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Part of Uponor North America’s Apple Valley headquarters has roof solar panels to help power an electric service vehicle used by the company. Sixty percent of Uponor’s Apple Valley electrical demand comes from wind and solar energy through Xcel Energy’s Renewable Connect program.

Most of Apple Valley, Lakeville facilities’ electricity comes from renewable energy

In recent years Uponor North America has been striving to move to overall sustainability in its operations.

The company, based in Apple Valley, has taken some steps toward this locally with actions such as its Lakeville distribution center now receiving 100 percent of its electrical power from wind energy.

The company has a global goal to be carbon neutral as part of its sustainability goals. The fastest way to do this so far in North America is to get off of coal-sourced power, Uponor North America President Bill Gray told the newspaper in July. According to the company, Uponor plans to use 100 percent renewable resources to power its facilities globally by 2025.

“It just makes sense to us that renewables and reducing carbon footprint is just something that we as ... a responsible global company need to do,” Gray said.

The company said in June that 60 percent of Uponor’s Apple Valley electrical demand comes from wind and solar energy through Xcel Energy’s Renewable Connect program.

Uponor is also the first major manufacturing customer to participate in Dakota Electric Association’s Wellspring Renewable Energy program.

“As a partner in the program since Jan. 1, 2020, Uponor will annually purchase approximately 2.2 million kilowatt-hours of wind-generated electricity, which is equivalent to powering 263 homes’ electricity use for one year,” a news release said. “The company’s products also help curb carbon footprints, offer energy-efficient solutions for homes and commercial structures, and monitor water use.”

Gray said Uponor began working with local utilities to increase its renewable energy consumption in 2017.

According to Uponor, the company’s overall sustainability efforts are guided by four priorities: conserving water, reducing waste, improving energy efficiency and empowering labor.

Under water conservation, Uponor plans to have a “sustainable water footprint” at all of its facilities as it works to restore wetland and expand access to drinking water.

“The company repurposes rainwater and graywater to provide 100 percent of the water needed in our manufacturing process. Uponor is also making water smarter by eliminating leaks and water, encouraging people to use every drop wisely,” the company said.

Uponor has looked for solutions to cut waste and costs and helps suppliers to “go green by scoring them on sustainable practices and guiding them to improve in order to create greater transparency and a green overall supply chain.” The company is the first World Wildlife Fund-certified Green Office in the United States, the news release says.

Uponor plans to reduce waste on building sites to half of 2015 levels by 2025 with 100 percent of scrap and packaging to be recyclable or reusable.

With it’s “empower labor” focus, Uponor encourages its employees to keep the industry innovating through job site and classroom training, the company said. Uponor also sponsors Texas Women in Trades, offers technical school scholarships and hosts manufacturing events to encourage more women and diverse young people to build their careers in trades.

Patty Dexter can be reached at patty.dexter@apgecm.com.

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