For more than 90 years, Freirich Foods, Salisbury, N.C., has been helping people celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with delicious corned beef. Freirich’s corned beef is synonymous with America’s favorite “green” holiday, which is the company’s busiest time of year.
Freirich Foods also produces pastrami, roast beef, and many other specialty items, maintains strong loyalty among its corned beef customers and enjoys a better than 40% market share in the New York metro and New England markets.
This year, Freirich Foods will also be celebrating being green and saving green in a different way. The company recently completed construction of a 93 kW photovoltaic solar energy system on its Salisbury processing facility.
The rooftop system is comprised of 377 solar panels, utilizes roughly 5,600 square feet of otherwise unused roof space. The system is mounted to the roof using a non-penetrating solution that clamps directly to the standing-seam metal roof. It was also important to Freirich Foods that the major equipment utilized in the installation be manufactured domestically, promoting American jobs.
The system will produce enough electricity to meet the requirements of 10 average American homes and offset the annual CO2 emissions equivalent to 8,113 gallons of gasoline. The project was engineered, procured and constructed using a local workforce by commercial solar contractor United Renewable Energy LLC. Financing was provided by Vantage South Bank.
Although the environmental benefits associated with the system are a bonus, the project also had to make financial sense. Freirich previously reviewed solar proposals but was amazed at the significant decrease in solar pricing in the last year. The solar installation offered attractive financial returns as well as an avenue to reduce operating cost for years to come.
The solar project is one of many sustainability initiatives that Freirich Foods has undertaken. Freirich has developed a comprehensive recycling program that redirects much of its waste stream away from landfills, diverting more than 200 tons annually. Freirich also offers cash incentives for employees who purchase electric vehicles and provides charging stations that are free for use by employees.
“We are committed to operating sustainably and protecting our environment,” said Paul Bardinas, Freirich Foods president.
So, as consumers enjoy Freirich products on St. Patrick’s Day and the other 364 days of the year that aren’t as “green”, they can feel good that Freirich looks forward to being around for another 90 St. Patrick’s Days, “greener” than ever, providing clean energy to its process, to go along with its quality products.