Guest Blog: Jessica Spagnuolo, Consumers Energy Sustainability Lead for Environmental Services, Discusses How Consumers Energy Continues To Go Green
Each year, about 164 million tons of solid waste goes into landfills across the country. In order to be stewards of the earth, Consumers Energy employees are taking steps to reduce the company’s environmental footprint, leaving the Great Lakes State better than we found it.
We will continue supporting sustainable efforts by saving 1 million cubic yards of landfill space through 2019 ─ the equivalent of five football fields stacked from goal line to goal line, 100 feet deep.
To accomplish this goal, our employees are encouraged to adopt an environmentally conscious culture by reducing, reusing and recycling waste. This will affect our daily work by:
- Rethinking how we manage and avoid generating waste
- Changing how we order products, how much we order and how they are packaged
- Using what we purchase and purchasing only what we need
- Altering how we demolish a building, considering “deconstruction” to repurpose the materials
- Reconsidering how we can best utilize surplus materials so that disposal is the very last option
- Updating work processes, such as deciding, “Do I really need to print this?”
We all have the ability to help sustain Michigan economically, environmentally and socially. In doing so, we need to think about how our jobs impact the environment and our communities.
In addition to teaching individual responsibilities to employees, we have also established company “Green Teams” across the state. Their purpose is to lead local waste avoidance programs, conduct waste assessments and report on progress. Leaders of “Green Teams” enjoyed our Reduce, Reuse and Recycle It Better workshop below:
How Much Has Consumers Energy Recycled?
- 537,547 gallons of antifreeze
- 6,164,640 gallons of used oil
- 268,922 gallons of fuel
- 16,738 gallons of paint
- 644,777 pounds of batteries
- 633,923 pounds of lamps
- 112,566 pounds of lighting ballasts
- 26,969 pounds of mercury equipment
- 66,575 tons of metal
- 146,657 yards of paper
- 68,300 yards of cardboard
- 195,467 pounds of electronics
- 259,726 tons of wood and wood products
- 4,985 tons of electrical equipment
By reducing, reusing and recycling our waste, we are leaving behind a planet that our children and our grandchildren can enjoy.
Jessica Spagnuolo is the secretary for the U.S. Green Building Council West Michigan Chapter Executive Board, a communications committee member for the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program, and she also coordinates Adopt-A-Highway and the annual Grand River Clean-Up for Consumers Energy in the Jackson area. She is an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, with a degree in Sustainable Business. Spagnuolo is very passionate about nature, leadership, fitness and considers herself a crazy cat lady.
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