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GE Vernova

Holistic Approach: GE Vernova’s Sustainability Framework Is a Plan for Successful Business and Purpose

Chris Noon
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The world has faced myriad challenges in recent years, from challenges to energy security and extreme weather events impacting the grid to the COVID-19 pandemic and the macroeconomic turbulence it caused. These have helped to catapult sustainability to the top of the boardroom agenda, with companies now striving both to succeed as a business and in contributing to solving some of the world’s most pressing challenges at the same time.

GE Vernova, whose technology base helps generate approximately 30% of the world’s electricity and has a meaningful role to play in the energy transition, is today announcing its sustainability framework that weaves its commitment to people and planet into the grain of its business and its core purpose. GE Vernova Chief Sustainability Officer Roger Martella explains that this approach is forward-looking and unique. “Our framework is a little different,” he says. “It goes that extra step in tying closely to how we succeed, both as a company and in how we succeed in our purpose — and, at the same time, in a holistic way.”

He explains that the sustainability framework, which is fully outlined on GE Vernova’s new Sustainability page, addresses those objectives via four pillars: electrify, decarbonize, conserve, and thrive. “Our purpose is clear: It’s the energy to change the world. We’re going to first and foremost innovate the technology to electrify the planet while we decarbonize the energy sector at the same time,” says Martella. “Core to our sustainability framework, we focus just as much on being a really well-run company… how we’re promoting and taking care of our people and the communities where we operate and being efficient in our operations and protecting the planet’s resources,” he adds.




A Modern Company

GE Vernova is set to launch as an independent company next month, and it’s taking advantage of the fresh start to rethink the traditional sustainability framework. “We really wanted to take a ‘best of all worlds’ approach right out of the gate,” says Martella. This has entailed detailed benchmarking of GE Vernova’s peers and in-depth engagement with employees, customers, investors, and the public sector. “We’re proud of what we’ve come up with, because we do think it represents the best in class of a modern company today,” adds the executive.

Martella called on GE Vernova to utilize its global footprint to fulfill the purpose-focused pillars of electrification and decarbonization, with a particular emphasis on countries that are struggling to boost access to affordable, reliable, sustainable power. “We want to commit to continue being a leading provider of the world’s power [and] we’re going to hold ourselves accountable for that with metrics,” he says. GE Vernova, which boasts an installed base of 7,000 gas turbines and around 55,000 wind turbines, could use its “power as convener” to bring together stakeholders who can solve the issue of delivering energy at scale to the 750 million people struggling to gain access.

GE Vernova Chief Sustainability Officer Roger Martella
GE Vernova Chief Sustainability Officer Roger Martella. Top: GE Vernova's workhorse onshore wind turbines at a wind farm in the Southwest.

He explained how the missions of electrification and decarbonization are intertwined. As countries continue to add generation sources to the grid, they want to lower the “carbon intensity” of their grids, says Martella. The emphasis on electrification also anticipates the need to grow the grid so non-energy sectors can decarbonize by electrifying, he says, while highlighting: “We are committing to prepare the grid for that.”


Thriving Together

Martella explains how the sustainability framework is woven into GE Vernova’s business objectives to conserve and thrive. “We want to run our company efficiently — through lean — to be strong stewards of the planet’s resources as we innovate and deliver technology,” he says. That’s why its framework extends beyond the emissions from the energy it purchases and produces by also addressing Scope 3, the indirect emissions further down its value chain. “We’re going to make sure that we’re innovating technology to lower the emissions from the products that we sell,” says Martella.

GE Vernova will also promote a culture and company that allows its approximately 80,000 employees to thrive together. “That includes safety first and foremost, promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion across our global workforce, human rights, and a culture of compliance and ethics, that are really critical to being a well-run company,” says Martella. He noted the multitude of perspectives and talents in GE Vernova’s global workforces. “Our purpose is the thing that unites us … Our people are all passionate about succeeding.”

Sustainability framework


GE Vernova’s “lean” mindset, a system of continuous improvement that focuses on safety, quality, delivery, and cost, will be instrumental in helping the company to conserve and thrive. Since it was introduced five years ago by GE’s CEO, Larry Culp, lean has become a core part of the GE Vernova culture, bringing ever greater cost savings and better results for customers, and enabling new growth and innovation for the GE Vernova businesses. After the spin-off, GE Vernova will continue to utilize and evolve lean to realize its strategic initiatives while simplifying and transforming the business into a more efficient, highly focused company.

GE Vernova is deploying lean to operationalize the sustainability framework across the company. “We’re working with all the business leaders to run our sustainability programs with the same rigor as we run our businesses,” he says. “We’re looking [for the framework] to be ingrained across our whole company, just like our KPIs and metrics are for how we run the businesses.”

“Combating climate change and advancing sustainability remain global challenges, but also create significant opportunities for GE Vernova in supporting customer investments necessary to meet these challenges,” wrote Scott Strazik, GE Vernova’s chief executive officer, in a filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this month.

“Our company is positioned for an attractive future — our leadership team and employees look forward to sharing our success with you, our stockholders, and with the broader global community,” added Strazik.