YONKERS, N.Y. – A Yonkers bakery with a history of social awareness is switching to solar power.
Greyston Bakery was presented a $33,000 check Wednesday by the Green Mountain Energy Company to fund a solar array that will be built on the bakery’s roof.
Standing inside the bakery’s lobby and surrounded by city politicians, company executives said the panels will help reduce the bakery’s environmental footprint by significantly reducing the amount of energy it uses.
“Greyston is about people, about the environment, and this is a really great way of helping us further our mission of helping the people of Yonkers and the people of New York state,” said Steve Brown, president of the Greyston Foundation, the bakery's not-for profit branch. “This is unbelievable.”
In February, Greyston Bakery became New York state’s first benefit corporation, a for-profit company recognized for creating a positive impact on society and the environment, among other things. As a part of that, the Greyston Foundation has taken on several initiatives in the community, including affordable housing, workforce development and youth services.
The solar array continues the bakery’s mission to help the Yonkers community, Greyston president and CEO Mike Brady said.
“We believe this is the proper way to run a business and we want to inspire other businesses to operate the way we do.”
Green Mountain Energy, the same wind-generated electricity company that provides power to the Empire State Building, donated money for the solar array as part of its efforts to change the way energy is created around the country, executives said.
Money to fund the project was raised by Green Mountain’s Sun Club members, regular customers who make monthly donations toward solar generation systems for non-profit companies.
“The mission of the Greystone bakery is such that we are thrilled to help them,” said Tony Napolillo, program manager of the Sun Club.
The two groups hooked up after an introduction by the Whole Planet Foundation, an Austin, Texas-based group, that selected Greyston earlier this year as part its annual program to support socially conscious organizations around the world.
City leaders praised Greyston and its partners for their efforts to bring renewable energy sources to Yonkers.
“It’s always great when we get to see sustainable business mixed with sustainable energy and really having companies that care about the community or want to give back to the community use the best energy possible,” City Councilman Christopher Johnson said.