Community Partnering and Sustainability: A Proven Formula at The United Illuminating Company
NEW HAVEN, Connecticut — At The United Illuminating Company’s facilities last year, blue bins began appearing in common areas to collect recyclable bottles and cans.
That’s not unusual. Recycling has long been standard practice in offices across the United States. What makes these bins different is what happens at collection time.
Each week, residents of the Opportunity House Inc., a Hamden nonprofit that serves adults with autism, visit UI’s offices in New Haven, North Haven and Milford. They collect and redeem the cans and bottles to raise funds for recreational activities. At UI’s locations in Shelton, recyclable are donated to the Birmingham Group of Ansonia, which provides mental-health, addiction and counseling services.
The recycling program is featured in UI’s 2010 sustainability report, which is being released today. It’s available for download on UI’s website, www.uinet.com.
“UI’s collaboration with Opportunity House and Birmingham Group perfectly encapsulates UI’s vision of sustainability,” said James P. Torgerson, chief executive officer of UI and its parent company, UIL Holdings Corporation. “It serves important environmental and social needs, while allowing UIL to continue our efforts at being a strong corporate citizen.”
“A healthy bottom line is a must for any corporation, but it’s not enough.For a corporation to thrive it must be able to show that it has a healthy respect for community and the environment it operates within,” Torgerson added.
The 24-page report documents 2010 efforts across the three spheres of sustainability: environmental, social and economic. It covers a wide range of topics, from UI’s nationally recognized conservation programs to employee charitable giving. Among the 2010 highlights:
• UI worked with Chick’s Drive-In of West Haven, Conn. to make efficiency upgrades expected to save the small business approximately $9,000 a year. Chick’s was one of many businesses that benefitted from UI’s conservation expertise.
• Materials left over from the demolition of the former Showcase Cinemas were reused as structural fill at construction the site of UI’s future Central Facility in Orange, Conn., greatly reducing the need to haul materials on and off the site in trucks.
• Scrutinizing its own operations, a UI department found a simple way to save hundreds of thousands of pages of paper a year — reducing UI’s expenses and its environmental footprint at the same time!
“The residents of Opportunity House, Inc. are extremely grateful for this mutually beneficial partnership with UI. For approximately 15 years, the UI program has offered our adults with autism a purposeful, community activity with both social and environmental rewards. A special thanks goes to the UI management and employees for allowing this program to flourish.”
- Robert D. Young, Executive Director of Opportunity House, Inc.
UI’s 2010 report can be found online at www.uinet.com/sustainability. A limited number of paper copies (printed in soy ink on Forestry Stewardship Council-certified paper) are also available and can be mailed on request.
UIL is the parent company of The United Illuminating Company (UI), Connecticut Natural Gas Corporation (CNG), The Southern Connecticut Gas Company (SCG), and The Berkshire Gas Company (BGC), each more than 100 years old. UI provides for the transmission and delivery of electricity and other energy related services for Connecticut’s Greater New Haven and Bridgeport areas. SCG and CNG are natural gas distribution companies that serve customers in Connecticut, while Berkshire Gas serves natural gas customers in western Massachusetts. UIL employs more than 1,850 people in the New England region.
Released by United Illuminating, April 21, 2011
Media Contact: Ed Crowder 203-499-2537