L: Duane Peterson of SunCommon, Jonathan Dowd of Renewable Energy Vermont, Sean Lawson of Lawson's Finest Liquids, and Lt. Governor Molly Gray. Photo: Erika Nichols-Frazer

On Earth Day, April 22, Lawson’s Finest Liquids cut the ribbon on its 495-panel solar array-covered parking area across the street from its taproom and brewery on Carroll Road in Waitsfield. In attendance was Lieutenant Governor and Congressional candidate Molly Gray, as well as representatives from SunCommon, which installed the array along with twelve electric vehicle charging stations. Despite the rain, members of the community joined the Lawson’s and SunCommon team under the array to celebrate Lawson’s commitment to the environment and community.




“This project is so important to us at Lawson’s Finest,” said company founder Sean Lawson. “To live up to our mission and vision of cultivating community and taking care of our planet, we must protect the environment. From the beginning, we’ve led with our values at Lawson’s Finest, doing everything we can to minimize our impact and utilize renewable energy for our business is an important part of what we do here.”

“Lawson’s is a model of a responsible business,” Duane Peterson of SunCommon said. “And so, we’re here today at Vermont’s largest freestanding solar canopy, named ‘the sunshine canopy.’ Its 495 solar panels are sturdy mounted … turning a parking lot into a solar farm. Leave it to Lawson’s to bring about such innovation. We at SunCommon are proud to make this happen for our Lawson’s friends.”

“This project has been years in the making,” Lawson said in a speech at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “Fourteen years ago, my wife Karen and I founded Lawson’s Finest, and from the beginning we believed in leading with our values. For us that means supporting our environment and our local communities, as well as taking great care of our employees and our fans. Our vision for the future is that we leave the planet a better place by leading with our values of sustainable business practices and giving generously to benefit people and the environment. I believe as business leaders we must do everything within our reach to reduce our carbon footprint to create a more livable future. Using clean renewable energy to power our homes, our businesses and our cars is the way of the future. It’s one part of our ‘SIP’ Social Impact Program. We have six pillars of our social impact program, one of which is called ‘Green is Grand.’ We strive to reduce our impact by reducing our use of water, reducing our use of energy, installing state-of-the-art equipment that’s the most efficient on the market by investing in social energy. Today, in spite of the rain, is all about sunshine. And sunshine is a big part of our business, from our branding to the electrons that we use to power the brewery and the taproom. Our goal is to produce 100 percent of our electrical needs and offset that with solar in the next five years. We’re to sixty percent with another ten percent on top of our brewery. We’re really excited. Thank you to everyone at SunCommon for making this dream a reality.”

“Congratulations for all your leadership,” said Gray. “I cannot imagine a better place and a better moment to recognize this Earth Day. This ribbon cutting truly represents so much of what makes Vermont special, two incredible Vermont businesses committed to social responsibility coming together for our community, our climate, our state and our planet. It also involves two things we enjoy as Vermonters—sunny days and a good IPA. It also represents the exact kind of partnership and project we need to see in the state to meet our climate mitigation goals and help protect the beauty of the state we get to call home … The ‘Green is Grand’ initiative is a model for how Vermont businesses can lead in reducing environmental impact. It’s also an example of exactly where we need to be headed as a state, nation and global community.”