Environmental accountability is part of our culture at MGE. This is why we continue to participate and receive recognition in Green Tier, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' environmental leadership program, and Green Masters, the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council's voluntary benchmarking program.
At MGE, we set goals, take action and track progress. Through hard work and dedication, we produce sustainable environmental improvement over time. Efforts include our:
Solar-powered facilities. In late 2017, we installed nearly 450 solar panels at our headquarters in downtown Madison. These panels help supply nearly 10% of the building's annual electric needs.
In addition, our 2,000-square-foot office building in Prairie du Chien, Wis., has 20 solar panels on the roof capable of producing about 5.3 kilowatts (kW) of energy.
Green transportation fleet. We support strategies that increase interest in alternative-fuel vehicles, including electric vehicles (EV). Currently, we operate 22 gas/electric hybrid vehicles, six electric hybrid bucket trucks and six all-electric vehicles.
We continue to expand our network of public EV charging stations, powered by 100% wind energy, throughout our service territory as well as five private stations available for our employees.
We also have an anti-idling policy directing employees to turn off company vehicles and equipment that are not in use. This helps reduce air emissions and fuel use and minimize wear and tear on engines.
- Green products and practices. We make responsible choices about the materials and products we use in our operations. We use earth-friendly paint options and cleaning products. We recycle our electronic equipment and purchase electronic devices that are EPEAT-registered, meaning they meet strict environmental criteria offering a reduced environmental impact across their life cycles.
- Green Team. Every employee is a member of the MGE Green Team. Employees are trained in how their individual actions at work can improve our environment. Green Team Leaders represent departments across the company that help guide activity, implement regulations and serve as educational resources.
- Sustainability Steering Team. In 2018, MGE formed a Sustainability Steering Team. The goal is to ensure we are taking a more global approach in proactively growing our culture of sustainability throughout MGE. This team oversees our Environmental Management System (EMS) and Green Team leaders and helps direct activities supporting sustainability initiatives such as benchmarking, Green Tier and Green Masters.
Recycling. We are committed to waste reduction and reusing as many products as possible. That's why we make recycling and proper waste disposable a part of our daily routine—whether we're in the office or on the job site. Our all-in-one recycling method includes paper products, glass, plastic and aluminum. We also recycle various metals and other scrap materials left over from field work. Our computing equipment and supplies are sent to an e-Stewards certified company for recycling or reuse, and our alkaline batteries go to a vendor who recovers steel and zinc. Additionally, a local vendor takes our wood pallets, recycling them into mulch. We also recycle thermostats and other mercury-containing devices, chemicals, steel, iron, copper, glass and cell phones.
Since old thermostats and lightbulbs may contain mercury, they must be properly recycled. Customers are welcome to drop off old thermostats at MGE's headquarters during business hours, free of charge. Fluorescent, compact fluorescent, high-pressure sodium or metal halide lightbulbs should be recycled at one of Madison's drop-off locations.
More information about these sustainable actions is available in MGE's Environmental and Sustainability Report.