Doug Tamboer, Sustainability Director, Consumers Energy

doug-2-e1455917879882Responsible for developing and updating the framework for a Corporate Sustainability Program, assuring that the business units have adequate awareness, tools and plans for implementing sustainability practices within their areas. The Director is the corporate lead and primary support for key projects to deliver achievement of the company’s Sustainability Breakthrough Goals. This includes understanding best practices and implementing them throughout the organization, assuring effective sustainability communications for our stakeholders, and representing the company on local, regional and national committees and professional organizations.

Consumers Energy is a combination electric and natural gas utility serving all 68 counties in the state’s Lower Peninsula and 6.5 million Michigan residents. The company operates and maintains 26,000 miles of gas distribution pipeline and 65,000 miles of electric distribution lines. The company also has 5,984 megawatts of generating capacity fueled by coal, oil, natural gas, hydro and wind.

In my current position my most important accomplishment has been the establishment of a corporate-wide Sustainability Breakthrough Goal, one of about a dozen key goals for the company. This establishes senior management support starting at the CEO, and is cascaded down to all employees in their individual annual performance plans. We are currently exceeding all of the goal milestones. This goal has led to a water use reduction target, a landfill avoidance target, improving the sustainability performance of our supply chain, increases in our community volunteerism efforts and enhancement of our stakeholder engagement processes, to name a few.

I have a bachelor’s degree in forest management from Michigan State University and a master’s degree from Wayne State University in environmental management. I am currently co-chair of the EPRI Energy Sustainability Interest Group, a national organization that assists electric and gas utilities in the management and improvement of their sustainability efforts. I have also sat on the board of the Michigan Tree Farm Association, an organization that promotes sustainable forestry for private forest landowners.

The goals of the West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum fit perfectly with what I am trying to accomplish every day with my work. To advance sustainability performance for the region and beyond we need to share best practices and successes, and that is what the West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum does so well. The long-term health of our businesses, communities and families require an outlook that focuses on the future of coming generations and takes steps today that insure that health. I am very excited to be a part of that mission. I have been involved personally since 2013 but the company has been participating well prior to that.

Doug began serving on the WMSBF Board of Directors in 2014.