From Home Furnishing Business
Herman Miller Invests in Renewable Energy
2018 by Laurie Northington in Business Strategy, Industry
Herman Miller, Inc. and Constellation, an Exelon company and retail energy supplier, have announced a four-year agreement to power the furnishings manufacturer's Spring Lake, Mich., manufacturing locations with 100 percent renewable energy.
The energy will come from the Harvest II wind project in Elkton, Mich., which is managed by Exelon Generation.
The agreement is expected to supply Herman Miller with roughly 25,000 megawatt hours of wind energy annually, which is enough to power more than 2,700 homes for one year, according to U.S. EPA estimates. The Spring Lake campus is responsible for about a quarter of Herman Miller's global energy consumption – and is the biggest consumer of electricity in Spring Lake.
Designed to increase access to renewable energy for commercial and industrial customers, the Constellation Offsite Renewables (CORe) retail offering will match the manufacturing location's annual electricity use with renewable energy certificates from the Harvest II wind project. Structured similarly to standard retail power agreements, CORe allows businesses to gain access to renewable energy without the significant hurdles that accompany offsite renewable Power Purchase Agreements.
"Constellation is committed to the development of clean energy solutions that meet the needs of our customers, and our CORe offering is helping Herman Miller achieve its ambitious sustainability goals," said Mark Huston, president of Constellation's Retail business. "Consumers are increasingly adopting offsite renewables, and we welcome Herman Miller to the growing list of organizations choosing carbon-free wind power to sustainably power their operations."
Constellation has a suite of CORe offerings across the country. This agreement is the first in Michigan.
This investment in renewable energy is one component of Herman Miller's Earthright Strategy – a commitment to creating a Better World by 2023. In 2016, Herman Miller began a partnership with Foresight, an energy management firm headquartered in Zeeland, Mich., to evaluate and implement procurement strategies across all facilities and business units aimed at reducing costs and increasing its renewable energy consumption. The renewable wind energy contract at Herman Miller's Spring Lake facilities is one solution that came from this partnership.
"We're very excited to work with Foresight and Constellation on this initiative. Sustainable practices and creating a better world have been part of Herman Miller's guiding principles since the company's start," said Gabe Wing, director of safety and sustainability at Herman Miller. "This project will help us meet our sustainability goals -- and doesn't negatively impact our business. We will continue to reduce our carbon footprint through energy efficiency projects and supporting green energy projects like Harvest II where the market allows."
The Spring Lake campus is made up of two vertically integrated steel manufacturing facilities that fabricate, powder coat, and assemble numerous products, including height adjustable tables, filing and storage systems, and desking.