Oren International started as an entrepreneurial venture more than 25 years ago in Pensacola native Alan NeSmith’s house.
Now the company is a leader in the custom packaging industry, providing solutions for restaurants, retailers, medical and industrial partners alike. International and national brands such as Disney, Macy’s and Johnson & Johnson have all turned to Oren International for their custom paper needs.
But as the demand for paper increases, so does the output of energy and carbon emissions. Oren International and the concept of paper packaging are far from new, but to move forward in an ever-changing world, it became evident that innovation was needed.
As a result, Oren International recently set forth on a journey to become a more sustainable operation, looking into implementing clean energy solutions as a way to increase efficiency and decrease its carbon footprint.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday lifted the curtain on the company’s 524-kilowatt rooftop solar system, with Pensacola District 7 Councilman Delarian Wiggins and Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson in attendance.
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“More than anything, it’s exciting to see homegrown companies in Pensacola becoming environmental stewards,” Robinson said.
The new system is said to provide approximately 708,000 kilowatt hours of clean energy per year.
“The decision to install a rooftop solar system at our headquarters aligned perfectly with Oren’s commitment to sustainability and renewable energy,” said NeSmith, Oren International’s president. “With government incentives and strong project economics, going solar was a sound investment in addition to being the environmentally responsible choice. The system will provide electricity quietly and cleanly for the next 25 to 30 years.”
It took three years to install the 1,366 individual solar panels that now line the roof of Oren International, and the system provides the facility 95% of power. In addition to the clean energy benefits and lower production costs, the new rooftop solar panels will allow Oren International to save nearly 44,000 gallons of gasoline a year, as well as decrease its annual carbon emissions by 856,350 pounds, the equivalent to saving 9,000 trees per year.
The project wouldn’t have been possible without partnering with EnterSolar, a national provider of solar energy and solar plus storage systems to the commercial marketplace. The company worked with Oren International from start to finish.
“We were excited to partner with Oren International to make its business operations even more sustainable,” EnterSolar Business Development Director Christina Hatzistratis said. “This rooftop solar system helps Oren achieve its important sustainability goals through utilizing renewable energy, and they are a shining example of a company doing its part to mitigate its environmental impact.”
Oren International is located at 675 South Pace Blvd. in Pensacola. For more information, visit oren-intl.com or call 850-433-9080.
Kalyn Wolfe is a freelance columnist for the News Journal. Send new business tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.