Corporate Sustainability & Environment

Employers are increasingly embracing the concept of corporate sustainability which seeks to improve on environmental, social, and governance factors. Virginia businesses are leading the way on corporate sustainability and stewardship of our natural resources and environment.

The Chamber recognizes the important role that quality of life and place plays for economic development, workforce development, employee retention, and Virginia’s position on national rankings of business climate. Clean water and recreational lands are critical components to achieving a high quality of life in the Commonwealth. Each Virginian should be able to enjoy Virginia’s diverse landscape of resources, including over 30 state parks across the Commonwealth. Not only does smart stewardship of our natural resources keep them available for the use and enjoyment of our citizens, but our water and land resources provide the Commonwealth with economic opportunity
and are critical inputs for business and industry.

The recommendations here offer a pathway to highlighting Virginia’s leadership in corporate sustainability, but also protecting the Commonwealth’s natural resources while enabling economic growth.

  • Encourage and recognize the continued adoption of, and incentives for, corporate sustainability practices that seek to address the environmental, social, and governance challenges businesses face
  • Leverage Virginia’s national leadership in meeting corporate sustainability goals through Blueprint Virginia 2030 Corporate Sustainability and Environment Executive Committee
  • Prioritize sustainable hiring practices that seek to identify, train, and hire Virginia workers, veterans, and members of disadvantaged communities so businesses can benefit from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives

  • Support a permitting process that efficiently and effectively makes determinations for Virginia’s businesses in a predictable and clear manner, free of political interference, and utilizes the expertise business leadership can provide in the process
  • Ensure environmental regulations are achievable, clear, provide reasonable timelines for businesses to achieve compliance, and are accompanied by compliance assistance tools that help businesses achieve and maintain compliance
  • Engage with diverse and disadvantaged communities throughout the clean energy transition regarding strategies to mitigate disproportionate impact
  • Support Virginia universities and colleges pursuing academic programs in the field of Environmental Security which focuses on safe and healthy human ecosystems

  • Develop and promote energy solutions and other programs which cater to companies’ sustainability objectives
  • Promote responsible and geographically diverse in-state deployment of energy resource options required by recent policy changes, including solar, wind, and energy storage
  • Create incentives for carbon-reducing innovations and advanced technologies
  • Continue investing in landmark, zero-carbon investments such as the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project which have the potential to spur regional economic revitalization
  • Pursue state energy strategies that maximize efficiency in usage
    • Enhance smart metering infrastructure to provide consumers with real-time data on usage and optimize distribution

  • Continue to support efforts to ensure water quality in the Chesapeake Bay watershed through state and federal investments, while also promoting continued growth within the watershed
  • Strengthen state and local efforts to address the impact of sea-level rise in Coastal Virginia and throughout the Commonwealth
  • Promote continued investment in water quality infrastructure projects in regional and locally owned wastewater treatment facilities
  • Support the utilization of the Nutrient Offset Fund to offset the impact of new or expanding facility discharges in the watershed
  • Promote investment in stormwater improvement infrastructure projects
  • Encourage the continued use of agricultural best management practices to reduce agricultural runoff from animal operations and croplands, and support implementation of a stable and adequate cost-share with farmers
  • Ensure access to reliable surface and groundwater supplies for a full range of responsible uses
  • Support land conservation programs, public access projects, and reforestation efforts
  • Support the protection and continued development and funding of Virginia’s state parks and trails for the benefit of all Virginians and our economy