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Domino Debuts Its Sugar Cane Hard Hat & Solar Powered Sign

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Tuesday is Earth Day. In Baltimore, that's giving new life to an old standout.

Alex DeMetrick reports green energy is now powering the red neon of the Domino sign.

The Domino Sugars sign has glowed over Baltimore's Inner Harbor for decades. Now the electricity that powers that red light is coming from green energy.

An array of solar panels on the roof of the factory's administration building will keep the sign lit. It's the company's Earth Day centerpiece.

"We strive to reduce our carbon footprint, recycle our waste and increase our efficiency," said Peter O'Malley, vice president of corporate relations.

The energy the panels produce will eliminate the 29 metric tons of carbon dioxide a power plant would release each year to light the sign.

There's not enough room for more panels but inside the factory, steam used to process raw cane into sugar is also harnessed to help run machinery.

But solar panels aren't the only environmental change Domino's is making. The company chose Earth Day to switch hard hats made from petroleum to new hats made from sugar cane.

"And we learned recently that this company can manufacture hard hats out of sugar cane, which is obviously a green product; it can grow," said refinery manager Stu Fitzgibbon.

And when they're no longer needed, they decompose in landfills.

It's a company-wide switch.

"I mean, it's across North America, not just our plant. I thought it was a great idea," said employee Elena Le.

Domino's explored using other rooftops at its factory for additional solar panels, but escaping steam from below would reduce their efficiency.

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