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Who You Are – Your Company’s Identity

The New York Times described James Rogers as “one of the industry’s most passionate supporters of sustainable energy”. In 1988 Mr Rogers was offered a job for a electrical utility, PSI Energy, that was on the verge of bankruptcy. NYT highlighted that instead of dismissing the environmentalists, James constantly met with them and brainstormed about how to get the company on a solid foundation.

He also met with climate experts, throughout the 1990s, when the public was concerned about climate change. It was he that suggested the passing of the federal carbon cap law in 2001. This law was created to limit the amount of carbon dioxide produced in the United States. Also, any company that releases more than the assigned carbon limit had to cover the penalty expenses.

Mr. James E. Rogers eventually became the chief executive of Duke Energy and, shorty after, he presented Duke Energy board of directors with an astonishing plan. The plan was to ““decarbonize” Duke by 2050, effectively revamping the utility so that it would emit very little carbon dioxide.” Furthermore, Duke`s practices were mainly operating coal-fired generated plants and by 2005 approximately 50% of every was coal generated. This figure fell to 33% in 2017.

Mr. Rogers retired in 2013, but this did not stop him from aiming to positively impact the community. His Energy and focus was geared towards how “rural people in low-income nations could gain access to clean, sustainable energy” and by 2015 he published his book, “lighting of the world”.

Unfortunately, the article zooms in on the death of Mr. Rogers. However, it is quite an intriguing post. Should we focus on 1988, when James was offered the job position, we would notice that he had the option to decline as he was being offered a position in a job extremely close to bankruptcy. Mr. Rogers, however, took the offer and in return made a complete change in the industry. While he had the option to only focus on profitability, he used his ‘power’ to practice, enforce and maintain sustainability. One can also conclude that ‘team work’ and communication played a great role in the success of Duke Energy. This was evident in the variety of extensive meetings that were held with the environmentalists.

I would like to to add that Mr. Roger’s success is reflection of who he was as an individual and what he believed in. This teaches that, your character does play an important role in the growth of your company. Savitz did highlight that ‘who you are defines what your organization stands for’. Sadly, Roger recently passed in December of 2018 but the Duke Energy company and other electric utility companies today still successfully follow the sustainability practices he started.

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