Mississippi Power’s environmental stewardship efforts recognized

Mississippi Power’s environmental stewardship efforts recognized

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(Left to right): Mississippi Power Community Affairs Representative Tracy Yanez, Keep Mississippi Beautiful Executive Director Sarah Kountouris, Harrison County Beautification Director Kelly Griffin and Mississippi Power Environmental Specialist Courtney VanderSchaaf at the Keep Mississippi Beautiful awards luncheon in Jackson on April 6.

Keep Mississippi Beautiful named Mississippi Power its top business of 2016 for the company’s environmental stewardship efforts.

The company won first place in Keep Mississippi Beautiful’s Large Business Category for its comprehensive efforts to improve the communities it serves through the company’s Environmental Stewardship Council.

The company also won a third-place award in the Large Business Category, in partnership with Harrison County, for its annual Bring It! Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day.

Programs like Renew Our Rivers and the Environmental Education Grants were listed as highlights of the company’s work.

Environmental Specialist Courtney VanderSchaaf, who oversees Renew Our Rivers, and Community Affairs Representative Tracy Yanez accepted the awards at a ceremony in Jackson on Thursday.

“This is a tremendous honor that highlights the volunteer efforts of our employees and the valuable partnerships we’ve created in the communities we serve,” VanderSchaaf said. “I am proud to accept these awards on behalf of the hundreds of employee volunteers and community partners who donated thousands of hours in 2016 to help keep Mississippi beautiful.”

Last year, nearly 600 Renew Our Rivers volunteers collected more than 25 tons of debris at eight cleanup events. New cleanups were added at Clermont Harbor and Henderson Point, and the results were tremendous as more than 16 tons were picked up at those two events alone.

“Community partnerships and sponsors were integral in the development and implementation of these projects,” VanderSchaaf said.

More than 900 cars passed through the parking lot at Plant Watson during Bring It! last year. The 21st household hazardous waste cleanup day was one of the largest in the event’s history. Plant Daniel employees were also recognized for their volunteer efforts in Jackson County’s annual event.

“The 2016 household hazardous waste events kept an estimated 40,000 pounds of hazardous waste from ending up in the wrong place, or even worse, in our waters,” VanderSchaaf said.

More than 40 schools from across the company’s service territory were awarded $15,000 in environmental education grants. In this program’s second year, projects ranged from purchasing environmental stewardship books for the library to community gardens to the construction and management of a weather station.

“These projects demonstrate the company’s commitment to environmental stewardship, whether it be in the classroom or on one of our beautiful waterways,” Yanez said. “Receiving this recognition from Keep Mississippi Beautiful is an honor all Mississippi Power employees can celebrate.”

Mississippi Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO), produces safe, reliable and environmentally responsible energy for nearly 187,000 customers in 23 southeast Mississippi counties. Mississippi Power ranked first in the Southeast Electric Exchange’s 2016 Safety Performance Reports and is consistently recognized as an industry leader in reliability, customer service and safety. Visit our websites at www.mississippipower.com and www.mississippipowernews.com, like us on Facebook, and follow us on TwitterLinkedInGoogle+ and YouTube.