By Allison Maynard, Communications Associate

Our chapter is comprised of many of the best leaders in the sustainability field and we are always excited to see what new strides they have made in their work. Their ingenuity and tireless commitment to sustainability are what make our chapter such a wonderful community of professionals. National Grid is an international electricity and gas company and one of the largest investor-owned energy companies in the world. They play a vital role in providing energy to millions of customers across the northeastern U.S. and Great Britain in an efficient, reliable, and safe manner. At National Grid, Doing the Right Thing underpins everything they do, and they have been recognised for the fifth year as one of the world's most ethical companies.

Doing the Right Thing is essentially their 'code of conduct' and it sets out how they do things at National Grid and offers guidelines for ethical compliance in important policy areas. It applies to all employees from the Board down and defines the values that underpin their everyday decisions. It provides guidance for dealing with different situations that they may face from time to time. They believe that ethical business behavior depends on all of us accepting our responsibility for upholding the highest standards of behaviour and decision-making.The World’s Most Ethical (WME) Companies designation recognises companies that truly go beyond making statements about doing business “ethically” and translate those words into action. WME honorees not only promote ethical business standards and practices internally, they exceed legal compliance minimums and shape future industry standards by introducing best practices today. 

Steve Holliday, CEO of National Grid since 2007 had some interesting perspectives on the future of the energy industry recently. “This industry is going through a tremendous transformation. We used to have a pretty good idea of what future needs would be. We would build assets that would last decades and that would be sure to cover those needs. That world has ended. Our strategy is now centered around agility and flexibility, based on our inability to predict or prescribe what our customers are going to want.” The assertion that we can no longer predict how energy usage will change, and moving from a one size fits all approach to a more consumer-focused unique approach, is certainly an interesting idea. Flexibility and agility would surely be key if this were true. Holliday cites certain worldwide trends that would suggest this change, including a movement towards distributed energy production and microgrids.

The rate of change of the energy industry has also caught many by surprise. Holliday states that “the amount of solar being added to the system is incredible. 1500 MW in the first three months of this year. That’s the capacity of two power stations. I made a comment to the Energy Minister four years ago that there was little probability we would have 20,000 MW of solar in the UK. Now three of our scenarios have more than 20,000 MW of solar by 2035.”

We look forward to seeing how these predictions will affect our Massachusetts energy industry. Check out the full article here.

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