From design/build schools to breweries and social entrepreneurs, AllEarth Renewables is proud to have helped innovative businesses and individuals across the northeast generate their own power from the sun.
Rowing is a family affair for Dick and Peter Dreissigacker, founders of Concept2, the world leader in the design & manufacturing of rowing machines and racing oars. Dick rowed in the 1972 Olympics, and got his brother into the sport soon after. Just four years later, the two decided to try out as a pair for the 1976 Olympics. Being engineers, they look for physical ways of improving the efficiency of things, and they started exploring ways to create a secret weapon for their training regimen. At the time, companies were making boats with fiberglass and composite materials, but oars were still wooden.
They began tinkering around with reinforcing wooden oars with carbon, making them lighter and stiffer, in their apartment. After some experimenting, they knew they had built something new and different. They didn’t win the trials, but people saw the composite boards they’d put together and realized that this was something no one else was doing well. They decided to sell their creations, and thus the company was born.
When they began hiring other employees, they decided that they needed to diversify with additional products to keep their team busy, and that’s where the rowing machine came in. Concept2’s oars have since gone on to become the oar of choice among the world’s rowers, and their rower became the best-selling rowing machine in the world.
Their rowing machines are made in Vermont from start to finish: the metalwork is done in-state and final assembly occurs just a quarter mile away before being delivered to their headquarters for shipment. The brothers like the idea of making something local that brings in positive income to be spread around, and to support, their community.
In 2010 they decided to go solar to help them pursue their mission of providing the most innovative products and programs possible to their customers. They chose solar because it provided a good return on investment, and solar now accounts for 40% of their electrical usage. They also understand that the activities and sports that are so central to their lives are based in the outdoors and very weather-dependent, which means mitigating the effects of global warming is important to them—and using clean energy to power their business is a great way to work towards that goal.
As engineers, they’re always looking for ways to improving the performance of their equipment, and like to look at different ways of doing things. That’s why they named their company Concept2—it represents another way of looking at something. Pioneering new ways of doing things is just more fun than making the same things over and over. It’s what drives the Dreissigackers, and ultimately drives the company.