Today, hair-care manufacturer Zotos International Inc. is happy to see lots of hair blowing in the wind, indoors and out, even if it gets tossled and tangled once in a while. That’s because the company is celebrating the largest wind project of any manufacturer in the United States and has met its goal of using 100 percent renewable energy for its electrical needs.
Zotos’ 3.3 MW on-site, wind energy project, which powers its 670,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Geneva, is a first in the beauty industry. The project is comprised of two 1,650 kW wind turbines.
“After years of hard work, dedication, and an unwavering commitment to sustainability, we have finally achieved a key milestone toward our vision of sustainable beauty,” said Anthony Perdigao, Vice President, Operations, and Chief Sustainability Officer at Zotos. “This is a historic moment for Zotos, our parent company, and our community. If we can do it, so can others.”
Perdigao says this latest step of ‘going green’ is important in many ways.
“We’re positioning ourselves for sustainable future growth. Simply stated, we’re a beauty company, so it’s important for us to exemplify beauty both in what we make and how we make it,” says Perdigao.
Zotos is a wholly owned subsidiary of global cosmetics leader Shiseido Co. Ltd. that manufactures hair-care and styling-aid products under the Zotos, JOICO, ISO, and Senscience brand names, among others.
The company’s wind project is expected to meet nearly 60 percent of the Geneva plant’s power needs. To achieve the plant’s goal of using 100 percent renewable energy for its electrical needs, Zotos recently entered into an agreement to purchase up to 9 million kWh of green energy.
According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), Zotos’ project is the largest wind project of any manufacturer in the United States. It’s also the first wind project of its kind in Ontario County, N.Y., and the largest private industrial wind plan in New York State. The 2009 federal stimulus bill, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), covered 30 percent of the wind project’s costs.
Zotos invested in wind power as part of an overall sustainability initiative. The company’s other efforts include energy-efficient lighting, reductions in water consumption, a significant increase in rail use, and the use of 100 percent recycled materials in most of its packaging. Zotos also pioneered the use of plant-based plastics in its bottle production.
Studies show that more consumers are buying sustainable products and the company’s numerous initiatives are critical to meeting this demand, Perdigao said. For its efforts, Zotos was recognized last year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as one of the EPA’s Top 20 Green Power Partners for On-Site Generation, ranking No. 18 in the nation.
As far as what type of impact ‘going green’ will have on the company’s bottom line, Perdigao says only time will tell.
“It’s too early to tell, but we hope that consumers will be more willing to buy innovative products which are competitively priced and are environmentally responsible,” says Perdigao.
Zotos has been a success story for 80 years. Founded in 1929 as a manufacturer of permanent hair dyes, the company is owned by Shiseido Americas Corp. and has approximately 360 full-time employees and more than 400 flex-time employees at its Geneva plant.
“Zotos is proud to lead the way for other manufacturers interested in sustainability,” Perdigao said. “Our future depends on it.”