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TVA sponsors second forum on utilities, environment

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Many of the country’s leading electric utilities participated in the second annual Environmental Forum on managing their environmental footprint and improving environmental operations.

The Utility Environmental Benchmarking Forum,, spearheaded by TVA, was in Nashville on Sept. 27-29.
It drew participants from throughout the United States and Canada.

Utility representatives shared their experiences since last year’s inaugural session in Chattanooga, discussed ways to measure that progress and ideas about best-in-class environmental activities.

“Participants at the 2010 and 2011 forums were enthusiastic about utility and energy companies working together to share best practices that will be cost effective and benefit the environment,” said Anda Ray, TVA senior vice president of Environment and Technology.

“In addition to the 14 utilities that participated in the 2010 conference, we had 16 new companies participate this year,” she said. “This event is no longer a ‘TVA event’ but has grown into one where all participants have ownership in getting the most value from this voluntary forum to exchange information and ideas.”

All participants showed a keen interest in sharing their efforts to reduce the industry’s environmental impact, Ray said.

“This year, the topics of social responsibility and investor perspectives were added as focus areas in response to participant input,” she said.

Forum topics included defining a manageable electric utility footprint, reaching consensus on key environmental metrics, benchmarking based on established parameters and environmental management practices that may impact a company’s operations.

Leading experts provided guidance in defining a utility’s environmental footprint. Discussions revolved around such issues as air quality, climate change, renewable and clean energy, government regulations and compliance, land stewardship, natural resource management, waste minimization and water quality.

More information about the Nashville Utility Environmental Benchmarking Forum can be found at www.utilityenvironmentalfootprint.com.