The places people gather can have a tremendous impact on the culture of the surrounding community. Visitors to special attractions, like zoos, are there to encounter something outside and above normal everyday experiences. This level of interest and excitement provides parks with a powerful opportunity to influence – a fact not lost on leadership at the Detroit Zoological Society (DZS).
The Detroit Zoo is Michigan’s largest paid family attraction and draws 1.4 million visitors annually. The Zoo has a goal to provide this broad audience with educational opportunities that lead to the appreciation and stewardship of nature. DZS Greenprint is one way they work toward that goal.
Greenprint is a comprehensive plan that aims at reducing impact as well as increasing green literacy at the Detroit Zoo and Belle Isle Nature Zoo. It sets operational standards for water and waste management as well as energy. At the Zoo visitors will see solar panels on buildings as well as staff driving solar powered carts. It is also home to the nation’s first zoo-based dry biodigester, which processes waste and turns it into power for the animal hospital. However, needing more power is a fact of life for a facility as large as the 125 acre park. That’s why DZS board member Dr. Terry S. Harvill proposed the idea of matching the balance of the electricity used with clean, renewable wind energy.
Dr. Harvill knew that supporting wind energy by purchasing Green‑e Energy certified renewable energy certificates (RECs) from 3Degrees would be an effective way to lower the Zoo’s carbon footprint and help meet energy-based goals outlined in Greenprint. As a Vice President of International and Merchant Development for ITC Holdings Harvill pursued the idea as part of ITC’s Charitable Giving Program.
“We have a shared a commitment to environmental stewardship,” said Harvill. “ITC is proud to support the DZS’ sustainability goals by facilitating access to renewable energy.” ITC’s donation lowers the DZS’s carbon footprint by 9,102 metric tons each year. This has an environmental impact similar to:
- growing 233,386 trees each year for 10 years
- or taking cars 1,916 off the road for 1 year
- or not using 21,168 barrels of oil
Wind energy is a clean, renewable resource that can be harnessed wherever the wind blows. Each megawatt of renewable energy generated equals one renewable energy certificate (REC). Selling RECs helps energy producers recoup the expense of investing in alternative technologies which encourages development of cleaner power projects.
About ITC Holdings Corp.
ITC Holdings Corp. (NYSE: ITC) is the nation’s largest independent electric transmission company. Based in Novi, Michigan, ITC invests in the electric transmission grid to improve reliability, expand access to markets, allow new generating resources to interconnect to its transmission systems and lower the overall cost of delivered energy. Through its regulated operating subsidiaries ITCTransmission, Michigan Electric Transmission Company, ITC Midwest and ITC Great Plains, ITC owns and operates high-voltage transmission facilities in Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma, serving a combined peak load exceeding 26,000 megawatts along approximately 15,600 circuit miles of transmission line. ITC’s grid development focus includes growth through regulated infrastructure investment as well as domestic and international expansion through merchant and other commercial development opportunities. For more information, please visit ITC’s website at www.itc-holdings.com