members of TVAs Board of Directors answer key questions about
the agency's environmental scorecard.
L. McCullough, Jr.
Why report on TVAs environmental performance?
A: Craven Crowell TVA exists not to create wealth for stockholders,
but to create value for stakeholders. Those stakeholders are the people
of the TVA region , the people who live here and receive the benefits
of TVAs integrated power and river system. TVAs mission
is fundamentally different from that of investor-owned utilities. Certainly
were driven by some of the same factors, and that will continue
to be true in the future, when theres open competition. But residents of this region hold TVA to a higher standard of accountability, especially
where the environment is concerned. So its important for us to
give our stakeholders regular reports about how were doing in
the area of environmental performance the good things weve
achieved as well as the actions were taking to address what hasnt
been done well in the past.
How does TVA deliver value for the Tennessee Valley?
McCullough By being good stewards of our environment (which means
optimally managing the Tennessee River system), TVA delivers the value
of cleaner air and water and effective land use. By delivering affordable,
reliable electric power, TVA brings the value of a low cost of living,
along with a high quality of life, to the people of the region. Partnerships
with regional, state, and local leaders enable TVA to succeed in economic
development, providing the value of a strong economy that brings new
and better jobs. By demonstrating corporate excellence in environmental
stewardship, generation and transmission of electric power, and economic
development as the nations largest public power company, TVA will
continue to deliver value to the people of the TVA region.
What were some of TVAs most notable environmental successes in
A: Skila Harris The agencys voluntary $50 million investment
in its first selective catalytic reduction system, which reduces nitrogen
oxide (NOx) emissions at coal-fired power plants, was a major accomplishment
for the year 2000. We also continued to make systemwide reductions in
both NOx and sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions from
our coal-fired power plants. In fact, as this report shows, our total
emissions in 2000 were below 1999 levels. Even though our fossil-fuel
system generated 6 percent more electricity in 2000, our SO2
emissions decreased by 6 percent and our NOx emissions were down 20
percent from the previous years amounts. For 2000, the Environmental
Protection Agency required a 19 percent reduction in our coal-system
NOx rate; TVA achieved a 24 percent emission rate reduction. Another
major success was the rollout of TVAs Green Power Switch initiative,
which offers consumers the opportunity to purchase power made from renewable
What are some areas where improvement is still needed?
A: Skila Harris While were certainly very proud of the remarkable
NOx emissions reductions we achieved in 2000, we had actually set the
bar higher and failed to meet our own reduction goals for SO2
emissions. We anticipated a 12 percent reduction in SO2
emissions but achieved only partial success due to timing and delays
related to planned low-sulfur fuel switches and the increase in power
generation. Naturally, its important for us to meet that goal
and we are working toward doing so. On a larger scale, we need to better
understand the environmental impact of coal-plant emissions, both in
the TVA region and elsewhere, and we need to develop affordable ways to
continue to reduce that impact. We need to work more effectively with
all stakeholders in the region to find methods of reducing any environmental
effects of TVAs operations while continuing to provide reliable,
low-cost power. Two other concerns that quickly come to mind are the
need to strengthen our demand-side management the effort to curb
power demands and to heighten peoples awareness of the damage
done by garbage dumping in the regions reservoirs. We need to
work together in order to protect this great natural resource.
TVA revised its environmental policy and principles last year. Why,
and whats the result?
A: Craven Crowell The revisions began with improved alignment of
TVAs corporate environmental management functions in 1999. During
that year, an Environmental Policy and Planning group was initiated
under the management of our Environmental Executive, Kathryn Jackson.
Then throughout 2000, as TVA refocused its business practices, we revised
and strengthened our environmental policy statement and principles to
guide the agencys work. Those six principles management commitment,
environmental compliance, environmental protection and stewardship,
pollution prevention and control, partnerships and public involvement,
and innovation and technology development form the foundation of
this years report. And they follow Public Environmental Reporting
Initiative guidelines, which were developed by a cross section of industries
to provide a standardized format that companies can use in their environmental
A: Glenn McCullough One
result of this realignment was that TVA enhanced its Environmental Management
System (EMS), the agencys process-based way of managing environmental
performance. We analyzed the best industry practices and determined
that the International Standards Organizations 14000 standard
was the best model for TVA to use in updating its EMS, and so we adopted
that approach. Setting and formulating measurable environmental objectives
that are consistent throughout all TVA organizations is a key component
of the EMS. The system requires that we establish objectives and targets,
then operate the agency in such a way that we achieve them. The environmental
objectives we developed throughout 2000 are currently being integrated
into TVAs overall business-planning process. Next year well
begin tracking and reporting our environmental performance against them.
How will TVA implement the new EMS internally?
A: Skila Harris Weve set out TVAs environmental commitment
in language that everyone can relate to, and weve defined the
responsibility to fulfill the agencys stewardship mission that
we all have as TVA employees. In addition, an important element of the
new EMS is an internal employee-recognition program, which we launched
in the final quarter of 2000. Its designed to complement employees
environmental training by promoting and rewarding exceptional environmental
performance on the job, whether by individual workers or by employee
teams. The program recognizes excellence, but more important, it helps
to facilitate the crucial process of knowledge-sharing among TVAs
What is TVA managements fundamental commitment to environmental
A: Glenn McCullough Our management is committed to the
integration of responsible environmental practices into the very fabric
of how we work at TVA, so that good environmental performance is seen
not as an option or add-on but simply as the way TVA does business.
The updated EMS will improve all of TVAs operations; well
be fully prepared to factor environmental considerations into every
business decision we make. Well ensure that our environmental
training reaches all our employees, and well hold them accountable
and responsible for putting that knowledge into action. The way we work
each day will result in a cleaner environment for all the people of
the TVA region and the nation. As we transform our workplace, well
track our performance and report on it in a clear, consistent manner.
This annual report is an important expression of that commitment.