Reflecting its commitment to delivering energy from increasingly green sources and more safely than ever, Consumers Energy announced recently that it has been ranked in the top 6 percent among global utilities for sustainable environmental, social and economic practices. “We are encouraged to be recognized for the third consecutive year as a company that leaves things better than we found them,” said Dennis Dobbs, Consumers Energy’s vice president of enterprise project management, engineering and services. “We have stayed true to our commitment to serve Michigan homes and businesses in a way that reflects the highest ethical values, providing energy for our customers today and building a foundation for tomorrow with our actions.”
Sustainalytics, a global research firm that measures sustainable business practices for investors, has given Consumers Energy high marks for its environmental, safety and business ethics practices. For example, the energy provider is finishing what should be the safest year in company history, as measured by workplace injuries among its over 7,000 employees.
Consumers Energy has made other notable achievements in 2016:
In April, the company closed seven coal-fired generating units, or roughly one third of its generating fleet. The company has retired a higher percentage of its coal plants than any investor-owned utility in the U.S. Consumers Energy also has been working with affected communities to develop transition plans for the units’ locations.
Consumers Energy opened its first two solar power plants, at Grand Valley State and Western Michigan universities, and is looking to expand its Cross Winds Energy Park, in Michigan’s Thumb. Next year, the company also expects to buy electricity from a new, 100-megawatt wind farm being built in Michigan’s Thumb.
Consumers Energy, its charitable foundation and employees will end up providing over $10 million in contributions and significant volunteer hours to Michigan nonprofit organizations this year. That includes strong support for United Way campaigns, Habitat for Humanity and agencies such as The Salvation Army and Michigan Community Action that help families stay warm.
The company is ensuring Michigan’s future energy supply, preparing options that include new renewable energy sources and energy efficiency programs that will replace the energy purchased from Palisades Nuclear Plant. Palisades’ owner announced this month that it will seek to close the plant before the end of 2018.
“Our company’s commitment to sustainability is shared by all of our employees, and we don’t expect it to end,” Dobbs said. “We are grateful for the high ranking from Sustainalytics and will continue striving to do even better.”
Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest utility, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and electricity to 6.7 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.