The Wonderful Co., a Los Angeles-based corporation whose brands include Wonderful Pistachios and Wonderful Halos, plans to use 100% renewable electricity across its U.S. operations by 2025.
As part of this commitment, the company is joining RE100, a global initiative led by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP that unites more than 160 influential businesses committed to transitioning to 100% renewable electricity.
“As a responsible steward of the environment, we’ve invested more than $300 million in sustainability research and innovations, clean energy, and prudent use of natural resources,” comments Stewart Resnick, chairman and president of The Wonderful Co. “This is the natural progression of our sustainability efforts and the right thing for us to do as leaders in the agriculture industry.”
The company’s path to 100% renewable electricity began in 2007 with a ground-mounted solar installation that, at the time, was the largest privately held single-site solar plant in the U.S., the company claims. The project generated nearly 15% of the required energy at its Wonderful Pistachios & Almonds processing facility. In 2013, the corporation quadrupled its investment in renewable energy, installing rooftop solar panels at its JUSTIN Wines, Wonderful Pistachios & Almonds, and Halos facilities. The Halos project became the largest privately owned single-site solar rooftop in the U.S., according to the company.
In January 2019, The Wonderful Co. signed its first large-scale power purchase agreement with NextEra Energy to build a 23 MW solar project, more than five times the size of previous installations, on 157 acres of fallow farmland at company facilities in California’s Central Valley. Once completed, the project will generate enough clean electricity each year to grow nearly half of the company’s pistachio, almond and pomegranate crops and bring its global renewable electricity use to approximately 25%.
The Wonderful Co. will seek to source the remaining 75% of its electricity from renewable energy projects sited primarily on company land in the Central Valley. Combined with continued investments in energy efficiency and additional off-site renewable energy projects, the company plans to reach 100% renewable electricity in the U.S. by 2025 and around the world by 2040.
“The agricultural sector is one of the global industries most immediately impacted by the effects of climate change,” says Amy Davidsen, executive director for North America at The Climate Group. “As the largest agriculture business to join RE100 to date, we’re delighted to see The Wonderful Co. tackle greenhouse-gas emissions from the sector by committing to 100 percent renewable electricity, and we encourage all of their peers to join them.”