to Continue Leonard’s Work on Climate Change, Poverty and Social Justice Issues
New Orleans, La. – Entergy
Corporation today announced the creation of a $5 million endowment to honor
retiring Chairman and Chief Executive Officer J. Wayne Leonard and continue
efforts to address the issues of climate change, poverty and social justice.
“Wayne has been a passionate advocate
on each of these issues during his years at Entergy, so we could think of no
better way to honor him than by creating the J. Wayne Leonard Poverty, Climate
Change and Social Justice Fund,” said Leo Denault, who will assume the role of
Entergy’s chairman and CEO when Leonard retires Jan. 31. “To a great extent, his
compassion for people from all walks of life and his desire to protect the
environment for future generations have defined his tenure at Entergy.
“We see this fund as a vehicle for
Wayne, as an adviser to the fund, and Entergy to continue making important
contributions in these areas for years to come,” added Denault.
The fund is being endowed through
shareholder-funded donations to the Entergy Charitable Foundation.
When Leonard was named CEO of Entergy
in 1999, he began calling for action by business, community and political
leaders to break the cycle of poverty that has stunted economic growth in the
mid-South region for generations. During Leonard’s tenure, the company has
donated more than $50 million to charitable initiatives and advocacy efforts
that successfully helped move low-income residents toward self-sufficiency.
Among them were campaigns to improve early childhood education programs and
financial support of a matched-savings program that has helped 19,000 people and
created an economic impact of $69 million over the last 10 years.
Under Leonard’s leadership, in 2001
Entergy became the first utility in the U.S. to commit to voluntarily reduce
greenhouse gas emissions. Entergy performed better than promised, cutting carbon
emissions by 455.5 million tons through 2011, 12.6 percent better than its goal.
Entergy has become a fixture on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes, a
respected measure of economic, environmental and social commitment, for more
than a decade.
Entergy Corporation, which celebrates
its 100th birthday this year, is an integrated energy company engaged primarily
in electric power production and retail distribution operations. Entergy owns
and operates power plants with approximately 30,000 megawatts of electric
generating capacity, including more than 10,000 megawatts of nuclear power,
making it one of the nation’s leading nuclear generators. Entergy delivers
electricity to 2.8 million utility customers in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi
and Texas. Entergy has annual revenues of more than $11 billion and
approximately 15,000 employees.