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Sustainability is a critical issue for the electricity industry in Canada and around the world. Companies and the communities they serve are increasingly and acutely aware of the need for and benefit of responsible corporate behaviour and sustainable development practices. Sustainable Electricity is an industry-wide sustainable development program developed and implemented by the electric utility members of the Canadian Electricity Association (CEA). The program takes a holistic approach to addressing sustainability issues, including environmental, societal, and economic impacts and challenges. The program is founded on a thorough and rigorous process involving all utility members, as well as on insight and leadership from a Public Advisory Panel, currently chaired by Hon. Mike Harcourt, 30th premier of British Columbia.
Sustainable Electricity comprises the following four elements
1. A Policy for Sustainable Development- Corporate Responsibility
- CEA member utilities have committed to implementing the program's policy according to key guiding principles which form the basis of the program.
2. Performance Indicators and Reporting
- Each of the guiding principles is supported by specific indicators and metrics that will be used track overall industry sustainable development performance. Utilities will report on the performance of these key indicators and overall industry results on sustainable development will be published in an annual report to stakeholders.
3. Public Advisory Panel
- A Public Advisory Panel, made up of distinguished and qualified Canadians, provides independent opinion and advice to the CEA Board of Directors on the implementation of the Sustainable Electricity program.
4. External Verification
- Implementation of Sustainable Electricity will be verified by an independent external verifier
Sustainable Electricity is the electricity industry’s answer to the question of a sustainable tomorrow. The industry has a long history of taking action on sustainable development issues, including better stewardship on the environment. In 1997, the electricity industry was one of the first major industries in Canada to establish an environmental stewardship initiative: The Environmental Commitment and Responsibility (ECR) Program. Based on a set of core principles, the ECR Program monitored and tracked specific measures and indicators as a means of demonstrating the industry's commitment to continual improvement in environmental performance. Over the last decade, the electricity sector has made many important improvements in its environmental performance, including the implementation of ISO 14001 consistent Environmental Management Systems, a core commitment under the ECR Program.
However, the electricity industry recognizes that there is an intrinsic link among the economy that drives us, the society that we live in, and the environment that surrounds us. Decisions made today in each of these settings will have profound impacts on the lives of future generations. In order to ensure that all three pillars of sustainable development - environment, society and economy - are addressed, the CEA and its member utilities launched the Sustainable Electricity program in February 2009.
The launch of the Sustainable Electricity program is the start of a long-term transformation on how we do business. Many CEA member companies already practices sustainable development, but we recognize that more needs to be done collectively as an industry. CEA and its member utilities consider sustainable development to be so important; the association has made participation in this program a condition of membership. With Sustainable Electricity, we have now made a commitment to you - our stakeholders - to continue to improve our overall sustainable development performance.
Sustainable Electricity Company
The Sustainable Electricity Company brand is a designation established by the CEA and based primarily on the ISO 26000 standard – Guidance on Social Responsibility. The CEA does not certify companies for ISO 26000, but companies that wish to use the Sustainable Electricity Company brand must commit to core subjects and issues and related actions and expectations contained in the standard that are determined to be applicable and significant to the company and its stakeholders.
The Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) encourages all utilities and their partners to adopt, use and adhere to the new Sustainable Electricity Company™ brand as a tangible and visible demonstration of their commitment to sustainability. For more information about the Sustainable Electricity CompanyTM Brand, please visit SustainableElectricity.ca
or contact Channa Perera at firstname.lastname@example.org
Channa S. Perera
Director , Sustainable Development
Sustainable Electricity Online
The Sustainable Electricity website provides additional information about the industry's sustainable development practices and the Sustainable Electricity Company Brand. For more information, please visit SustainableElectricity.ca