Vermont Business Magazine Vermont Plank Flooring is one of those businesses that seems quintessentially “Vermont.” Family-owned for three generations, VPF is hidden in plain sight right off of Putney Road in Brattleboro.
“Because we're selling lumber, which might be one of the slowest growing, most ecologically important products on the planet," said Mark Tarmy, one of the company's founders, “we understand that environmental stewardship is our responsibility.”
VPF uses selectively cut, sustainably harvested wood that is “as local as possible” to create wide plank, hardwood flooring for customers all over the country.
“We obviously want to turn a profit, but it's critical to us that we do so in an environmentally sustainable way that contributes to our community,” said George Tarmy, Mark’s son and Head of Operations at VPF, “We're well on our way to becoming a net-zero operation.”
VPF is FSC-certified (Forestry Stewardship Council), which is the gold standard for wood harvested from forests that are responsibly managed, socially beneficial, environmentally conscious, and economically viable.
“Since the beginning, we’ve tried to make the most ethical decisions we could,” said Mark.
When an opportunity arose that they might put solar panels on the large roof of the VPF building, they could see the environmental benefits and were interested in learning more.
“We originally thought that we’d bring in an investor who would pay for the panels and then we would simply buy the electricity from them,” said Mark.
When they started to look into what they might need to do to prepare for this idea, they spoke with Brattleboro Savings & Loan about helping with financing any pre-work that would be needed.
“Peter (Carvell) and Bob (Davis) started to crunch some numbers and found that we would actually be better off buying the panels ourselves, which was not what we expected,” said George, “We didn’t come in and ask about how we could buy panels, we told them about an idea and they helped us work through that idea and toward what was best for us.”
With the completion of the solar panel installation, VPF will make a long stride toward their goal of getting to net zero. The panels will power their operation, while also putting electricity back into the system to make a more robust power grid for Vermonters.
“It’s about relationships—we help our clients and community, the bank helps us, and we all work toward a better Brattleboro and a better Vermont.”
Source: Brattleboro, Vermont – Vermont Plank Flooring 4.19.2021