More than 500 professionals gather to examine theme of Managing Many Environments
Submitted by: Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship
Posted: Mar 26, 2012 – 10:19 AM EST
PHOENIX, Mar. 26 /CSRwire/ - The largest-ever International Corporate Citizenship Conference opened in Phoenix as Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship Executive Director Katherine V. Smith welcomed a fittingly energetic crowd of 550 professionals to the Valley of the Sun.
Smith thanked convening sponsor Arizona Public Service, noting the Center was quick to accept the invitation from APS to hold the 2012 conference in Phoenix. She added that the Center was especially happy to bring the conference to Arizona this year as the state celebrates its centennial. The executive director shared some Arizona history, telling of the five C’s in Arizona’s state seal that represent the past, present and future forces driving the Arizona economy: copper, cattle, cotton, citrus and climate.
“I would suggest two more C’s be added,” Smith commented, “Corporate citizenship.”
Speaking during the Conference Welcoming Dinner, APS Chairman and CEO Donald Brandt, and APS Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer Edward Fox, both offered evidence that at Arizona Public Service, those two additional C’s are already recognized as driving forces for business.
Brandt gave a history lesson of his own on the humble beginnings of APS as a gas and electric works that promised to furnish the growing frontier town of Phoenix with light from dark to daylight “except when sufficiently lighted by the moon.” It goes without saying much has changed since the company’s dozen street lamps were doing the job when the moon couldn’t. Now in its 125th year, APS is a $13 billion company serving more than 1.1 million homes and businesses.
Brandt remarked that he was struck by Smith’s comments in her Center blog about creating long-term corporate value that better aligns interests of shareholders and other stakeholders. He noted that APS must balance the immediate needs of delivering electricity with long-range planning for infrastructure that impacts future generations.
“Arizona Public Service will make decisions with the goal of creating long-term corporate value, just as Katherine advocates,” Brand said. “In doing so, we will always consider our societal, economic and environmental impact now, and for generations to come. That is how you get to be a company that is 125 years old.”
Fox explained that at APS, a long term view of mutual success with customers and communities is the definition of sustainability. He pointed out that APS is a company based on the values of safety, integrity and trust, respect and accountability.
“Our commitment to corporate citizenship and sustainability is based on our values and is the foundation of our strategic business model,” Fox said.
More to come
Day 2 of the conference gets under way bright and early with industry networking tables at breakfast followed by the Center Address from Smith at 8 a.m. Microsoft General Counsel and Executive Vice President Brad Smith will then deliver a keynote address.
At the Networking Luncheon hosted by Target, we’ll hear a keynote address from James Nevels, Board Chairman of The Hershey Company, on Hershey’s work with cocoa farmers in Ghana. And Monday afternoon, Ernst & Young’s Brendan LeBlanc, Executive Director, Climate Change and Sustainability Services, and Leisha John, Americas Director of Environmental Sustainability, will discuss the findings of the Ernst & Young and GreenBiz Group Survey on Sustainability Reporting.
Stay tuned to the Center blog for more news out of Phoenix. Each day of the conference it will feature highlights from sessions and a wrap-up. If you don’t already receive the Center blog, go to the News and Features page of the Center website to subscribe and get the latest news. Follow us on Twitter at #BCConf12 and don’t forget to stay with the blog after the conference for expanded coverage.
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