Rich’s “Green Lights” Sustainability

How many Rich’s associates does it take to change a light bulb? More important, how many Rich’s associates does it take to change energy-hogging, old-school lighting in several different facilities?

Rich’s recently swapped out more than 4,600 light fixtures at seven of its largest facilities, replacing or retrofitting older, less-efficient fixtures. This energy-efficient exchange, an element of the company’s energy- and water-saving sustainability strategy, supports Rich’s dedication to doing what’s right for its communities. The approach helps ensure the company’s manufacturing operations view and use energy through the lens of sustainability.

According to Rich’s Director of Energy and Water Management Todd M. Musterait, a LEED-certified Professional Engineer, dated metal halide and fluorescent technology fixtures were replaced with new, energy-efficient T5 and T8 fluorescent and LED lighting at key facilities, including two cold-storage warehouses and two plants in Morristown, Tenn., and facilities in Hilliard, Ohio; Arlington, Tenn.; and Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Rich’s Green Lights Sustainability - Before & After

“In 2008, Rich’s took a more-formal approach to its sustainability efforts. To raise awareness of our environmental footprint, the company established the Rich’s Center of Excellence and developed a long-term, sustainability strategy,” said Musterait. “Our associates around the world look for ways to protect our earth, from minimizing waste and improving wastewater treatment to ensuring compliance with environmental regulations. It’s a team effort!”

The energy savings realized by Rich’s from this simple, yet effective, transition are substantial: carbon dioxide – or “greenhouse gas” – emissions were reduced by 2,843 metric tons per year. In the language of environmental equivalency, this stacks up to one year of 557.6 less cars on the road or 28.1 acres of woodlands protected from deforestation.

The new lighting also brought with it an unexpected upside.

“The new lighting not only cast a positive glow on our energy savings, but also improved the amount and quality of light in the work environment at our plants,” said Musterait. “Not to mention, Rich’s now dedicates far fewer associate hours to changing fixtures and far more to delivering the finest products for our customers.”