Big Agnes commits to renewable energy at new HQ
It’s no surprise that Steamboat Springs-based outdoor equipment brand Big Agnes has committed to using 100% renewable energy to power each of its three U.S. facilities.
“The outdoor industry — and certainly Big Agnes is a big part of that here in the U.S. and in Colorado — is really working hard to try to reduce our impacts,” said Len Zanni, co-owner of Big Agnes. “We’re trying to do that on a lot of different fronts from manufacturing, materials and certainly things like energy use.”
Using renewable energy is nothing new for the Steamboat company that makes sleeping bags, sleep pads, sleep systems, tents, backpacks and more. Its sister company B.A.P., Inc. also uses solar panels to power its retail outlet in downtown Steamboat.
Big Agnes offset 100% of the energy it used when it opened its warranty and repair center in the Copper Ridge Business Park through Green Power Renewable Energy credits in 2006. It also has a similar arrangement at its distribution center in Salt Lake City.
Most recently, Big Agnes has committed to using renewable energy in its 6,300-square-foot headquarters at 840 Yampa St.
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In a partnership with the city of Steamboat, which leases the building, Big Agnes will jointly purchase 100% renewable energy from the Yampa Valley Electric Association as part of the Green Choice Program.
“We pride ourselves at Big Agnes for walking the walk when it comes to sustainability and conservation,” Bill Gamber, co-founder and president of Big Agnes, said in a news release. “This latest transition to fully renewable energy offset programs is another modest step in the right direction as we work toward reducing our global impacts.”
The Green Choice Program allows both residential and commercial users to offset the 60% of the power mix that does not come for renewable sources to become a 100% clean energy user.
Groups are divided by usage and divided into different groups, including small, which is primarily residential, and medium that includes most commercial users. Currently YVEA must review applications from large commercial users, such as Steamboat Resort and Twentymile Mine, to decide if they can provide the needed renewable energy.
“We’re very excited that (Big Agnes is) getting on board with this program, and we hope that other companies will follow suit,” said Carly Davidson with Yampa Valley Electric Association.
Currently the majority of Green Choice participants are residential, though YVEA is optimistic that more commercial users will come on-board.
“Along with being a strong economic driver, (Big Agnes) continues to be a leader in conservation efforts within the city, and this latest move is a testament to their commitment,” Tom Leeson, deputy city manager, said in a news release.
Winnie DelliQuadri, special projects/intergovernmental services manager with the city, said the partnership fits in with the city’s mission.
Other local green energy projects include solar arrays being developed on the transit operation center and at the wastewater treatment plant in Steamboat, one at Town Hall in Oak Creek, one at the public safety building in Yampa and in Hayden there are projects at the Yampa Valley Regional Airport, community center, police station and at the waste water treatment plant. Steamboat is also partnering with Moffat County and other local governments to build a solar garden in Craig.
“We put together, along with all the other local governments of Routt County, a Climate Action Plan. We’ve adopted it. We’re working to implement it, and one of the things in that Climate Action Plan is energy efficiency and renewable energy strategies,” DelliQuadri said.
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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