant, including processing, packaging and the warehouse. The amount of electricity produced annually by the solar array could power nearly 52 average-sized homes—or approximately 5,000 light bulbs—for one year. The carbon offset for a system this size equates to a C02-emissions reduction of approximately 16 million pounds.

Nestle Purina Atlanta, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2012, produces pet food brands like Alpo, Purina Cat Chow, Purina Dog Chow, Friskies, Purina Pro Plan and Purina Beneful.

“We at Nestle Purina are passionately committed to creating a better world for pets and their owners, today and in the future,” said Mark Burns, VP and director of manufacturing for Nestle Purina PetCare. “Employing renewable energy at our manufacturing facilities is just one aspect of our overall company plan to create shared value for society, which means going the extra mile to make a difference for generations to come.”

Scott Sethman, Nestle Purina Atlanta plant manager, added, “We are committed to the continuous journey of doing the right thing for the environment, while looking for ways to remain competitive, not just here in Atlanta, but everywhere we conduct business.”

Nestle Purina purchases its electricity from Georgia Power Co., which derives 7 percent of its total electric energy from renewable sources, including solar, wind and biomass.

All of Nestle Purina North America’s manufacturing locations have now implemented and maintain comprehensive environmental management systems, which have been certified by independent auditors to meet the internationally recognized ISO 14001 standard, the news release says. Each Nestle Purina plant in the U.S. employs a person who is responsible for environmental and energy issues.

To help celebrate the launch of the new solar array, Nestle Purina made a donation of $5,000 to the Douglas County, Ga., K9 Unit.

After Avery and Nestle Purina representatives spoke at Wednesday’s event, they participated in a “Purina-style” ribbon-cutting ceremony, conducted with the help of a Border Collie named Dealer. The three-time American Kennel Club Master Agility Champion traveled from Miami with his owner, Annette Alfonso, to take part in the celebration.

In the featured photo at top: Fairburn Mayor Mario Avery; Mark Burns, VP and director of manufacturing at Nestle Purina; Scott Sethman, plant manager, Fairburn; William Silva, president of URE; and award-winning Border Collie, Dealer.


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