Best Buy, Deluxe Among Top Green Power Purchasers

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized numerous Minnesota-based companies through its Green Power Partnership program, which encourages organizations to buy green power.

Numerous Minnesota-based companies-including large public companies Best Buy, Deluxe, 3M, and Medtronic-were included on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) most recent Green Power Partnership lists.

The EPA's Green Power Partnership program encourages organizations to buy green power to reduce the environmental impacts of electricity use and support the development of new renewable generation capacity nationwide.

Richfield-based Best Buy appeared on three of the lists-the national top 50 list, the Fortune 500 partners list, and the top 20 retail partners list. With more than 118.8 million kilowatt-hours of green power used annually, the electronics retailer is the 32nd-largest green power purchaser in the nation. According to the EPA, about 11 percent of Best Buy's total electricity comes from green sources. Best Buy was the only Minnesota-based company to make the national top 50 list.

The EPA reports that the top 50 national partners collectively purchase more than 13.7 billion kilowatt-hours of green power annually. Intel Corporation topped the list with 2.5 billion kilowatt-hours of green power purchased each year, which accounts for 88 percent of its total energy purchases.

Shoreview-based Deluxe Corporation topped the top 20 printer partners list. The company purchases 63 percent, or 37.7 million kilowatt-hours, of its total power annually through green sources.

Two other Minnesota-based companies made the top retailers list: St. Paul-based Gander Mountain Company (19 million kilowatt-hours of green power used annually, which accounts for about 17 percent of the company's total power usage) and Blaine-based Aveda Corporation (9.4 million kilowatt-hours of green power used annually, which equates to about 60 percent of the company's total power usage).

In addition to Best Buy, two other local Fortune 500 companies made the Fortune 500 partners list. They are: Maplewood-based 3M and Fridley-based Medtronic.

The EPA also released a “100 Percent Green Power Purchaser” list, which includes companies that purchase 100 percent of their electricity in the United States from green sources. The following seven Minnesota companies were on this list: Buck Hill Ski Area (Burnsville), Fein Violins (St. Paul), Fredrikson & Byron, PA (Minneapolis), Galactic Pizza (Minneapolis), Johnson Printing & Packaging (Fridley), Lindquist & Vennum, PLLP (Minneapolis), and Walser Automotive Group (Bloomington).

Together, the organizations on the “100 Percent Green Power Purchaser” list buy 6 billion kilowatt-hours of green power annually, which is enough electricity to power more than 513,000 average American households in a year, according to the EPA.

The EPA's Green Power Partnership currently has more than 1,300 partner organizations that voluntarily purchase billions of kilowatt-hours of green power annually. Partners include Fortune 500 companies; small- and medium-sized businesses; local, state, and federal governments; and colleges and universities. The EPA updates rankings for each of its lists quarterly.