Western Extralite, Kansas City, Mo., has been awarded both Gold and Silver Sustainability Awards by the Kansas City Industrial Council (KCIC). The awards recognize Western Extralite's contribution to the sustainability of the community and its industrial areas.

Western Extralite received the KCIC Sustainability Gold Award in recognition of the “extraordinary impact” on its facilities of its solar power generation initiative. In June 2011, Western Extralite made the largest single solar investment by any company in Missouri up to that date by installing six solar electric generation systems at company-owned service centers in Sedalia, St. Joseph, Lee's Summit, Liberty, Warrensburg, and its headquarters in Kansas City, Mo. Each system, consisting of 108 solar panels, offset 60 to 75 percent of the energy used at each of the five service centers by producing approximately 30,000 kilowatt hours per year. It's estimated that the cost of the systems will be paid off in five to six years, resulting in free electricity for the remaining 30- to 40-year life of each system.

The Silver Award was bestowed by KCIC in recognition of Western Extralite's “conscientious improvement” to the parking lot and warehouse lighting at the company's headquarters. Switching the warehouse to high efficiency fixtures operated by occupancy sensors cut annual fossil fuel electricity usage by 114,000 kilowatt hours, leading to energy cost savings of 77 percent. Replacing the parking lot lights, flood lights, and wall-mounted outdoor lights with LED fixtures decreased the use of fossil fuel electricity by 27,000 kilowatts per year, resulting in a 72-percent reduction in energy costs.

“We are honored to be recognized by the KCIC for our commitment to making changes that lower the demand for electricity and lead to a healthier business environment and world,” says Western Extralite President Tom Isenberg. “Setting new standards for environmental operations reflects our values as a company. These programs have had a positive impact on our company's financial performance while dramatically reducing our use of fossil fuels. Many of the initiatives we implemented can be replicated by other businesses seeking to decrease their energy consumption and costs.”