While utilities—power, gas, and water—are the cornerstones of a modern, functioning society, it is that very centrality that makes balancing their economic interests against wider social and environmental concerns so vital.
Maximising—and then maintaining—public and customer trust requires demonstrable and provable levels of transparency, accountability and integrity on the part of every utility company. In fact, transparency is essential to sustainability, whether companies operate in highly regulated or liberalised markets. Without an efficient and effective programme in place, utilities companies are flirting with disaster; a major misstep or miscalculation on a key sustainability issue can ruin reputations, jeopardise corporate financial integrity, and imperil relationships with customers, investors, and the banks.
What's more, the utilities sector is also at centre stage in efforts to address climate change and minimise harmful environmental impacts. The advent of emissions trading schemes has heightened the importance of careful carbon management and also exposed companies to new risks and uncertainties. On a broader front, all utility sectors face significant environmental protection, remediation and health and safety responsibilities.
Climate change has emerged as one of the most important political and business issues of our time. PwC has been working with policy makers and companies since 1997, helping to analyse issues and develop practical solutions for our clients. With a network of more than 150 professionals across Europe, the Americas and Asia-Pacific, we offer a broad range of advisory, assurance and specialist services that collectively guide you through the complexities of climate change and emissions trading.