Home Furnishings Business – 03/13
Boyd Specialty Sleep will achieve self-sufficiency for its electrical power needs at its St. Louis and Fontana, Calif., by July 1. After more than two years of planning and in keeping with its strategic environmental focus, the company’s $2.75 million investment in solar paneled roof systems for both its 320,000-square-foot California factory and its 70,000-square-foot Missouri facility will save Boyd more than $100,000 in its own usage the first year and will enable Boyd to sell back excess electrical power to major energy providers.
The investment translates to the electrical supply of about 250 homes each year. Meanwhile, Boyd’s savings are expected to increase annually as energy costs increase.
“For years our mission as a business has been to focus on the health and safety of consumers and on the environmental impact of our products and processes,” said president Denny Boyd . “We see ourselves as an integral part of the communities in which we operate. As such, it’s our responsibility to be energy-conscious and to give back to those communities, while at the same time doing what makes sense for our business.”
Boyd, who said that federal energy credits also played a role in his decision to become self-sufficient, contracted with SunEdison to build, operate and maintain the systems on the company’s Fontana roof space. Under the Fontana contract, 35 percent of the roof will host Boyd’s solar panels; the balance of roof space will be leased to SunEdison, which will install its own panels. Once the system is activated, SunEdison will make “operating rent payments” to Boyd for hosting the solar PV (photovoltaic) structures as part of Southern California Edison’s program enabling businesses to become electrical power suppliers. With more than 800 solar projects in operation, SunEdison has worked with big-box retailers, production plants, distribution centers and corporate facilities across the country. SunEdison customers have included AT&T, Anheuser-Busch, Staples, Whole Foods, Macy’s, Wal-Mart and Kohl’s.
For its St. Louis facility, Boyd has purchased the entire solar panel system, which will be installed by June of this year.
“These moves reflect my philosophy that in every industry, companies need to find ways to maximize efficiency by doing more with less,” Boyd said. “I believe we’re doing the right thing at each of our locations.” As the former president of the Specialty Sleep Association, Boyd was a driving force behind the development of the organization’s Environmental and Safety Program and became the first U.S. bedding producer in 2010 to earn Level 1 product compliance within the program. Today, the company uses only foam manufactured in pressurized chambers to eliminate release of harmful VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) into the environment. Rayon fabrics made from sustainable bamboo fiber are also pervasive across Boyd’s product lines.