Power move: Pic’s is now NZ’s first solar-powered peanut roastery
Kiwi company Pic’s Peanut Butter is bringing light – quite literally – to sustainable business with the installation of 486 solar panels on the roof of Peanut Butter World in sunny Nelson.
With products sold in supermarkets around New Zealand and offshore in Australia, Asia, the UK, and the US, Pic’s processes around one tonne of peanuts every hour into as many as 28,000 jars of peanut butter every day.
From this week, the new solar panels will cover at least 20 per cent of Pic’s energy demand year round, with the summer months providing significantly more power. That’s enough energy to roast 3.3 million peanuts on a sunny day, or 124,000 jars per month.
“Our products are grown by the sun and now they’re processed by the sun too,” says chief peanut butter maker Pic Picot.
"With the solar power generated from our new panels, it’ll take 10.3 seconds of sun to produce one jar of Pic’s peanut butter."
The panels are supplied by Sunergy Solar and the move makes Pic’s the first and only solar-powered peanut roastery in the country.
Pic's is also supporting a new horticulture industry in Northland, collaborating with the Ministry for Primary Industries and Plant & Food to grow commercial yields of peanuts in the region. This sits alongside trialling locally-grown almonds in Hawke’s Bay.
"Producing our raw materials locally will hugely reduce our inward freight carbon emissions," says Pic.
“This, coupled with our solar-charged roastery, would be massive for reducing impact on the environment. For now, our solar move at the factory is a huge step in the right direction.”
A "one-time hippy" with a penchant for sustainable lifestyles, Pic has brought sustainability into his 100 percent certified renewable energy business in almost every way possible.
Committed to regularly auditing the company’s own impact as well as its suppliers, Pic’s has taken major steps to reduce water usage, waste and carbon emissions and is certified not only Zero Carbon, but Climate Positive. Where the company's emissions cannot be further reduced, Pic’s offsets its footprint by contributing to the protection of 4,120ha of forest on Vanua Levu, in Fiji.
A circular economy is the goal and Nelsonians can already return their peanut butter jars to cut down on packaging, there are free electric car chargers in the car park at Peanut Butter World, and Pic’s donates more than 1500 kilograms a year of not-quite-perfect product to food rescue programmes and to local predator trappers.
“As inhabitants of a planet in peril, we have no choice but to be doing everything we can to reduce our emissions. It is a privilege for us to be making a high-protein plant-based food that is not only shelf-stable and easy to eat, but is also totally delicious,” says Pic.
“The journey to climate positive hasn’t been easy and it hasn’t come cheap, but we are counting on our customers to see the value of reducing their reliance on animal protein while supporting a business hell-bent on zero carbon.”
About Pic’s Peanut Butter
Pic made his first peanut butter in a concrete mixer in his garage in 2007. Pic’s is now New Zealand’s best-selling peanut butter. Fresh roasted, crushed, and packed in Nelson Tasman at Peanut Butter World, Pic’s is sold in supermarkets around New Zealand and Australia, and in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, China, the UK, and the US. In addition to its award-winning crunchy and smooth peanut butters, Pic’s also makes a delicious double crunch almond butter, snacking shots of peanut butter known as ‘Slugs’ and, in collaboration with Vogel's Bread, Pic's Big Mix.
For more information, go to www.picspeanutbutter.com