Under Governor Cuomo's NY-Sun Initiative, Companies Continue Successful Sustainable Business Practice
April 21, 2014
Nice-Pak Products, Inc. (Nice-Pak) and its sister company, Professional Disposables International, Inc., (PDI) - the world’s leading producers of pre-moistened wipes – celebrated Earth Week with a ceremony marking completion of the solar array that was installed on the roof of its headquarters and manufacturing plant.
This 855-kilowatt array, the largest of its kind in Rockland County and among the ten largest rooftop solar systems in New York, received funding through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) under Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's NY-Sun initiative.
Nice-Pak and PDI installed the array as part of their shared commitment to invest in and support sustainable business practices that help meet the companies’ goals for energy use and emissions. The ballasted roof-mounted photovoltaic (PV) system is expected to generate approximately one million kilowatt-hours of energy per year and supply 15 percent of the building’s total electricity load.
Approximately 21 percent of all solar installed in Rockland County is now being generated at Nice-Pak and PDI's shared facility. The use of this renewable power source will reduce the company's environmental footprint by up to 1.5 million pounds of carbon dioxide per year.
“We touch consumers of our products more than 100 billion times a year worldwide. With this extensive reach comes great responsibility,” said Robert Julius, Chairman and CEO of Nice-Pak. “We are grateful for Governor Cuomo's NY-Sun Initiative, NYSERDA and other partners who are helping us meet the growing demand for wet wipe solutions through business practices that respect the environment.”
“At PDI, we embrace the opportunity to improve outcomes for patients in healthcare and protect our surrounding communities at the same time,” said Zachary Julius, CEO of PDI. “We believe in continually finding ways to work smarter, better and more efficiently to Be the Difference for those who rely on us.”
"Governor Cuomo's NY-Sun initiative is increasing the use of solar energy across the state by working with great partners like Nice-Pak and PDI to help them make investments in this terrific energy resource," said John B. Rhodes, President and CEO, NYSERDA. "NY-Sun is one of many energy initiatives that will scale up the state's clean energy economy while bringing affordable, reliable and resilient power to New Yorkers."
Nice-Pak and PDI will also receive an incentive for this project through the Federal Business Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC).
In addition to the solar array, Nice-Pak and PDI sustainability initiatives include zero landfill factories, high efficiency lighting, products made with plant-based fibers, minimization of packaging material, warehouse consolidation and consumer education about what wipe products can and cannot be flushed. Though these types of initiatives, the companies have met and exceeded their goals for improving energy efficiency, use of renewable energy, avoiding waste, reduced water use, and innovating to create more sustainable product components and formulations.
The solar array was designed and installed by Lighthouse Solar of New Paltz, New York. Lighthouse Solar was recently recognized by NYSERDA with its 2012/2013 Excellence in Quality Award.
How Photovoltaic (PV) Systems Work
Photovoltaic (PV) cells mainly composed of silicon are stimulated by the sunlight to produce energy which is then converted into electricity. Several solar cells form a solar module, which is paired with other modules to form a string. Multiple strings of solar panels are called an array. This solar-generated electricity is in the form of direct current (DC) that must then be converted by an inverter into alternating current (AC) before it can be used in homes and businesses. PV can generate electricity for homes and businesses all day long with any excess energy not used by the premises being credited back to the grid through net metering. This allows customers to remain connected to the utility grid for needed supply on nights and very cloudy days, while making use of all the electricity that their solar system produces.
Legacy of Nice-Pak and PDI Innovation in New York
The rooftop solar array installation is the latest example of a long heritage of Nice-Pak and PDI innovation in New York. The companies are part of a fourth-generation family business that started more than fifty years ago in a small, New York City loft, and moved to Rockland County when the business expanded. Arthur Julius, who founded Nice-Pak, inspired Colonel Sanders to include his iconic Wet-Nap® Moist Towelettes in boxes of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Today, Nice-Pak and PDI have more than 900 employees in New York who invent, manufacture, market and distribute almost every type of wipe imaginable to promote family health and wellness.
Nice-Pak, founded in 1957, is the global leader in the design, manufacturing, marketing and distribution of premium quality branded and private label pre-moistened wipes. Nice-Pak is a global company with over 2500 associates and approximately 3MM square feet of manufacturing and distribution space in strategically located facilities around the world. Headquartered in Orangeburg, NY, Nice-Pak has a track record of introducing innovative products that help to improve people’s health and wellness through the consumer, healthcare and professional business channels. Brands for Nice-Pak include Nice ‘n Clean®, Grime Boss®, Sani-Hands® and Wet - Nap®. Visit: nicepakwipes.com.
PDI helps reduce preventable infections, control healthcare costs and, ultimately, save lives by delivering a broad range of evidence-based, market leading environmental hygiene and patient care solutions in the community and healthcare environments. PDI has three divisions, PDI Contract Manufacturing, Sani Professional™ and PDI Healthcare. Visit pdipdi.com.
NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise, and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA professionals work to protect the environment and create clean-energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York State since 1975. To learn more about NYSERDA’s programs and funding opportunities, visit nyserda.ny.gov or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram.