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ROYAL OAK, Mich. – The Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) has taken another big step on its green journey by powering Detroit Zoo operations with 100% renewable electricity from wind farms. The organization’s commitment to sustainable electricity with the purchase of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) is being made possible through the support of ITC Holdings Corp.

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“We continue to look for ways to reduce our ecological footprint and thank ITC for helping us to accomplish that goal,” said DZS Executive Director and CEO Ron Kagan. “Our hope is to inspire others to look to clean, renewable energy sources.”

The DZS joins a growing list of companies and organizations taking action to reduce the impact of their energy use. Electricity generated from renewable sources results in less environmental waste and pollution and displaces other non-renewable sources from the electric grid. It also serves to build the market for renewable energy, which currently accounts for less than 10 percent of total electricity generated nationwide.

“The Detroit Zoological Society and ITC share a commitment to environmental stewardship, and we are proud to support their sustainability goals by facilitating access to renewable electricity,” said Dr. Terry S. Harvill, Vice President of International and Merchant Development for ITC Holdings Corp. and a DZS board member.

Each REC – a tradable, nontangible energy commodity – represents 1 megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity delivered to a power grid that was generated from an eligible renewable energy resource such as wind or solar power. The Detroit Zoo’s RECs are certified by Green e Energy, which provides independent, third-party certification to ensure that renewable energy products meet strict environmental and consumer-protection standards.

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The renewable electricity initiative is just one of many goals of the DZS Greenprint – a strategic plan to refine and improve green practices and facilities at the Detroit Zoo and Belle Isle Nature Zoo, incorporate sustainability in all policies and programs, and improve green literacy and action in the community. In recognition of these continuous efforts in sustainability – including discontinuing the sale of bottled water at the Detroit Zoo and building the first zoo-based dry biodigester in the country – the DZS received the 2015 Green Award from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and was also named 2015 Best-Managed Nonprofit by Crain’s Detroit Business.

The Detroit Zoological Society – a nonprofit organization that operates the Detroit Zoo and Belle Isle Nature Zoo – is recognized as a leader in conservation, animal welfare and sustainability as well as providing sanctuary for animals in need of rescue. With an annual regional economic impact of more than $100 million, the Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak is one of Michigan’s largest paid family attractions, hosting more than 1.3 million visitors annually. Its 125 acres of award-winning naturalistic habitats are home to 2,500 animals representing 270 species. The Belle Isle Nature Zoo sits on a 5-acre site surrounded by undisturbed forested wetlands on Belle Isle State Park in Detroit and provides year-round educational, recreational and environmental conservation opportunities for the community. For hours, prices, directions and other information, call 248-541-5717 or visit

Detroit Zoo Goes to 100% Renewable Electricity  was originally published on