M&Ms may melt in your mouth but Mars Chocolate North America may want to keep these bite-sized candies away from the company’s new 18-acre solar garden. The company installed this solar garden while working on a green renovation of the Mars Chocolate North America headquarters in Hackettstown, New Jersey.
The 18-acre solar garden features more than 28,000 solar panels, which meet about 20 percent of the headquarters’ energy needs. By using the solar panels to meet a portion of the building’s energy needs, the company estimates a reduction of 1,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions on an annual basis.
The solar panel garden was part of a larger renovation effort that the Mars Chocolate North America headquarters building underwent. The building now features an open design that allows employees to be more flexible in the ways that they work. Instead of being cooped up in a cubicle for an entire day, employees can now use one of the many unassigned workspaces. These open and flexible workspaces have shown to increase worker productivity as well as boost employee morale.
As part of the renovation process, the building now features low-flow plumbing, an upgraded energy management system, energy efficient lighting, a reflective root, and a focus on materials that use recycled content. Now that the renovation is complete, Mars Chocolate North America will be applying for LEED Gold certification.