Earlier this month, Oshkosh, Wisconsin-based distributor 4imprint (PPAI 107200, D15) announced that its distribution center will be powered by a 2,600-panel solar array. Projects like this reflect 4imprint’s continued commitment to sustainability.

In a statement, the company says that the solar array is expected to generate one megawatt of electricity, which is expected to alleviate more than 40% of the center’s current energy requirements. Installation of the solar array is scheduled to begin in April and be completed by August.

4imprint CEO Kevin Lyons-Tarr says, “The project really emerged from a central philosophy for us as we’ve embarked on all of this which is to first, work on making concrete strides on our own operations so that as we engage with our partners in this journey, we’re demonstrating our commitment and sharing our experiences.

“Ultimately, we want to do our part to make a difference and make a real impact and the best place to start is by working on our own house as a priority. The solar project emerged as one of our near-term projects because it directly impacts energy use, which was the largest contributing factor in our footprint. It was the best way for us to address that head on and move a large proportion of our consumption to renewable energy.”

In 2017, 4imprint began measuring the company’s environmental impact by creating an internal, environmentally-focused team.

Lyons-Tarr says, “Our Group Environmental Committee was formed as part of the work we did to develop our strategy and framework around this critical topic. The committee meets monthly and consists of senior leadership across the business including operations, supply chain, compliance, customer service and finance as well as the CEO and CFO. 

“The committee works to set the priorities based on our objectives, to continuously develop and evolve the strategy and framework. Projects like the solar array are an example of the result that comes from that thought and collaboration.” 

The company was certified as a CarbonNeutral company by Natural Capital Partners in November. In 2020, 4imprint pledged carbon neutrality by December 2022.

We believe that addressing climate change and sustainability are strategic imperatives, so we weren’t really working to ‘signal’ anything other than our commitment to taking meaningful, demonstrable steps to do our part,” says Lyons-Tarr. “Obviously, a single project like this is only a small step, but taking those steps are what creates forward progress on a critical journey. 

“We have other projects that have been completed and have more in the works on a variety of fronts, including the product side of the equation so we can offer customers the products and services they need. We’re also looking forward to working with all of our partners to find ways to collaborate and make the most progress possible over time through working together.”