DTE Energy’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions and improve company sustainability efforts has been honored by the Michigan League of Conservation Voters.

At the Fifth Annual Innovation in Conservation Awards gala in Detroit on Thursday (Oct. 4), DTE was selected as Business Leader of the Year by the non-partisan group, which is comprised of about 50,000 Michigan residents. Skiles Boyd, DTE vice president, environmental management and resources, accepted the award on the company’s behalf, from Phil Roos, president of Michigan LCV’s board of directors.

DTE announced in May plans to reduce carbon emissions by 30 percent by the early 2020s, and by 80 percent by 2050, while maintaining reliable and affordable energy for its 2.2 million electric customers and 1.3 million gas customers.

To achieve these reductions DTE will incorporate substantially more renewable energy, such as wind and solar, transition 24/7 energy sources from coal to natural gas, continue to operate the zero-emission Fermi 2 nuclear power plant, and improve options for customers to save energy and reduce bills.

“We’ve made this commitment because we believe climate change is one of the defining public policy issues of our era,” Boyd said. “There doesn’t have to be a choice between the health of our environment or the health of our economy. We can have both if we attack this problem in a smart way.”

Now, DTE has always been committed to conservation. DTE is one of the largest landowners in Michigan and provide and enhance natural habitats on thousands of acres of land. The company has 36 sites certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council and 33 facilities designated as Clean Corporate Citizens.

But the commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent is unlike any in company history. Within a generation, DTE will stop using coal as a fuel source to produce energy because it is right the decision for customers, Michigan’s economy and the environment.

“The Michigan League of Conservation Voters is proud to honor DTE Energy as our 2017 Business Leader of the Year for committing to reduce the company’s carbon emissions by more than 80 percent by 2050,” said Lisa Wozniak, Michigan LCV executive director. “In so doing, Michigan’s largest electric utility is stepping up in a big way, laying a path to meet the challenge of climate change head on regardless of what happens in Washington DC.”