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New Solar Arrays Further ELC’s Commitment to Renewable Energy

Melville, New York
Melville, New York

The Estée Lauder Companies’ (ELC) renewable energy portfolio recently took a huge step forward with the completion of two solar array projects in North America. The company’s Melville campus in New York recently energized a 1.45 MW ground-mounted solar array that will produce more than 1,800 MWh of solar electricity annually from 4,224 panels. In addition, Aveda, which is proudly part of ELC’s portfolio of brands, also flipped the switch on a 3.6 acre, 900 kW ground-mounted solar array with 2,900 panels at the brand’s Blaine campus in Minnesota.

Both the Melville and Blaine campus operational solar arrays are critical contributors to ELC’s global commitments to reach Net Zero carbon emissions and 100% renewable electricity (RE100) by the end of 2020. To meet this commitment, ELC has pursued an innovative portfolio of renewable energy solutions, including investing in solar, to create the greatest positive environmental impact in the communities in which the company lives, works and operates.

The Melville campus’ newest solar array will provide 100% of the electricity demand for ELC’s Joseph H. Lauder (JHL) office facility, offsetting the release of over 1,300 metric tons of CO2 into the atmosphere annually. That’s the equivalent of approximately 166 million smartphones charged, or electrical power for roughly 220 homes for one year. The Blaine solar array will power up to 50% of the manufacturing facility’s annual demand for energy, with the remainder powered by wind from the utility, offsetting more than 1,100 metric tons of CO2 annually. That’s equivalent to 2.7 million miles driven by the average passenger vehicle, electrical power for 186 homes for one year, or the consumption of 2,547 barrels of oil.

The Melville campus has long played a critical role in driving ELC’s global citizenship and sustainability efforts. In March it contributed to ELC’s broader COVID-19 relief efforts by producing hand sanitizer for high-need groups and populations, including front-line medical staff. The completion of the Melville solar array underscores the importance of staying the course on ELC’s long-term sustainability goals, while providing immediate relief for the ongoing crisis.

In addition to enhancing Melville and Aveda’s operations with renewable energy, the solar arrays at both locations were seeded with wildflower gardens to help foster pollinator diversity and will create a unique opportunity to protect pollinator populations. The six-acre garden seeded underneath and around the Melville solar array also includes a walking path for educational purposes. An additional 12 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations have been added as well, totaling 15 EV stations for Melville employees and visitors to use on site.

Aveda’s Blaine campus produces more than 600 different products which make up approximately 80% of the brand’s total product offering. It is situated on 58-acres alongside honeybee colonies, an employee-curated vegetable garden, electric vehicle charging stations and miles of running trails. The land is National Wildlife Federation Certified and the main office building is powered by solar and wind energy, carpeted with recycled fibers, and has composting and recycling bins throughout the building and an organic cafe on the first floor. The company also recently installed energy-saving, LED lighting which has saved 346,271 kWh over four years (equivalent to burning 269,555 pounds of coal).

ELC’s growing renewables portfolio also includes a 1 MW solar PV system at its Whitman Laboratories in the U.K., the execution of a VPPA to develop a 22-megawatt wind farm in Oklahoma (estimated completion end of 2020) in addition to upcoming solar investments including a 1.46 MW roof-top solar array currently under construction at the company’s new distribution center in Galgenen, Switzerland. Through the company’s renewable energy solutions in its portfolio, it has already achieved 100% renewable electricity (RE100) in the United States and Canada ahead of its global 2020 goal.

These exciting initiatives are a part of ELC’s broader portfolio of climate and energy solutions to move toward a low-carbon future and the company is proud to celebrate the completion of its latest renewable energy investments.

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