In conjunction with the EPA's Green Power Partnership, BCI Burke, a manufacturer of commercial playground, park and recreation equipment headquartered in Fond du Lac, Wis., has boosted its commitment to acquire energy from wind and other renewable sources to offset approximately 20 percent of its electrical usage, up from its previous 12 percent level.
Burke purchases wind energy through Alliant Energy's Second Nature Program, and reports it is the only commercial playground manufacturer to participate in the EPA partnership.
''We constantly look for ways to better use resources and ensure a more sustainable world,'' said Mark Sondergard, BCI Burke president/COO.
The Second Nature program allows Alliant Energy electric customers in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin to support electricity generated from renewable resources. Alliant contracts with a landfill gas facility, an anaerobic digester and small solar providers in Wisconsin, wind farms in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa, and a solar energy initiative in Iowa. Whatever percentage of electrical usage is committed to by a company or home, Alliant brings in that amount into its green energy pool. That means every Second Nature customer directly increases demand for renewable energy and reduces demand for nonrenewable energy.
The result of Burke's commitment has an annual environmental impact of reducing the greenhouse gas emissions from 14.3 vehicles or nine homes a year. It also prevents the equivalent emissions of 8,176 gallons of gasoline from being consumed, which is equivalent to planting 15.5 acres of pine or fir forests.
Burke believes their example will help stimulate a greater commitment for its employees and customers for the green energy program. The company is also using energy efficient lighting and increasing the use of recycled materials. ''These types of initiatives have earned us the ISO 14001 certification. To us, it's simply doing the right thing,'' says Sondergard.
The Green Power Partnership www.epa.gov/greenpower has more than 1,000 organizations purchasing billions of kilowatt-hours of green power annually. For additional information, please visit.