Delivering Sustainable Business Value: Oliver Bussler, Director of Sustainable Development
Managing TransAlta’s sustainability portfolio – with its diverse fuel mix, focused growth initiatives and long-term greenhouse gas reduction targets – is a big responsibility. Oliver Bussler brings equally diverse expertise and experience to this role after graduating with a degree in Economics and Commerce from Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario and a Master of Science degree from the University of Saskatchewan.
Early in his career, Bussler was able to apply the knowledge he gained modeling greenhouse gas emissions to senior environmental and sustainability management roles with SaskPower, EPCOR and Capital Power.
After joining the TransAlta Sustainable Development team in 2012, his team’s focus has been on working closely with internal stakeholders to develop forward-looking business based sustainability targets. In addition, the sustainability team works closely with TransAlta’s operations leaders on environmental performance.
Bussler says, “We have developed monthly reports on the greenhouse gas performance of our Alberta Coal and Fort Saskatchewan co-gen units – which helps keep this key sustainability target front and center and ensures we stay on track throughout the year.”
Sustainability disclosure is another key responsibility where Bussler and his team are actively engaged.
“TransAlta is very transparent in our disclosure and our 2013 sustainability report marks the 20th year we have been producing a comprehensive account of our environmental, economic and social performance. We also participate in the Carbon Disclosure Project and the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and see real value in these reporting frameworks,” he explains.
Being an early adopter of sustainability reporting has enabled TransAlta to open wider levels of communications with a variety of stakeholders, including employees, customers, regulators, governments, environmental groups, First Nations and others. The ongoing commitment to sustainability disclosure has also helped drive deeper levels of sustainability awareness and engagement inside TransAlta’s operational business units.
Bussler says, “Superior sustainability performance and business performance are closely intertwined. In fact, sustainability leadership is a big part of TransAlta’s reputation and a critical factor in the way we make economic decisions about our business and interact with our many stakeholders.”
He continues, “ I never cease to be surprised when I encounter both the existing and new sustainability initiatives across our organization. And what I really like about this role is that is reaches across the entire company. Sustainability is embedded in the way we think about what we do and how we do it.”
- 2013 Report on Sustainability