News & Events

11/24/12 — Goodwill receives Environmental Stewardship Award

Orion Keen Goodwill award 225

Fostering Self-Sufficiency – Working hard to make every dollar count

Goodwill Industries of Northern Michigan receives Environmental Stewardship Award from Orion Energy Systems Inc.

Fostering Self-Sufficiency – Working hard to make every dollar count.

To some people, Goodwill may represent a place where quality used clothing can be purchased at an affordable price. But for Americans who are struggling to make ends meet, Goodwill means so much more. Goodwill Industries of Northern Michigan is a non-profit organization that serves 19 counties and helps in-need people with everything from shelter to employment to transportation.

Goodwill is probably best known for its used apparel and indeed, that part of the operation not only clothes people for a reasonable price; it also generates 70 percent of Goodwill’s funding.

Like all non-profits, especially in these challenging times, Goodwill Industries of Northern Michigan works hard to make every dollar count – so more people can be helped. The incorporation of new energy efficient lighting by Goodwill Industries of Northern Michigan, increases our efficiencies…has a positive impact on our environment and reduces costs.

Recently, Keen Technical Solutions retrofitted much of Goodwill Industries of Northern Michigan’s interior and exterior lighting with Orion Energy Systems’ high-performance fluorescent fixtures. Keen also installed two Apollo® Solar Light Pipes in a warehouse. Based on current electricity rates, this project is expected to save Goodwill Industries of Northern Michigan $13,576 a year in energy costs. The benefit to the environment includes reducing kWh usage by 159,304 annually and indirectly removing 97 tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year.

“The environmental and savings impact is just the beginning,” said Goodwill Industries of Northern Michigan Executive Director Cecil McNally. “With those savings, we are able to improve our ability to sustain our programs.

To put the impact of savings into context, it means Goodwill can rescue and distribute to food pantries 67,880 pounds of perishable food … or provide 1,357 hours of employment training or 424 nights of emergency shelter, basic necessities and support to men, women and children experiencing homelessness. These savings translate to a direct impact on the lives of individuals in our communities.”

During the presentation Goodwill was also presented with a proclamation for innovative energy saving initiatives by Traverse City Mayor Michael Estes. David Dennison Community Affairs Specialist with U.S. Senator Carl Levin office summed up the award and project, “Renewable energy technology has an obvious and important environmental impact, and the polar bears will thank us!  But equally important is its human impact.  Every dollar not spent on energy is a dollar that can be spent on something else.  For an organization like Goodwill, that means meals for the hungry, shelter from the cold, and vital services that help lift people out of poverty.”

McNally added, “Goodwill is one of the greenest organizations on the planet. The environmental impact of changing our lighting is one more way that we are earth friendly. Throughout our retail programs we divert over 3.5 million pounds of merchandise annually from the landfill including clothing, cardboard, metal, computers and other recyclable merchandise.”

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