Birkenstock Inks Deal With Green Mountain Energy
Buys Into New National Wind Power Goals
SACRAMENTO, CA — July 19, 1999 — Birkenstock Footprint Sandals, Inc. is switching both its corporate headquarters and distribution center in Marin County, as well as its prime San Francisco retail outlet, to Green Mountain Energy's(sm) Wind for the Future 2.0(sm) electricity product.
Twenty-five percent of the energy product Birkenstock is purchasing will come from newly constructed wind turbines as they become operational. The switch is the latest in a string of California commercial customer switching major facilities to 100% renewable energy.
"This is great news for the green power market," said V. John White, executive director of the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies (CEERT).
"We applaud when corporate opinion leaders such as Margot Fraser, the woman entrepreneur behind Birkenstock, expand their corporate vision beyond the realm of progressive employee relations and philanthropy and into the world of choice and renewable energy in today's restructured electricity market. Her championing the need to purchase electricity from new renewable resources is a message that all state consumers need to hear."
"When consumers choose green power, they make a down payment on a future that is environmentally sound," said U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Bill Richardson. "They turn away from the fossil fuels implicated in global warming and embrace clean, renewable energy sources ... they invest in their own community with new, clean-energy businesses, factories and jobs," Richardson said.
Last month, DOE announced a national initiative called "Wind Powering America," which is designed to double current wind capacity by 2005 and double again by 2010. Richardson noted that a quarter of the power consumed by the Birkenstock facilities would be generated by new wind turbines in the Palm Springs area.
"Corporate leaders can play a critical role in educating consumers about green power," continued White. He cited Fetzer Vineyards, which specializes in organic wines, as another example of corporate leadership.
The Hopland-based winery has installed a 40 kW photovoltaic display on its administration building and the solar array provides virtually all of the structure's electricity during the summer, when power is most expensive. All the rest of the winery's operations, which total near 1 MW of electricity demand during the fall crush peak, is supplied from renewable energy sources provided by PG&E Energy Services.
The largest single wind power purchase in the state is Ventura-based Patagonia, Inc., which is purchasing 100% of its electricity needs generated by new wind turbines whose output is sold by Enron Energy Services.
Other corporate buyers of renewable energy include Toyota Motor Sales, which is purchasing 100% renewable energy for major facilities in Torrance, Irvine, Long Beach and Ontario from existing sources sold by Edison Source. Lucky Brand Dungarees is purchasing 100% renewable energy from Tustin-based Commonwealth Energy for its Santa Monica facilities.
Along with commercial customers, Green Mountain Energy(sm) also sells solar power and other renewables such as geothermal steam and small hydroelectric power, to over a dozen Episcopal churches in the San Francisco Bay Area, the headquarters of the Union of Concerned Scientists in Berkeley, and Environmental Defense Fund in Oakland.
Note to Editors: Wind for the Future 2.0(sm) is written with "2.0" and "sm" uppercase.
CEERT Contact- Lori Jablonski (916) 442-7785