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  • Jacob Bourne

New York Bakery Gets Climate Neutral Certification

Bread Alone’s Upstate New York bakery in Boiceville is getting ready to launch as the first known of its kind in the nation to be powered by all renewable energy, the Times Union reports.

After 38 years at its bakery location in the Catskills, Bread Alone will soon start powering its ovens that supply bread to the region with a combination of solar and wood-burning energy sources. A 366 kW on-site solar array will power Heuft ovens; meanwhile, scrap wood will power wood-fired ovens. The bakery won't use any fossil fuels.

Thousands of these sustainable loaves will be hitting Northeast grocery stores and Hudson Valley cafes and farmers markets.

Bread Alone has been certified by Climate Neutral, a nonprofit organization that helps businesses reduce carbon emissions. It’s also a member of 1% For the Planet, meaning that the bakery donates the namesake share of its profits to environmental nonprofits.

“Just like certified organic is something people look for and care about, climate certification is going to be very important in the future,” Bread Alone CEO Nels Leader told Times Union.

Wood for the ovens won’t involve the chopping down of old-growth forests but will instead come from discarded scapes from nearby furniture makers. In 2018, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency declared wood burning to be carbon neutral, a standard that has triggered controversy.

"Trees consume and emit carbon in the natural carbon cycle. When they die, they can decompose, or they can burn," Leader told Times Union via email, adding that these two scenarios are "just different timelines for the release of carbon."

Bread Alone’s Kingston headquarters is already powered by 30% solar. The Boiceville carbon neutral bakery is expected to open in late summer.


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