It's also an expert on green energy. The company ranks No. 18 on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Top 20 on-site green power generation list because it installed two massive wind turbines to provide energy to its 670,000-square-foot Geneva, N.Y. plant.
"This wind project has helped us transform Zotos into one of the fastest-growing and greenest manufacturers in the global beauty industry," Zotos President and CEO Ron Krassin said. "More and more consumers are demanding sustainable products and as a beauty company, we have a moral imperative to meet this demand. All of us want a healthier and more beautiful planet and we're proud to be doing our part."
Earth Day and green jobs
Zotos took the opportunity of Earth Day 2012 to laud its achievements. And why not? The company's efforts vaulted it into the national cleantech spotlight.
Others appear to be following suit. A report by employment search engine Green Job Bank says postings in the green sector more than doubled in the first quarter. The service says it indexed 36,500 green job postings in the first quarter of 2012, an increase of about 127 percent from the same period a year earlier.
"This increase ... is due to the growth of the green economy," says Bernard Ferret, founder and CEO of the Green Job Bank, in a statement. "It is the proof that the market for renewable energy, clean technology and environmental projects is healthy, and growing at a steady pace."
Hiring across the spectrum
Growth comes despite the spate of bad news in the cleantech sector, highlighted by last year's Solyndra bankruptcy. It indicates that demand for services and product remains. Green Job Bank's top hiring companies include First Solar, REC solar, Solar City, SunEdison and Vestas. Also on the list are energy management companies EnerNOC, Locus Technologies and OPower; energy storage maker A123 Systems; EV automaker Tesla Motors; the National Renewable Energy Laboratory; and environmental and energy infrastructure companies AECOM, AMEC, Cardno ENTRIX, ERM and URS Corp.
John Davies from GreenBiz.com focuses on the lighter side of corporate green in a recent post, listing more typical corporate Earth Day activities such as park clean up, electronic recycling and eco exhibitions. He says Microsoft this year even allowed companies to test out electric vehicles, offering a test ride in a Fisker Karma. Nothing overly dramatic. "I wanted to find out whether Earth Day has grown too last century or if it's still meaningful to corporate America," Davies writes.
Green power popularity
Corporations seem to think so. More continue to embrace sustainability.
Performance varies. But the EPA shows in its overall Top 50 list that companies' green power purchases climbed 12 percent to 15 billion kilowatt hours in 2012. No. 2 Kohl's Department Stores increased its power purchases 8 percent to 1.52 billion kWh over 2011, while WalMart boosted its total 231 percent to 872,382,088 kWh to move to No. 3 from No. 12 the previous year.
No. 1 on the Top 50 list for 2012 remains Intel Corp. with an unchanged 2.5 billion kWh of green energy purchases.
Zotos' effort stand out because it installed its own wind turbines, a feat that also earned the company recognition from the American Wind Energy Association for having one of the top on-site wind projects at a U.S. manufacturing company. The turbines, which became fully operational in January 2012, generate about 6.5 million kilowatt hours a year for about 60 percent of Zotos' operational needs. The company plans to purchase the rest of its energy from green sources.
Expect others to follow
On the EPA Top 20 on-site generation list, Zotos' energy generation numbers are overshadowed by the sheer bulk of Kimberly-Clark Corp., the No. 1 company. The Dallas-based consumer products manufacturer of brands like Kleenex, generated 193 million kWh of on-site power. However, Kimberly-Clark's generation accounted for 8 percent of its power.
There's definite interest. Megan Connor Murphy, Zotos vice president of public affairs, says the company "has received multiple inquiries from others both regionally and nationally about our wind project and are ready to share our experiences with them."
This clean energy stuff is getting around.
Another post of possible interest:
Green power purchases trend upward
That's where two projects come in. In the first, Colorado-based Ice Energy has received $24 million in investment financing to support its deployment of utility-scale energy-storage projects, including a 53-megawatt project under way with the Southern California Public Power Authority, which includes 12 entities, including Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and municipal utilities in Anaheim, Riverside, Burbank and Glendale.
The joint powers authority delivers electricity to 2 million customers over an area of 7,000 square miles.
The DOE funding is one of 32 stimulus grants awarded late last year to demonstrate advanced Smart Grid technologies and integrated systems under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The $25 million DOE grant matches funds totaling $30 million provided by SCE and its partners, including a $1 million grant from the California Energy Commission, resulting in a total project cost of almost $60 million.
Meanwhile, the Ice Energy project would help reduce peak energy demand in California by shifting up to 40% to off-peak periods, which improves the reliability of the power grid. That leads to lower daytime energy consumption, increased efficiency, lower bills and a smaller environmental footprint.
The San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization is a nonprofit dedicated to improving our region's quality of life by increasing its production and use of clean and alternative energy. The SJVCEO works with cities and counties and public and private organizations to demonstrate the benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy throughout the eight-county region of
The 10 gigawatts of capacity added last year represented a $21 billion investment - enough to power the equivalent of 2.4 million homes. Wind power accounted for 39% of all new electricity capacity, and delivers 2.5% of the nation's electrical supply, DOE said in its annual wind-market report.
- The percentage of wind-turbine components manufactured in the United States has increased from 50% to 60%;
- Wind-power growth is distributed nationwide, with 28 stated getting turbines in 2009;
- Seven of the 10 turbine makers with the largest share of the U.S. market last year have domestic manufacturing plants - and two of the remaining three have announced plans to open facilities in the U.S.;
- Rising wind-power prices and lower wholesale electricity prices make the near-term economics of wind energy more challenging.
- Financial constraints, electricity prices and energy demand suggest that 2010 will be a slower year for wind power;
- The market is likely to rebound in 2011 and 2012 as American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus money kicks in and financing restrictions ease.
The San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization is a nonprofit dedicated to improving our region's quality of life by increasing its production and use of clean and alternative energy. The SJVCEO works with cities and counties and public and private organizations to demonstrate the benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy throughout the eight-county region of the San Joaquin Valley.