Letter from the General Manager – 2010
EWEB General Manager Roger Gray

In 2011, the Eugene Water & Electric Board celebrated our 100th year as a citizen-owned utility. Looking back on a century of service, it's clear that EWEB staff and elected Commissioners made a host of long-term, sustainable decisions even before the concept of "sustainability" as we think of it today, became part of the formal decision-making and business management process.

More than ever, we recognize the need to operate the utility in a way that benefits not only our existing customers, but future generations as well. Our vision – to be the best publicly-owned water and electric utility in the nation – requires us to consider the environmental, social and economic impacts of our decisions, and to integrate those considerations into all that we do – from day-to-day operations to long-term strategic planning.

EWEB's third annual sustainability report reflects our commitment to improve performance across the organization by delivering critical energy and water services in more sustainable ways. In addition, the report serves to enhance transparency of EWEB's operations and decision-making for our customer-owners and other stakeholders.

Once again, we've taken a candid look at how we operate and manage the utility and identified areas where we excel, as well as those where we need to do better.

Some highlights worth noting include:

  • The awards received in 2010 from external organizations that recognize EWEB performance in working to operate and deliver services sustainably, such as recognition from Tree Line USA, NWPPA Safety Award, Healthiest Employer and the Paul J Raver Community Service Award;
  • EWEB acquired 25,566 megawatt-hours of electricity savings by investing $6.8 million in programs targeting residential, commercial and industrial customers – exceeding our efficiency and conservation targets by 23% and helping to lower the bills of thousands of customers; and
  • Progress on climate change mitigation through the adoption of a goal to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with our operations and facility management activities.

Not surprisingly, the 2010 report once again contains major issues that were reflected in previous years' reports, including:

  • Integrating sustainability goals into our planning around utility infrastructure and other strategic priorities;
  • Partnering with customers to meet current and future energy and water needs; and
  • Developing our workforce by focusing on skills transfer and recruitment of diverse, innovative employees.

These are long-term challenges faced by almost every utility in the nation. Addressing these issues requires innovative thinking, intentionality and integration with our strategic planning, goal-setting, measurement practices.

Sustainability is not an end-state. It is a philosophy and a way of delivering products and services in the most effective manner possible over the long-term. It forces us to evaluate multiple factors – environmental, social and economic – as part of our decision-making processes. And finally, it requires us to be accountable to our stakeholders by measuring and reporting on our efforts.

EWEB undertakes an annual sustainability reporting process because we want to be the best and do the best for the community we serve. I hope you'll see that commitment in this report and future iterations as well.

EWEB General Manager Roger Gray's signature

Roger Gray, General Manager