A utility company’s role is to provide a service to its stakeholders. Still, in this fast-paced environmental, social, and financial change era, the best companies also incorporate a robust corporate responsibility strategy. Duquesne Light Co. (DLC) is committed to achieving its full potential — both as an energy supplier and with a responsible community presence. Understanding its responsibility strategy is critical to understanding its influential role in Pittsburgh.
What is Corporate Responsibility?
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a ”business model that helps a company be socially accountable to itself, its stakeholders, and the public.” These corporate strategies often focus on areas such as the environment, philanthropy, and sustainability. The Harvard Business Review notes that developing, implementing, and assessing corporate responsibility strategies isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition. Goals should align with company culture, stakeholder priorities, and be attainable. The degree of alignment between a company’s corporate strategies and its general operations says a lot about its commitment to long-term responsibility.
The Impact and Importance of Corporate Responsibility
As consumers and stakeholders become more vocal about their preference for socially-conscious businesses, corporate responsibility is becoming a vital component for many large, global companies. While large-scale CSR initiatives may be more accessible for big organizations, many small and mid-sized companies also incorporate these strategies into their business models. A CSR strategy can help shine light on a company’s values that might otherwise go unnoticed in the normal course of business. There is also evidence that a solid commitment to corporate responsibility improves a company’s financial position.
Companies with a robust corporate responsibility strategy can attract employees who match their values. A system that lists programs focused on diversity, sustainable production, and community partnership will ensure that new additions to the corporate team are also invested in furthering these goals. Similarly, a company that follows through on its plans for community involvement is more likely to understand its stakeholders and successfully improve its services to meet their needs.
A recent editorial in the Forbes Business Council notes that a corporate responsibility strategy isn’t just about company values; there are many financial and operational benefits to businesses with a sustainability-focused corporate strategy. Increased efficiency, reduced waste, and added investment potential are critical ways a company’s finances improve with a strong CSR strategy.
A study by McKinsey & Company reveals that the best programs can improve a company’s growth, returns on capital, risk management, and management quality.
Duquesne Light Company: A Leader in Corporate Responsibility
Already an integral part of the Pittsburgh community, Duquesne Light Co. (DLC) took significant steps to formalize an environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategy beginning in 2020.
As a next-generation energy company, DLC is committed to a bold, measurable, attainable, and innovative corporate responsibility strategy. Social responsibility and sound governance are two facets common in many corporate responsibility strategies. The leaders at DLC recognize that as a utility company, corporate responsibility must also encompass the environmental realm. The initiatives and principles in these three areas help guide DLC operations.
Sustainable Pittsburgh communities require clean energy growth and a commitment to environmental protection at every level. DLC has a comprehensive clean energy guide that features information for consumers and businesses to make sustainable choices and find resources that support innovative energy solutions:
- Support for electric vehicles, including charging stations and buying guides.
- Information on legislative actions to promote clean energy growth in Pennsylvania.
- A marketplace with energy-efficient products for home and business.
- A Home Energy Hub to help consumers assess their needs and energy options.
- Information about grants and funding to help organizations transition to cleaner energy.
DLC’s environmental strategy also includes a company-wide commitment to clean energy growth by incorporating more electric vehicles into its fleet, increasing its solar panel-powered operations, and dedicating resources to research on decarbonization and an equitable clean energy future. DLC maintains high standards for environmental protection through properly maintaining its infrastructure and involvement with local and national movements like the Ohio River Sweep and the EPA’s emission reduction partnership.
A clean energy future isn’t only about the products. It’s equally about the people. Transitioning to cleaner energy must be equitable, and representation at all levels is vital to its success. DLC understands that a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion must extend from its employees to the community partners it chooses. Leadership initiatives, apprenticeship programs, and employee-led resource groups channel resources to diverse areas. DLC is committed to supporting diverse suppliers in the local community and offers extensive resources and outreach to potential partners.
Beyond its internal structures, DLC seeks opportunities to support local groups through its charitable giving programs. With support for large organizations and small grassroots movements, DLC helps fund social and economic equity initiatives, workforce development, and sustainable community endeavors.
DLC is committed to ethical, transparent, and innovative governance at every level of its organization. Anonymous reporting to its ethical conduct compliance hotline, along with a detailed policy manual, ensures that employees and partners are held to the highest standards at work and in the community. Its Innovation Center solidifies a commitment to continued growth, research, accountability, and community partnership as an integral part of the company structure — rather than an afterthought.
Duquesne Light’s commitment to its ESG strategy is evident in recent company reports. Perhaps more importantly, the Pittsburgh community can see DLC’s larger-than-light presence in its everyday operations as it strives to positively impact the people and environment here at home.
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