The Envy Of Energy-Savers

Taylor, Mich.-based Atlas Oil Company, that stalwart of efficient energy practices and environmental consciousness, has been chosen by The Detroit Free Press as one of the best places to work in Southeast Michigan.

The Detroit Free Press conducted a survey several months ago, and recently announced that Atlas is a top winner. The company will be recognized in the Oct. 4 issue of The Detroit Free Press.

Atlas Oil CEO Sam Simon said the survey results are especially pleasing because the survey didn’t come from any outside public relations firm or the company bragging about itself – the results were entirely based on what team members said about the company on a confidential survey they completed several months ago.

Atlas had more than 70% of employees respond to the Free Press survey, when only a 40% response rate was required to be considered.

The company recently gave a running tally of its ambitious energy conservation and alternative fuels programming In 2002, the company began offering renewable fuels, including biodiesel, ethanol, E85, E10 and renewable diesel.

In its raw form, biodiesel is also known as B100. Blends of biodiesel range from a B2 (2% Biodiesel and 98% petroleum diesel) to a B99.

Atlas Oil said these renewable fuels help reduce the country’s dependence on foreign oil, as well as benefitting the country’s agriculture and economy.

Some of biodiesel’s benefits:

  • It’s made from renewable resources;
  • It’s energy efficient;
  • It has high cetane / excellent lubricity;
  • It reduces harmful tailpipe emissions;
  • It can be used in most diesel applications with no or minor modifications;
  • it can easily transition in and out of use;
  • It’s compatible with all diesel fuels;
  • It meets requirements of the 1992 Energy Policy Act for B20, which helps government entities economically meet mandates on alternative fuels.

    Atlas Oil is one of a small group of distributors of biodiesel in southeast Michigan and the only one with onsite, indoor-heated bulk storage. In 2006, the company created a renewable fuels logo.

    Other ways the company is heading up the green energy movement:

  • Attending green seminars and expos and promoting green events;
  • Catering to the “green” needs of celebrities and their crews and equipment, such as Willie Nelson and Merl Haggard in the spring of 2007, and The Dave Mathews Band in the spring of 2008, when they performed in the Detroit metro area;
  • Hosting an in-house “When Green things happen to good companies” campaign in September 2008 to encourage Atlas team members to make green suggestions to the company’s “Ideas Make Cents” program, which was initiated by employees;
  • Adding a “green” fund to the 401k portfolio in early 2008, which allows environmentally conscious team members the option to vote “green” with their retirement investment dollars. Atlas matches at 50% on the dollar for the first 6%;
  • Team members include the following question on the bottom of emails (in green font): Please consider the environment – Do you really need to print this email?
  • Using recycled paper towels in restrooms;
  • Recycling bins at each work area, with waste paper recycled at a 100% rate. Atlas has a program where a company picks it up once per week;
  • Using highly efficient and energy-saving fluorescent lights in the office;
  • Recycling 100% of the company’s waste metal in its maintenance warehouse; all tires are recycled with a company that picks them up;
  • Using recycled ink and toner cartridges;
  • Although an average of 400% higher in price, the company makes using recycled the opportunity to purchase natural cotton T-shirts showing Atlas’ green spirit and initiative;
  • Discontinuing the use of foam and plastic disposable cups in offices and moving to paper products;
  • Instituting a water program with Absopure, where the plastic water jugs are recycled instead of team members purchasing and using individual water bottles;
  • Installing in some spaces automatic light switches where the lights turn on upon entry and motion sensors turn them off;
  • Installing ceiling fans in some office spaces to conserve on heating and air.

    Atlas distributes petroleum products and related services in the Michigan, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas and Wisconsin markets.

    Check out the company’s Web site at

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