Posted by: hepowers | October 2, 2009

Horizon Utilities Leading by Example

The Horizon Utilities Corporation distributes electricity to the municipalities of Hamilton and St. Catharine’s in southern Ontario.  They are a great example of corporate social responsibility in action and recently won a prestigious award recognizing their sustainable approach to business.

Today in the Hamilton Spectator newspaper, Tricia Hellingman’s business column mentions that Horizon’s 2008 Annual Report received Company of the Year honours from the Ontario Energy Association.  Their annual report is the first in Ontario’s energy sector to include sustainable factors such as social, environmental and economic performance.

From their annual report, here are just a few examples of Horizon’s initiatives:

  • financial support to forty-two community partners including the United Way, Distress Centre Niagara and the St. Matthews Food Bank
  • staff training to assist customers in need of social or financial programs
  • free give-away’s in 2008 including 15,689 compact flourescent light bulbs, 2,868 energy-efficient night lights and 186 low-flow showerheads
  • decommissioning and recycling program for old meters which will see 230,000 meters diverted from landfill
  • saving 11,000 kilometres of single occupancy auto travel by employees through the national Commuter Challenge in 2007 and 10,473 kilometres in 2008

The annual report explains that the corporation’s Sustainability Policy “sets forth Horizon’s commitment to protecting the health, safety, environment and well-being of our employees and contractors, the customers of our products and services, and the communities in which we operate.”

Throughout their annual report, the Horizon graphic includes the phrase ‘Looking Beyond’.  Clearly this document illustrates how a corporation can ‘look beyond’ typical financial success and create community benefits in addition to profits.

If you wish to see Horizon’s full annual report, visit


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