Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

‘It’s Not An Easy Change’


The changing times of the energy sectors, recounted by a chief executive.

Dailycsr.com – 19 January 2019 – With the changing “energy landscape” the energy sector seems to be changing too, whereby the key lies in discovering the “affordable solutions” to supply power to people worldwide. And this very message was given out by the chief executive as well as the president of CMS Energy, Patti Poppe addressing the gathering at the “West Coast Chamber’s Wake Up West Coast” breakfast which was held in December 2018.
Consumers Energy is the “principal subsidiary of CMS Energy”, as Poppe highlighted the latter’s transition to clean energy from coal. In her words:
“It’s not an easy change. We’re happy to stand for zero coal and lowering our carbon emissions. We believe that serving the planet is an obligation. We believe the climate change is real. But we know it’s not easy, because it affects people’s lives and communities.”
Poppe thinks ushering in “successful change” will require us to work beyond “a bottom line”. She said:
“We work to a triple bottom line. It’s about serving the people, the planet and prosperity. We don’t have to choose one or the other, and that leads to a more sustainable business.”
In fact, employees as well as the customers are important in this endeavour. However, we need to prepare the employees by informing them about the vital transition “from coal to renewable energy”, as she added:
“As we transition to cleaner energy, we’re focused on our co-workers. We don’t take lightly the changes that are ensuing in our business and we don’t want to leave our coworkers behind in that transition.”
When one of the “coal-fueled power plant” was being shut down, Poppe joined the employees, as 50% undertook retirement after that, while the rest found work in other projects conducted by the company. Talking about her experience, Poppe stated:
 “Having run five coal-fueled power plants for five years, it touched my heart. I realized in that moment what a big day it was. It’s been three years, and I can finally tell that story without crying.”
Furthermore, Poppe added:
“We’ve retired seven of our 12 coal units. We’re in the process of retiring the remaining five, and we’re replacing those with only renewable energy. So, we’re very excited for the future.”
The company has made a 38% reduction in its carbon emission, while it aims to reduce an overall 90% of its carbon emission. Moreover, it has also brought down its water consumption besides committing to return “5,000 acres of land to natural habitat” in Michigan. So far, the company has already fulfilled one fifth of its commitment. And Poppe said:
“We stand for leaving the planet better than we found it for all Michiganders. It’s so important that, as a state, we take these steps forward.”