1. Who is the Canadian Electricity Association (CEA)?
The Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) is the voice of the electricity industry, promoting electricity as the critical enabler of the economy and helping to meet the expectations of Canadians to enjoy an enhanced quality of life. The CEA includes all facets of the electricity industry, from generation, transmission and distribution companies to manufacturers and suppliers.
2. What is the Sustainable Electricity Company™ Brand?
The Sustainable Electricity Company™ designation is a sustainability brand mark developed and implemented by the CEA for utilities (generation, transmission, and distribution) and their supply chain partners in Canada and internationally. The brand mark is based on meeting a specific set of sustainability criteria, including the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System (EMS) standard or equivalent, and ISO 26000 guidance on social responsibility. Companies meeting the full brand criteria, including those mentioned above, may apply to the CEA to be recognized as a Sustainable Electricity Company™.
The Sustainable Electricity Company™ brand is voluntary and designed to be a mechanism for ensuring electricity companies and their suppliers are committed to meeting the demand for electricity in a sustainable manner. An independent third-party verifier will conduct all initial brand implementation audits.
3. Why the Sustainable Electricity Company™ Brand?
Sustainability is a critical issue for the electricity industry in Canada and around the world. Companies and the communities they serve are aware of the need for and benefit of responsible corporate behavior. The CEA encourages all utilities and their partners to adopt, use and adhere to the new Sustainable Electricity Company™ brand as a tangible and visible demonstration of their commitment to sustainability. By using and displaying the Sustainable Electricity Company brand mark on their communications materials, qualifying companies send a clear, visible message that they are committed to responsible environmental, social and economic practices, and to the principles and practice of sustainable development.
4. Why ISO 14001 and ISO 26000?
The CEA believes that ISO 14001 and ISO 26000 provide a solid foundation for addressing environmental, social and economic impacts of the electricity business. The two international standards were developed through extensive consultations with stakeholders, and they provide a solid basis for contributing to sustainable development. The implementation of these two standards, coupled with an appropriate governance system, can enhance a company’s ability to minimize its environmental, social and economic impacts.
5. How do I get the Sustainable Electricity Company™ brand mark?
The first step in getting the SEC designation is to review the brand criteria outlined by the CEA against the company’s existing policy framework for addressing sustainable development. A company will have to conduct a review of existing programs/policies to understand the gaps vis-à-vis the brand requirements, and to identify the relevant ISO 26000 core subjects and issues relevant to the company and its stakeholders. Following the gap analysis, the company will have to establish or re-configure the existing governance framework to address the specific issues identified, as per the brand requirement. Once those steps are followed, the company should do a self-assessment and make a formal application to the CEA.
Once the company has submitted an application to the CEA, a verifier will visit the company to complete an on-site verification to ensure compliance with brand requirements. Once the application is approved, the company will receive the brand mark with a brand use guide.
6. Who can use the Sustainable Electricity Company™ brand mark?
The brand mark identifies electricity companies and their partners that meet CEA’s sustainability criteria. Only companies that meet the brand requirements are allowed to place the brand logo on communication materials.