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Guelph Hydro Clears a Path to Sustainability!

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Guelph HydroNot only did Guelph Ontario, top MSN Money’s Next Most Livable Cities list this year, it’s also paving the way for sustainable cities to properly secure their energy futures as well. In a time when so many organizations are blowing alot of hot air about their sustainability practices, Guelph Hydro is actually taking a clear, visible and (most importantly) measurable public stance on how it expects to achieve such goals. With its 2010 Sustainability Report, Guelph Hydro Inc. not only became one of the first electrical utilities in Ontario to publish a such a report, but it also became one of the few utilities in the entire world to actually measure its performance according to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). This thrusts Guelph Hydro into a valued leadership position – as Ontario’s municipalities map out their own paths towards sustainable futures.

So what’s in this for you?

Since this report outlines Guelph Hydro’s efforts to balance its environmental stewardship, social responsibility and economic success to benefit ALL stakeholders, there are all sorts of opportunities here to discover unique challenges, beneficial lessons, and innovative solutions for other businesses and municipalities. This report can also foster greater public understanding and stimulate future considerations and conversations around the enormous impact that can be made at the community and municipal level – in terms of assuring sustainable energy practices.

So feel free to post your concerns and questions below, and share your resulting thoughts, because the people behind this report are eager to see where all this can go!

READ MORE:  For story-ideas and full SocialMedia Resources

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  • Guelph Hydro Inc. is one of the first utilities in Ontario to publish a Sustainability Report (SR) and is playing a key leadership role in advancing sustainable energy management at the municipal level.
  • Guelph’s Sustainability Report demonstrates the methodology behind cooperatively developing sustainable energy solutions
  • Guelph has defined VERY ambitious goals as it grows by 50%:
    – Use 50% less energy per capita than comparable cities
    – Cause 60% less GHG emissions per capita
  • Guelph Hydro Inc. is one of only a few utilities around the world to measure its sustainability performance against the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)
  • GRI’s Reporting Framework is developed through a consensus-seeking, multi-stakeholder process. Participants are drawn from global business, civil society, labour, academic and professional institutions
  • Guelph Hydro Inc. is creating value and facilitating economic growth in Guelph and Rockwood regions of Ontario
  • Guelph Hydro Inc. is promoting customer and employee safety
  • Encouraging and valuing the participation of customers and employees through internal dialogues, that lead to public benefits.
  • Formulating and engaging in community outreach plans and programs to share knowledge and spread the greater benefits of understanding

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  • Showcasing the development process for grass-roots and community-based energy projects that support Ontario’s Green Energy and Economy Act and Guelph’s Community Energy Initiative
  • Guelph Hydro Inc. is protecting the environment and championing energy conservation methods which other utilities can support and emulate
  • Promoting the challenges and rewards of integrating sustainable business practices into the day-to-day operations of the city and it’s partners
  • Presenting the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) as a well-standardized framework for reporting an organization’s environmental, social and economic performance.
  • Establishing progressive energy models that all of Ontario utilities and cities can also use to become better global citizens, while assuring a measurable sense of excellence in their local pursuits of sustainability.
  • Explore the beneficial governing processes of the GRI’s Reporting Framework as it’s developed through a consensus-seeking, multi-stakeholder process. Participants are drawn from global business, civil society, labor, academic and professional institutions
  • Guelph’s “Community Energy Initiative” has earned international attention for it’s pioneering approach to planning energy management at a municipal level. This was developed by a Consortium that included the City; Union Gas; Guelph Hydro; business and industry representatives; the University of Guelph; school boards; and Chamber of Commerce, with the assistance of international energy expert Peter Garforth
  • Energy Management offers better defined specialty roles within both industrial as well as governmental settings. Guelph’s Community Energy Manager Rob Kerr could attest to the challenges and responsibilities of this role within their Environmental Services department.

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Prompts and Questions


The following are questions intended to prompt further discussions and cultivate additional Public and/or Media interest. Please feel free to respond or repost via socialmedia mentions, or append your views and valued input directly into the ‘Comments’ section below.

  • Are there alternative or competing reporting systems for sustainability which would service similar needs as the GRI? If so, why is the GRI a more ideal choice for Guelph Hydro’s reporting needs?
  • What indications are there that the role of “Energy Manager” will begin to spread in various other industries, and what are the perceived challenges and benefits of formalised energy policies and procedures?
  • Since Guelph city staff are working with Guelph Hydro and other partners and stakeholders to implement the directions in the initiative , will regular progress reports be made available to Council, partner agencies, the public and the media?

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  • Guelph Hydro publishes its first #Sustainability Report using high standards of the Global Reporting Initiative #GRI
  • Guelph Hydro leads the way for Ontario’s utilities with its first #Sustainability Report  http://wp.me/pIeK3-pv
  • Guelph, Canada’s most livable city (MSN), attracts new green businesses through it’s Community Energy Initiative  http://bit.ly/ob6uDR

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“Our intention in publishing our first Sustainability Report is to be transparent about who we are, what we believe, how we conduct our business and where we are headed. Through our sustainability efforts, promoting energy conservation to customers and developing more efficient sources of power within our community, we are helping to move the communities we serve towards a sustainable energy future and a cleaner environment.””Our approach to sustainability is about making decisions and operating our businesses in a sustainable manner – in a way that delivers balanced financial, social and environmental returns to ensure the success and future viability of our company for the benefit of our customers, our employees, our suppliers, our shareholder-the City of Guelph, our community and the environment.”
Barry Chuddy, Chief Executive Officer, Guelph Hydro Inc.


“We congratulate Guelph Hydro for taking the initiative to produce a sustainability report that will serve as a model for other businesses in our community interested in pursuing sustainable business practices. We are proud to see Guelph Hydro consistently demonstrating leadership in sustainability within our community and within the energy industry in Ontario.”

“The publication of this report speaks volumes about the company’s commitment to sustainability and clearly outlines the significant contribution they are making to our community while we work towards achieving targets set out in Guelph’s Community Energy Initiative.”
Karen Farbridge, Mayor of Guelph

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Guelph Hydro Inc. 2010 Sustainability Report
http://bit.ly/oIIfHy   (shortlink to report)

Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)

Ontario’s Green Energy and Economy Act 

Guelph’s Community Energy Initiative

Sustainable Energy

(shortlink to this release at EnviroNauts.com)

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Guelph Hydro, Guelph Hydro Inc, Sustainability, Global Reporting Initiative, GRI, sustainable electrical utilities, sustainable electrical utility, 2010 Sustainability Report, Sustainability report, sustainable development, community energy, green energy, alternative energy, electricity, energy, power, energy conservation, environmental stewardship, Community Energy Initiative, Energy Management

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Guelph Hydro

Global Reporting Initiative
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Guelph Hydro Inc.
Owned by the City of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, Guelph Hydro Inc. is the holding company for Guelph Hydro Electric Systems Inc., the local electricity distribution company serving Guelph and Rockwood, Ontario, Canada, and for Ecotricity Guelph Inc., an alternative energy company, also located in Guelph.
Guelph Hydro Inc. is helping to create a reliable, diversified and sustainable energy supply to ensure the long-term competitiveness and prosperity of the communities it serves. The company is actively developing sustainable energy projects as a key implementer of the City of Guelph’s internationally renowned Community Energy Initiative.

This site is an independent writing and research service that seeks to seed and spread positive and productive messages that can improve the collective state of our shared environments and existence. This service explores the traditional value of Public Relations methods to discover deeper implications and future significance, which is then applied to augmented SocialMedia initiatives for greater proliferative potential.

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JoFergus [at] ymail [dot] com

Guelph Hydro Inc.


Sandy Manners
Director of Corporate Communications
Guelph Hydro Inc.
Tel: 519-837-4703 Cell: 226-218-0157
Email: smanners@guelphhydro.com
Website: http://www.guelphhydroinc.com

Global Reporting Initiative
Lucy Goodchild, Media Relations Manager

Peter Garforth, of Garforth International LLC

City of Guelph
Rob Kerr
Community Energy Manager
Environmental Services
T: 519-822-1260 x 2079
E: rob.kerr@guelph.ca

Copyright © EnviroNauts.com
Produced with the assistance of M-Thirty  in support of ABetterEnergyPlan.ca

  1. 22/08/2011 at 1:16 PM

    At Guelph Hydro, we consider ourselves very lucky to be operating in a community that has the political will as well as the strong support of organizations like the Chamber and the University as well as residents and businesses to make changes for the better. Everyone truly is working in tandem to achieve the very ambitious goals set out in the City of Guelph Community Energy Initiative.
    Thanks for including us on your blog.
    Sandy Manners, Director of Corporate Communications, Guelph Hydro

  1. 12/12/2011 at 4:55 PM

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