Putting Sustainable Thinking to Work
More than three-fourths of Duke Energy’s employees believe their actions help the company do business in a way that benefits people, the planet, and profits, according to our 2010 Employee Opinion Survey.
Many of those employees have stepped up to become internal advocates for sustainability as Sustainability Leads and Sustainability Corps members. By adopting personal sustainability practices and completing projects, they help the company operate in a more sustainable way.
Sustainability Leads are company leaders who identify and address their departments’ greatest sustainability opportunities and challenges. The Sustainability Corps is a grassroots group of employees who help drive sustainable thinking at the local level.
With that network in place, we are beginning to see innovative process improvements and cost savings. Here are just a few examples:
- Tim Ansell, Seth Zehler and Bill Day, employees at our Midwest combined-cycle natural gas-fired plants, developed an online calculator to improve the plant start-up process. This improved process saved almost $5 million in 2009-2010, while reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 70,000 tons.
- Ray Sawyer and Tom Trout, who work at the Washington Energy Facility in Beverly, Ohio, started a new process to conserve cooling tower water and use fewer chemicals, resulting in an estimated annual savings of $120,000.
- Ken Barrow, who works at the McGuire Nuclear Station, had a filtered-water system installed to replace bottled drinking water at the facility, saving approximately $50,000 annually and eliminating around 200,000 plastic bottles per year. This project is being replicated at our two other nuclear plants, which will triple the savings.
- Corporate Audit Services’ Whitney Gann and Thomas (T.J.) Losier initiated efforts in their group to reduce paper use by 30 percent.
Employees share their thoughts on sustainability and success stories in a new internal video. The video is part of new-hire orientation and reinforces a culture of sustainability with our broader workforce as well.