The Green Living Guy

OWC Product Philosophy of Maximizing Resources Successfully Extended to Business Sustainability Initiatives

WoodstockOWC solar panel, IL – April 22, 2015 – Other World Computing (OWC) is a leading zero emissions Mac and PC technology company. For they announced  on Earth Day and as part of the company’s sustainability program big things. For it will soon produce enough on-site wind and solar power to cover all energy needs for four facilities. That’s in three states (Illinois, Texas and Nevada). Thereby becoming completely energy independent due to its adoption of alternative energy sources.

OWC provides customers with products that allow them to maximize the longevity of their technology products. Also to improve the performance of those products. Since 2003, OWC has worked to extend this approach to its business operations. That’s with the result that the company currently recycles 97 percent of its solid waste materials. For they received LEED® Platinum Certification by the Green Building Certification Institute in 2010. Also they will soon reach its goal of generating more power than it consumes.

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OWC has focused on facility efficiency. That’s to reduce energy requirements. All with technologies such as geothermal heating and cooling systems. That’s also on-site renewable energy production. All for the provision of energy needs.

Because the company kicked off its alternative. Also on-site energy generation program. One with the installation of a Vestas V39-500kW wind turbine in 2009.

For it quickly became the first manufacturer/distributor in the U.S.  For that’s to become 100% on-site wind powered. OWC’s headquarters in Woodstock, Illinois. For it currently generates more power than is consumed. Especially at this location. That’s where approximately 176 of OWC’s 215 team members operate from today.

The excess power flows out to the local power grid.

Thereby providing a renewable source of energy. Especially to other energy consumers. All throughout McHenry County.

OWC has also adopted solar power as an energy source. In late 2012 and early 2013, OWC opened two new locations in Texas. I heard then soon installed solar panels on the roof of its downtown Austin location.

Then energized at the beginning of 2014, the highly efficient panels installed now generate approximately one-third of the power consumed. All by this three-story building. For that’s including the majority of power that is consumed by the third floor occupied by OWC.

As in Woodstock, excess power goes onto the Austin Energy grid. The project not only solidified OWC’s reputation as a leader. All in utilizing green technology. Yet it also helps to explain why the tech firm has fit in so well. Especially since it expanded into Austin. That’s about three years ago.

Power Needs

Even factor in a total of four operational centers in three states. OWC’s current solar and wind generation still provides for approximately 88% of its total annual power needs!

Also OWC stipulates that any remaining power be purchased. That’s from available local renewable power providers. The goal is to generate beyond the need of the organization at large. To achieve this, a new project has already commenced. That’s to utilize the roof of the 37,000 square foot Woodstock HQ operation. All for solar generation. Following the completion of this project, expected by early summer 2015. For then OWC will not only generate more power than is used at its four facilities. Yet it will also add excess, clean wind and solar energy to the local power grid. Then to be able to continue to self-power. That’s as OWC continues to expand to new facilities in the future.

The Illinois headquarters also benefits from a geothermal heating and cooling system.

Water is pumped into geo-wells set more than 200 feet into the ground, moving from the building to below ground level and then back, day after day, year after year. If the water becomes warmer in the summer when passing through the building, it will give up that heat to the earth, 200 feet below the surface, where it is always a range of 47 to 54 degrees Fahrenheit. The process works in the reverse during cold weather months, preheating the air for the heating system so the system doesn’t have to heat air from the outside, which could be at zero degrees Fahrenheit or colder. For more information on OWC’s geothermal system, please visit


Starting with an aggressive corrugated box recycling program in 2003, OWC has expanded its solid waste recycling program to include all paper, plastic, and aluminum cans. The total of recorded recycled solid waste in 2005 was 32.5 tons. After moving to its new facility in 2008, OWC’s tally of recycled solid waste from 2008 to 2015 reached an impressive total of 287.3 tons — materials that otherwise would have become part of the solid waste stream.

Non-recyclable materials such as food materials from the staff lunchroom go into a solid waste compactor, but only after being monitored to extract any recyclable materials. And a composting program for a new onsite employee garden has further reduced food waste, resulting in a compactor box only needing to be removed about every 11 months. Imagine having your trash picked up only once a year!

OWC continues to work at bettering its 97 percent solid waste recycling record. That’s by only using recyclable plastic and aluminum containers. Especially in company vending machines. OWC also takes “green” even further. That’s by helping with local fundraising efforts. Especially through donating aluminum cans to a local animal shelter. Also and used printer toner cartridges to local schools. Finally by using native plants in landscaped areas. Thereby OWC Wind and Power also helps conserve water.

Green Buildings

As part of its mission to design its new Illinois headquarters to be “green” from the ground up. So OWC Wind and Power participated in the United States Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program.

The result was that the new OWC corporate campus was awarded LEED® Platinum Certification in March 2010. Thats by the Green Building Certification Institute. I mean the highest achievable level.

Out of more than 14,000 LEED projects engaged worldwide since the program’s inception. Bam did OWC go one of less than 300. That’s to achieve the Platinum standard.

With this recognition, OWC also became the first privately owned light manufacturing/assembly building in Illinois. That’s to obtain LEED Platinum status.

All because The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System is the nationally accepted benchmarking. That’s for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings.

In September 2010, OWC’s headquarters earned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ENERGY STAR® rating. That’s for building operations that perform in the top 25 percent of similar facilities nationwide. All for energy efficiency. OWC continues to upgrade existing buildings for even more energy efficiency. That’s such as recently installing high-efficiency air-conditioning units. All in its Austin facility. I mean as well as special dual-reflective window film. One that blocks up to 66 percent of the sun’s heat.


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