PHILADELPHIA – This Earth Day, April 22, Dietz & Watson will extend its commitment to the environment as its refrigerated Delanco, N.J., distribution center receives an eco-friendly upgrade. The facility’s roof will be equipped with more than 7,000 solar power modules. Once the installation is complete, the modules will reduce the facility’s energy use by approximately 20%.

“In addition to producing fresh, natural products, we value the health of our surroundings and environment,” said Chris Eni, chief operating officer of Dietz & Watson. “If we can improve the world in which we live and work, we will. That is why we have taken a step in the right direction and made the decision for our Delanco facility to go solar.”

Crews from the electrical contracting company Absolutely Energized Solar plan to begin the primary phase of lifting solar modules onto the facility’s rooftop on Earth Day. A 300-ton crane will do the heavy lifting of more than 7,000 modules, each approximately 5.5’ x 3.25’ in size. These modules will eventually cover the roof.

Adding the solar energy system will help offset more than 1,600 tons of harmful greenhouse gas emissions each year. The system will also help to reduce overall demand on the local electrical distribution network, which, in turn, helps the local utility company to reduce price increases and provide more reliable peak electric supply, the company relays.

“We are proud to bring our energy and money-saving technology to Dietz & Watson, a great local business, on Earth Day,” said Dan Lichtman, president of Absolutely Energized Solar, a licensed electrical contracting company devoted solely to installing renewable energy systems. “This solar upgrade will financially and environmentally benefit Dietz & Watson, Delanco and the surrounding community.”

The new solar energy system is the most recent effort made by Dietz & Watson to reduce its ecological footprint. The company’s boxes are now marked with S.F.I. stamps, signifying the boxes are Sustainable Forestry Initiative-certified and are produced using the highest environmental standards throughout the entire process, from the growing of the trees to the paper manufacturing.

Dietz & Watson’s Baltimore poultry facility’s entire lighting system was recently replaced with T5 technology, the most energy-efficient fluorescent lighting available, the company said.