Going Green, One Step at a Time
When examining and finding ways to improve our environmental practices, we at Sunergy Systems look at the basic Three R’s (Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle). The ThreeR’s are listed in order of the impact that each category can generate, with “Reduce” producing the largest impact and “Recycle” (though still important) producing the smallest impact.
We Reduce our paper consumption by providing electronic Customer System Care Books and electronically storing nearly all new office records. We’ve implemented building improvements and practices to minimize energy, materials, and water usage (including: not heating the warehouse, LED lights, low-flow toilets, and hand dryers). We reduce plastic consumption and the associated waste/pollution by having a water bottle refill station at our facility. We reduce gas consumption, vehicle wear-and-tear, and the associated pollution from driving by offering many work-from-home options; offering virtual consultations to customers; having general assignment zones so that customers are closer to consultant’s homes for in-person consultations; offering 4/10 workdays to the installation crew; and offering food stipends and lodging for teams to stay out of town on jobs requiring long drives and/or ferry rides.
We Reuse all shipping pallets or reclaim the wood for other purposes. We reuse printer sheets, that already have printing on one side, for internal purposes with our dedicated “scrap-paper tray.” We at Sunergy Systems love a good party, but when we do, we use reusable dishes and flatware. No paper plates or plastic cutlery here.
We Recycle office paper, cardboard, food containers from the employee kitchen, etc. through curbside recycling. We recycle all types of metal waste from installations. We recycle pallet wrap, plastic panel protective covers, and other types of #2 and #4 plastic films. We recycle EPS and EPE shipping foam at Styro Recycle in Kent. We also recycle damaged solar panels and inverters. Our first recycling of panels and inverters occurred in April 2022 when we recycled 82 PV modules and 6 inverters (5,840 lbs. of material) that we had been accumulating for 15 years. To help drive the market for recycled goods, we purchase only recycled office paper.
Partnering for a Better Tomorrow
Researching our supplier’s commitment to the environment and the people in it is an important component of our sustainability practice. We at Sunergy Systems partner with companies who are also committed to caring for the planet and who strive to find ways to improve.
SunPower, headquartered in California, has been recognized as a leading company in sustainable PV panel production by receiving PV Magazine’s 2019 Sustainability Award. With PV panel manufacturing in Malaysia, Mexico, France, and the Philippines, they work to maximize the environmental benefit at each step of our product’s lifecycle, including their sourcing and end-of-life product takeback and recycling. SunPower not only strives for sustainability but equity, diversity, and inclusion as well. Check out their sustainability page and download their latest Environmental Social Governance (ESG) report here.
REC is a PV panel manufacturer headquartered in Norway with operational headquarters in Singapore and regional hubs in North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. REC Alpha Pure panels are lead-free providing no toxic leakage of lead after recycling. Jan Enno Bicker, CEO at REC Group as of March 2021 says, “At REC, we believe that as the solar industry grows in importance, so does our responsibility to be good corporate citizens, as well as more sustainable.” View REC’s sustainability page and download their latest Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report here.
Silfab is headquartered in Canada with manufacturing in Toronto, Burlington WA, and Bellingham WA. Silfab is proud of their commitment to investing in technologies and processes that create a positive contribution to the world and our climate, as well as upholding their core values: providing a safe and equitable workplace for our employees, partners, and the community and adhering to the highest ethical operating and business standards. View Silfab’s ESG report here.
Invest in a Brighter Future
When you invest in solar with Sunergy Systems, you not only generate your own clean energy and support a local, employee-owned solar company, you encourage the advancement of renewables in our entire region. We accomplish this through financial contributions, leadership, and networking.
In 2022 Sunergy Systems donated 9.0% of our profits back to the community, including the following nonprofit organizations who work tirelessly to advance renewables in WA state and the Northwest region:
Sunergy Systems is a member and donor of Washington Solar Energy Industries Association (WASEIA), a professional trade association for the solar industry. WASEIA educates legislators and regulators while promoting public understanding about the impacts of policies related to solar energy in the State of Washington. Our Company Founder, Howard Lamb, is a founding member of WASEIA and our company President, Jon Lange, currently serves on the Board of Directors and is a member of the Policy Committee.
Sunergy Systems is a Gigawatt Sponsor of Solar Washington, an association of solar energy equipment manufacturers, system integrators, distributors, dealers, designers, installers, consultants, students, teachers, homeowners, and solar enthusiasts. Through education and community involvement, Solar Washington promotes the development and effective use of solar energy and its contribution to the economic, environmental, and social fabric of Washington State.
Sunergy Systems is a Megawatt Sponsor of Spark Northwest. They provide practical support for rural, Tribal, and low-wealth communities so they can pursue their clean energy goals. Through renewable energy projects and policy reform they seek to:
- Ensure everyone has access to affordable clean energy
- Increase the amount of distributed clean energy to achieve a Pacific Northwest that is 100% powered by renewable energy
- Increase access to clean energy for middle and low-income households
- Grow local economies and increase community resiliency through locally sourced energy projects
Howard Lamb, Sunergy Systems Founder, is a founding member of WASEIA. WASEIA educates legislators and regulators while promoting public understanding of the impacts of policies related to solar energy in the state. Our Company President, Jon Lange participates as an active Board and Policy Committee member of WASEIA.
At Sunergy Systems we are passionate about helping customers find ways to reduce their carbon footprint and promote renewable energy even if it doesn’t involve installing a solar system for them. We regularly connect customers to other WASEIA member installers who are closer to their homes or offer different services. If the amount of shade on a roof is too high, Sunergy Systems will help customers connect with local public utility and co-op programs where they can find resources to reduce their energy consumption and ways to purchase green energy.
Empowering Green Choices
Sunergy Systems helps its team members stay informed of ways that we all can make a positive environmental impact through our personal choices. We also share a variety of awesome tips and tricks with our community through social media and our newsletter.
Invest in a Sustainable Future
Sunergy Systems helps its team members invest sustainably through its employee 401k program’s sustainable portfolio invest investment option.