National Grid Executives Talk Corporate Responsibility with Graduate Students

Graduate students at Clark University were treated to a special visit in November with two executives from the United Kingdom corporate headquarters of National Grid.

Donald Johnson, ‎Head of Corporate Responsibility & Brand Strategy for National Grid, and Jim Gould, Vice President Strategic Communications, came to Clark as part of instructor Will O’Brien’s “Corporate Social Responsibility” course.

“What better way to talk to students about corporate social responsibility than with professionals in the field who are from one of the most well-known energy companies in the world,” stated O’Brien, the Graduate School of Management’s (GSOM) executive in residence.

National Grid is an international electricity and gas company based in the UK and northeastern United States. Johnson and Gould discussed their company’s approach to “social purpose,” and how National Grid’s commitment to a sustainable future shapes its corporate social responsibility (CSR) values.  The two explained their specific roles in National Grid’s effort to integrate reporting CSR and sustainability, and also spent time talking about their career experiences and path to their current positions.  Students asked questions and some met individually with the guests at the end of the session.

“It was a wonderful presentation,” fifth-year MBA student Heather Choronzy said. “It was beneficial to align what we have been discussing in class with the innovations that National Grid has made internally and externally. As an MBA student focusing in sustainability, the National Grid presentation provided me with an example of a career path that relates directly to my area of study.”

After the discussion with students, Johnson and Gould had lunch with Clark University President David Angel and took a tour of the Clark-National Grid Sustainability Hub, which evolved out of a partnership with the company in 2013. The Hub, a 2,200 square-foot facility on Main Street, offers innovative energy solutions through hands-on demonstrations and education on smart grid technologies, energy efficiency, renewables, electric vehicles, and sustainability.