Aug 30, 2023 | Sustainability

Interview with Perri Richman: Maximizing Sustainability

Albireo Energy recently released our 2022 Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) report which demonstrates our commitment to building sustainable practices into how we engage employees, operate our business and serve customers.

We sat down with Perri Richman, Albireo Energy’s Chief Marketing Officer and Head of Sustainability, to get her perspectives on key trends and gain insights into how the company views sustainability.

What does it mean to “do sustainability right?” 

First and foremost, companies are here to serve customer needs, engage and develop employees, and deliver healthy returns to shareholders. No single company can take every ESG principle and incorporate it into its business model and still deliver on its purpose. 

When sustainability or ESG is done right, business leaders make choices about where to place their bets – and that’s usually tied to core areas of business risk and opportunity. For example, in a services business, creating an exceptional place to work is both a risk (if it’s not done, you won’t achieve your goals) and an opportunity (when it’s done well, you have the potential to overdrive performance). Using data to place those bets correctly + creating accountability at every level + high levels of transparency are keys to doing it right. 

What makes you so passionate about sustainability? 

When done right, it works. I was part of the journey with a multi-national, publicly traded building products and services company that made the choice to build key ESG principles into its business model. Over time, the company grew faster than the GDP – and has become a more resilient and value accretive business. 

I’ve dedicated my career to helping companies (a) determine the role that ESG plays in its business model; (b) make choices about where to place their bets; (c) using sustainability to build and manage reputation; and (d) measuring and reporting impacts. I’m passionate about helping our customers maximize the potential of ESG – as well as the opportunities inside of Albireo Energy including our Sustainability Portfolio, the Albireo Way for project management excellence, and bolstering our reputation as a Great Place to work.

What is Albireo Energy’s approach to ESG?

An ongoing strength of our company has been our commitment to operating responsibly and creating value for employees, customers and investors. In 2022, we formalized our ESG approach and gained approval from our Board of Directors. The goal was to ensure that the steps we take propel our business strategy and make our company more resilient. As a result, we have four key focus areas:

  • Expanding access to sustainable solutions that reduce environmental impact and improve our customers’ building performance.
  • Reducing the environmental impact of our own footprint including our buildings and fleet.
  • Developing and engaging a diverse and inclusive workforce of building controls experts.
  • Operating with strong governance to ensure the highest standards of ethics and values.

How did we determine where to focus our ESG efforts?

We took a methodical approach to establishing our ESG priorities. To understand expectations of companies like ours, we started by reviewing external reporting standards such as the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). We then assessed our commercial landscape and engaged our leadership team, Board of Directors and an ESG Working Committee of cross-functional leaders to prioritize issues. Our focus areas reflect all of these inputs and help ensure that we address the expectations of our employees, customers, suppliers and investors.

What was Albireo Energy’s most impactful ESG performance measure in 2022?

We defined and validated our Sustainability Solutions Portfolio of products and services that help our customers create high-performance, environmentally responsible buildings. We engaged a third party to validate the scope of our portfolio, and the business and environmental impacts of our work in 2022. Doing so quantifies the environmental and performance benefits we bring to customers while ensuring that we continue to market responsibly without greenwashing. Greenwashing is making false or misleading statements about the environmental benefits of a product or practice.

“Albireo’s 2022 ESG Report reflects our commitment to building a sustainable business for all of our stakeholders and we are grateful to our employees for their unwavering dedication. We recognize that ESG is not a destination, but instead a journey. While we are pleased with our progress, and know we have more work to do to make even greater strides in 2023.”

-Perri Richman

Albireo Energy’s full ESG report can be found here.

Learn how Albireo Energy can help meet your sustainability goals.

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