GrandyOats, a Maine maker of organic cereals and snacks, has received the Environmental Merit Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The award, presented annually, recognizes outstanding environmental advocates in the New England region for making significant contributions toward preserving and protecting natural resources, and ensuring New England remains a vibrant community with clean air, land and water.
In particular, the award recognizes efforts by GrandyOats owners Nat Peirce and Aaron Anker to convert an abandoned elementary school into a solar-powered organic bakery that now employs more than 25 people in rural Maine. Constructed in 1979, Hiram Elementary School was abandoned in 2008 and there were environmental threats posed by asbestos building materials and underground fuel tanks. Peirce and Anker bought the property, cleaned it up and turned it into a state-of-the-art organic bakery.
Peirce and Anker wanted to make the bakery’s energy use as healthy as their granola, so they installed 288 solar panels next to the bakery. The solar array generates enough clean, renewable energy to produce millions of pounds of granola and offset over 145,000 pounds of greenhouse gases each year—or the amount of miles equivalent to driving from Hiram, Maine to San Francisco, California and back 25 times. To learn more about the EPA Environmental Merit Award, visit: www.epa.gov/environmental-merit-awards-new-england/2017-environmental-merit-award-recipients.
To learn about GrandyOats’ 100 percent solar-powered facility, visit www.grandyoats.com/pages/100-solar.