How Sustainability Drives Success at Con Edison

All Photos: ©NYU Photo Bureau: Hollenshead

On October 26th, the NYU Center for Sustainable Business hosted a standing-room only luncheon talk between Tensie Whelan, Director of the CSB, and John McAvoy, CEO of Con Edison and Stern alum.  Mr. McAvoy spoke with clarity and depth about his experiences at Con Edison and the directions it intends to take in the future.  He spoke about some of the company’s core efforts, including workplace safety, cybersecurity, grid reliability, infrastructure hardening & climate change adaptation, customer focus, diversity & inclusion, and commitment to STEM education. He reminded the audience that not only is Con Edison the 5th largest solar provider in the U.S., but that it is undertaking a vast change to a new business model that will incorporate electric vehicles, battery storage, distributed renewables integration, and beneficial electrification.  He also emphasized two of Con Edison’s more important efforts: a territory-wide switch to smart meters, which he said would provide huge cost savings and enable a host of benefits to customers, the utility, and third-party providers; and a new move toward “non-pipeline alternatives”, which would build on the success that electrical utilities have made in reducing peak demand load, but this time with natural gas distribution and consumption.