When energy provider and WHC member Exelon acquired utility company Pepco, which operates in Washington, D.C. and Maryland, they engaged WHC’s support in developing an environmental stewardship strategy to expand conservation efforts and foster community connections in this region.
The development of the strategy began with the convening of employees to create a cross-functional team comprised of engineers, scientists, vice presidents, interns and more. WHC worked with the team to determine stewardship opportunities throughout the D.C. metro area that would also drive a message about the values of the company. The team was guided through a series of exercises that helped them determine the conditions — such as social factors, political situation and environmental circumstances — that would influence the stewardship activities chosen.
WHC conducted a spatial analysis through geographic information system (GIS) mapping, which was overlaid onto the stakeholder analysis to identify hotspots for stewardship projects in each of D.C.’s wards. These results illustrated the suitability of an area for a conservation project, mapped against Pepco-owned lands in the area. Based on the social, stakeholder or ecological needs identified, a variety of compatible projects were suggested for each area, such as tree plantings, outdoor STEM education, native restoration on rights-of-way or community gardens.
This analysis helped match conservation projects to the most suitable locations, and also assisted Pepco in directing their philanthropic giving, identifying areas where the company could best focus its efforts.