Green Scene: Prana sharing "the power" with dealers

Thirteen years ago when Prana started doing business, its first T-shirt design was a simple windmill proclaiming "natural power." Today, it's putting actual windmills to work for its retailers by providing renewable wind energy to 250 of them across the country starting this fall, with the goal of bringing all its dealers (approximately 1,000) onboard.
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Thirteen years ago when Prana started doing business, its first T-shirt design was a simple windmill proclaiming "natural power." Today, it's putting actual windmills to work for its retailers by providing renewable wind energy to 250 of them across the country starting this fall, with the goal of bringing all its dealers (approximately 1,000) onboard.

The Prana Natural Power Initiative is the company's effort to being "part of the solution" to reduce the electricity production that causes greenhouse gas emissions, it said. The program will offset energy with the purchase of Green-e certified tradable renewable energy certificates, supplied by 3 Phases Energy Services (www.3phases.com), a Green-e certified wind-power provider. Prana is committing to buying 6 million kilowatt-hours of renewable energy in the form of wind power.  

"Investing in wind as a natural source of power is a perfect fit for us," said Beaver Theodosakis, founder and owner of Prana, a name which means breath and energy. "This is one of the most effective ways to begin the conversation with our customers directly about the things that matter the most.

"We've had so many people talk to us about contributing to so many different causes, all very, very important, like 1-percent For the Planet for example, but I wanted to drive one issue home and put our resources and focus into making a positive and meaningful impact in one, vital direction, and wind energy seemed so appropriate," added Theodosakis.

Prana will be providing participating stores with a certificate that states what effect each store's switch to wind power has on the environment, as well as a 4-inch by 6-inch sticker that can go on the front window or entrance noting that 100 percent of that store's electricity will be offset by a natural and renewable source.

In addition to the retailer program, Prana began offsetting 100 percent of the electrical energy use of its Vista, Calif., headquarters and the homes of all of its full-time employees in October. Theodosakis told SNEWS® that Prana's financial commitment to promoting wind power this year is running just under $50,000, a number he expects to be higher.

"Our first goal was to get our retailers ramped up and our headquarters and employee homes on the program," said Theodosakis. "By the end of 2006, our goal is to have all of our domestic production (currently, 70 percent of Prana's product line is made domestically) of garments offset with wind power."

The company will also be adding a section to its website in the coming months that promotes the wind-power initiative and provides resources to make it easy for consumers and others to decide to convert to wind power. There will even be an energy calculator that will allow anyone to enter figures from a current electric bill and see how much more per month wind-powered energy will cost, and what that conversion will do to benefit the environment.

On average, SNEWS® has learned that choosing green power to offset energy use can increase an energy bill anywhere from 2 percent to 20 percent, depending on volume -- corporate energy conversion is typically lower, while residential typically higher. The national average of increased premiums for green energy is 2.6 cents per kilowatt-hour.

The minimal cost increases are more than offset by the resulting benefits to the environment, though. Prana estimates that its wind-power initiative this year alone will prevent the release of 3.6 million pounds of carbon dioxide, with the impact equivalent to planting nearly 1,000 acres of trees or removing 640 average passenger vehicles from U.S. roadways each year.

To learn more, visit www.prana.com/naturalpower.

The SNEWS® California-based headquarters converted to solar power in 2004 and currently feeds electricity back to the grid. SNEWS® is committed to further the communication of the green message. Our regular "Green Scene" column takes a look at what our industry is doing well, what it can do better, and provide inspiration and ideas for establishing our industry position as the leaders in green for both preservation and profit. If you have ideas or issues you would like to see us discuss, send an email to: GreenScene@snewsnet.com.

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