Electric Power Companies Seek Critical Input On An Evolving Set Of Priority Sustainability Issues

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Electric Power Companies Seek Critical Input On An Evolving Set Of Priority Sustainability Issues

During the first weekend of December 2020, more than 220,000 customers were left without electricity in the state of Maine as a seasonal Nor’easter brought heavy snow, rain, and winds that damaged utility power lines and disrupted electricity service. In California, nearly 100,000 households across 15 counties were asked to prepare for a similar predicament as the regional utility planned for its sixth deliberate ‘black out’ this year to mitigate the risks of infrastructure-related wildfires; more than 9,000 fires were recorded this year. In the Southeastern US, a record-breaking 30 named storms during the 2020 hurricane season elevated the risk of power disruptions. Energy reliability and resiliency has become a major sustainability issue faced by electric power companies.

But the reality is, the electric power industry must consider and balance many priority issues in their quest to drive long-term value for their owners, customers, local communities, and the many other stakeholders they serve. In 2017, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) commissioned Verdantix to support a large-scale stakeholder engagement study to identify the priority sustainability issues for the electric power sector. A total of 20 issues emerged including air emissions, assets and operations, business model, climate change, customer relations, energy affordability, cyber and physical security, public policy relations, and workforce diversity.

This year, Verdantix is working with EPRI again to refresh this study. As we approach the final stage of research, we are actively seeking feedback from a variety of stakeholders to re-examine the priority sustainability issues for the electric power sector in North America. Participation is via this online survey which should take 10-15 minutes to complete. We are looking for a range of executive perspectives from within electric power companies (across all business functions) and financial investors, regulators, customers, non-profits, and suppliers.

As power companies seek to further refine their sustainability strategies, initiatives, and disclosure, this research – informed by you as an industry stakeholder – can prove a critical input to that decision making and planning process. The survey closes on Friday December 18.

Yaowen Ma

Principal Analyst

Yaowen is a Principal Analyst at Verdantix conducting research on EHS and ESG information management. His current agenda focuses on digital technologies, best practices and growth strategies across EHS, product stewardship, sustainability performance and ESG risk management. Yaowen has more than seven years of experience managing and delivering EHS and ESG research and consulting engagements to corporates, vendors, investors and industry associations. He holds a dual major bachelor’s degree in environmental management and international relations from the University of Pennsylvania.