• Michigan still gets more than 50% of its electricity from burning coal. Pollution from fossil fuel combustion damages the health of our communities, especially children, the elderly, and expectant mothers.
• By emitting air-borne heavy metals, particulate matter, and smog into the air, power plants are a key contributor to Michigan’s asthma burden, which is 14% higher than the national average.
• Michigan has nearly 90,000 clean energy jobs. This growing industry builds on our state’s legacy as a center for manufacturing and technical innovation. Energy efficiency employment is place-oriented, making jobs in this field more stable over time.
• Pollution from fossil fuel-based sources and threatens Michigan’s abundant natural beauty, which we value so highly for rest and recreation.
• Energy use is responsible for 1/3 of all carbon emissions. Greenhouse gases from power plants and other sources are key contributors to global warming.
• 2016 has been the hottest year on record. Rising temperatures and erratic weather patterns disturb the delicate balance of ecosystems. This affects agriculture, the health of our lakes and streams, and creates a higher incidence of disease-carrying pests like ticks and mosquitoes.
• The average American business spends 30% more on energy than it needs to. Savvy business owners would never employ 30% more staff or buy 30% more copy machines (or fork lifts or walk-in freezers) than they need for operation. Energy waste may be less visible than other inefficiencies, but it’s certainly no less significant.
• The cheapest energy is the energy you’re not using. Efficiency upgrades pay for themselves over time—even in a matter of months. A professional can help you make decisions about energy upgrades by calculating the rate of return on investment for efficiency projects.
• As long as we continue to depend on a finite supply of fossil fuels, energy costs will continue to rise. Energy efficiency helps your business take charge of its utility bills and mitigate future cost increases.
Corporate social responsibility is not optional in an age of discerning, informed consumers. Businesses can demonstrate their commitment to social responsibility and environmental stewardship by becoming more energy efficient.
According to Forbes:
“72% of consumers would recommend a brand that supports a good cause over one that doesn’t…
“71% of consumers would help a brand promote their products or services if there is a good cause behind them…
“73% of consumers would switch brands if a different brand of similar quality supported a good cause…”
Real talk: energy efficiency is not sexy. But making your business more energy efficient can earn you recognition as a leader in social and environmental responsibility. This increases your brand’s visibility and helps build affinity and trust with customers.
Saving energy entitles your business to bragging rights. And telling the story about your business’s commitment to social and environmental stewardship gives you bang for your buck beyond the cost savings themselves.
Greening your business is a golden marketing opportunity. To do this effectively means “boiling the [sustainability] story down to a tight, emotionally compelling narrative that aligns with what the market cares about, what the brand stands for and what a company’s internal culture can embrace.”
-Suzanne Shelton, President & CEO,