Sustainability Is Key to 21st Century Companies, Leaders Say

Anne Hoskins, Senior Vice President, Public Affairs and Sustainability, Public Service Enterprise Group addresses an audience during a session on the 21st century utility

For a day and a half this week, business leaders, investors, environmentalists and thought leaders came together in Boston for the 2010 Ceres Conference. Ceres President, Mindy Lubber called the conference to order by encouraging attendees to make sustainability performance a lynchpin in defining the 21st century corporation. She emphasized that sustainability is a competitive race that needs to take place from the board room, to the copy room, to the supply chain. Following her remarks, Fisk Johnson, the fifth generation family leader of S.C. Johnson & Son Inc. appealed to the audience for disruptive progress and leadership regarding a bolder approach to sustainability. As an example, he highlighted the French leadership in the 1970s in decisively pursuing nuclear energy to protect their energy security and the subsequent investment in further research and development that has continued to strengthen the industry ever since.

From breakout sessions on, “The 21st century utility: An emerging business model for a low-carbon economy,” to “The ripple effect: Exploring financial risks along the water value chain,” the conference facilitated testimony from a diverse set of stakeholders on the topics that are at heart of today’s sustainable development challenges.

One of the ubiquitous topics among business sustainability professionals concerns systemic approaches to sustainability – the fact that the global challenges of freshwater scarcity, energy security, biodiversity, climate change, and the general decarbonization of our economies will require industry and cross-sector collaboration.

The conference provided an opportunity to meet and reconnect with environmental strategy, sustainability, and climate change policy professionals from some of AREVA’s customers, including Duke Energy, Exelon, Public Service Enterprise Group, Pacific Gas and Electric, and American Electric Power. Whether through participation in the Electric Utility Industry Sustainable Supply Chain Alliance and or using independent outreach and programs, these and many other electric utilities have recognized the importance of supply chain collaboration in effecting both impact and opportunity for the sector.

AREVA serves its customers in partnership and recognizes the outstanding opportunity to continue collaboration in the innovation and implementation of energy solutions that are economically, environmentally, and socially responsible.