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Kateřina Bohuslavová

From Power to Purpose: Kateřina Bohuslavová’s Sustainable Path

A sustainable future is one that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It is a future that is equitable, just and prosperous for all. The path to a sustainable future is a complex challenge for one and all, but it is one that we must address if we want to ensure a better future for all.

CEZ Group is one such energy landscape where innovation meets sustainability, where the future is shaped by a commitment to environmental responsibility and where progress and ethics go hand in hand. It is a prominent energy utility operating across Central and Western Europe and Turkey, centrally managed from the Czech Republic.

At the heart of sustainability at this dynamic energy giant is Kateřina Bohuslavová, the Chief Sustainability Officer. She shapes the CEZ Group’s ESG agenda, monitoring new trends, pioneering innovative approaches that align with the evolving needs of their stakeholders. As we delve deeper into the world of sustainable energy, it is Kateřina’s vision and leadership that illuminate the path towards a brighter, greener and more responsible future.

Let’s explore her journey, her insights and her commitment to making the world a better place through sustainable energy practices!

The Eco-Trail

Kateřina is no stranger to a challenge and her journey into sustainability has been nothing short of remarkable. Just over two years ago, she found herself in an unexpected role as the Chief Sustainability Officer and Head of the ESG Office at CEZ Group. She recalls, “It was a steep learning curve and an incredible ride!

Before her foray into sustainability, Kateřina’s background was firmly rooted in academia. She had worked diligently for various institutes of the Czech Academy of Sciences. Her passion? “Finding data-driven and evidence-based solutions to tackling various problems,” she explains. It was this very passion that led her to approach sustainability issues with the same level of dedication and precision.

Kateřina is acutely aware of the urgency surrounding environmental concerns. “We need to protect the planet and the people who inhabit it now and those who will inherit it from us,” she says. She emphasizes the complexity of the crises we face today, which are nothing short of ‘life-as-we-know-it-threatening.’ It’s clear to her that getting the solutions right the first time is not just a preference—it’s an imperative. “We may not get another chance.”

In a world where sustainability has become more than just a buzzword, Kateřina’s journey serves as an inspiring example. Her transition from academia to leading the sustainability charge at CEZ Group showcases the power of a data-driven, evidence-based approach in tackling the pressing issues of our time.

All-In on Sustainability

Kateřina’s journey is all about the power of seizing opportunities, even when they require a significant career shift. She recalls the pivotal moment, saying, “I was fortunate to get an incredible offer to which I simply could not say no.”

Transitioning from academia as a freelance lecturer and consultant to becoming a corporate manager in the energy sector was a leap into the unknown, but the allure of building the ESG Office and driving the ESG agenda in a global utility company was irresistible to her.

For Kateřina, energy isn’t just a job—it’s a passion. She believes that “energy transformation is crucial for building a more sustainable and fairer world.” Her resoluteness to a future with clean, stable, secure and affordable energy is stanch. “Being part of the solution is what drives me,” she declares.

What sets Kateřina apart is her determination to create positive change. She envisions a world where negative externalities are not pushed onto others, but where equity and justice prevail. “A career in sustainability allows me to translate this dream into reality,” she says with conviction.

The Roots and Branches

Kateřina’s journey into the world of sustainability began precisely 26 months ago, on July 1, 2021. In her role as Chief Sustainability Officer at CEZ Group, she reports directly to CEO Daniel Beneš, forming a dynamic duo at the helm of sustainability efforts.

Kateřina acknowledges Daniel’s pivotal role, noting, “Daniel’s support is crucial for the implementation of the sustainability agenda throughout the CEZ Group.” His commitment sends a resounding message to both internal teams and external stakeholders.

Kateřina’s responsibilities are diverse and impactful. She manages day-to-day sustainability operations, oversees non-financial reporting, coordinates ESG initiatives and guides ESG working groups.

Her mission from the start was clear. She expresses, “I was hired to establish and lead the ESG Office, implement ESG strategy within the CEZ Group and improve our ESG metrics.” Back then, CEZ Group ranked in the middle of the pack, but under her leadership, they’ve soared to the top 15%, achieving a significant milestone this year.

CEZ Group’s Greenprint

Our sustainability strategy is intertwined with our core business strategy. They are simply one,” Kateřina emphasizes passionately. In 2021, CEZ Group unveiled their ambitious vision for 2030, aptly named ‘Clean Energy of Tomorrow’ or ‘Čistá Energie Zítřka’ in Czech, where the acronym spells the company’s name, signifying their resolve to energy transformation.

This visionary strategy is structured around three vital ESG pillars, each with a distinctive focus. Kateřina explains, “In E, it is decarbonization—transforming our generation portfolio to a low-emission one and achieving climate neutrality by 2040.” The ‘S’ pillar is dedicated to delivering the most cost-effective energy solutions while ensuring the best customer experience in the market. Lastly, the ‘G’ pillar is committed to responsible and sustainable development in alignment with ESG principles.

Kateřina underlines the transparency and accountability of their strategy, revealing, “Each of these priorities has a set of clear and measurable objectives, which are publicly available.” CEZ Group’s adherence extends to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, with two goals linked to each pillar.

Our strategy is aligned with UN goals for 2030,” Kateřina proudly asserts, citing the connection to goals such as Affordable and Clean Energy, Climate Action, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Reduced Inequalities, Gender Equality, and Peace, Justice & Strong Institutions.

Turning Green Intentions into Corporate Culture

We have a strong governance setup,” Kateřina proudly declares. The ESG strategy at CEZ Group is not just a lofty vision—it’s deeply ingrained in the organization’s structure. “The entire Board of Directors and selected top managers sit on the ESG Strategic Steering Committee,” she explains. This committee sets the strategic course for the entire group, emphasizing the importance of sustainability at the highest levels.

As the Chief Sustainability Officer, Kateřina leads the ESG Executive Steering Committee. Together with division representatives and ESG initiative managers, they ensure that the sustainability strategy ripples through the organization’s vast network of almost 29,000 employees and around 200 companies. Kateřina aptly dubs this approach as “Centralized-Coordination-Decentralized-Implementation.”

Yet, the true power of CEZ Group’s sustainability efforts lies in its people. “This would not be possible without a network of data officers,” Kateřina acknowledges. These individuals serve as crucial links across the organization and it exemplifies the pledge of every employee that sustainability is seamlessly integrated into their daily roles.

Kateřina highlights an additional incentive, “Sustainability KPIs linked to remuneration are also implemented from top to bottom, so there is a financial incentive for all.” CEZ Group’s promise to sustainability isn’t just top-down—it’s a collective effort, ensuring that sustainability is both a guiding principle and a rewarding endeavor for all.

The Green Ink of Sustainability Reporting

We follow multiple frameworks to ensure both compliance with legal requirements and best practices on the market,” Kateřina affirms. At CEZ Group, commitment to sustainability isn’t just a checkbox—it’s a comprehensive approach. “Most frameworks we follow are voluntary but necessary for the investor community,” she explains, highlighting the importance of aligning with investor expectations.

Currently, the bedrock of CEZ Group’s reporting is the GRI (Global Reporting Initiative), serving as the basis for rigorous audits. Kateřina adds, “We also use SASB (Sustainability Accounting Standards Board) and the WEF (World Economic Forum) principles.” It’s their dedication that resonates with CEZ Group which reports on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including their subgoals, with a standalone SDG report published last year.

Furthermore, they embrace the TCFD (Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures) framework and eagerly anticipate implementing CSRD (Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive) and ESRS (Environmental and Social Reporting Standard). Kateřina emphasizes their proactive approach, “We have been assessing gaps long before the standards were finalized.” As industry standards continue to evolve, CEZ Group remains vigilant, closely monitoring ISSB (International Sustainability Standards Board) standards and emerging nature-related disclosure standards.

Kateřina proudly shares, “With the expectations of TNFD (Task Force on Nature-related Financial Disclosures) and now even TIFD (Task Force on Inequality-related Financial Disclosures), we are constantly evolving and improving our reporting standards, which are already very comprehensive and extensive.”

Green Ambitions in Motion

Of course, you cannot transparently communicate your vision and journey towards energy transformation without setting clear and measurable targets and metrics,” Kateřina asserts. At CEZ Group, sustainability is backed by concrete goals, prominently featured in VISION 2030—Clean Energy of Tomorrow. She highlights their resolute pledge to coal exit and the development of a low-emission generation portfolio.

Kateřina adds, “Our near-term targets were validated by SBTi last year and we have just learned that our long-term targets, especially the commitment to climate neutrality by 2040, were validated as well.” Transparency is at the heart of their strategy, with annual strategy and target reviews and comprehensive reporting of hundreds of data points.

Moreover, CEZ Group invites stakeholders to join them on this journey, offering accessible data through their online Data Library, providing historical trends and performance metrics adhering to international standards. These insights are available to all, ensuring their sustainability efforts are open and accountable to the world.


Kateřina passionately underscores the significance of energy security, stressing, “Security and stability of energy supply is critical for society.” Recent events, like the Russian invasion of Ukraine, have heightened the importance of a reliable energy foundation.

Yet, the transition to clean energy, encompassing renewables and nuclear sources, must be navigated with care to avoid social disruption. “If people suffer, the planet suffers,” she warns, emphasizing the imperative of a just transition.

CEZ Group’s devotion to clean energy is evident in its vision for 2030, with a strong focus on solar power. They’re fortifying the distribution grid for community-based shared generation and embracing digitalization for smart, cost-effective solutions.

Simultaneously, they’re pioneering small modular reactors and exploring cutting-edge technologies like hydrogen. As energy demands rise, they’re empowering customers with energy-saving solutions that reduce costs and carbon footprints.

Striking the Green Balance

Kateřina firmly believes in proactive adaptation, stating, “Honestly, we are not planning to adapt, we are adapting as we speak.” In today’s sustainability landscape, continuous adaptation is the key to survival for companies. Reacting to change isn’t enough—forward-thinking planning, risk mitigation and seizing opportunities are essential and CEZ Group embodies this philosophy.

While climate change and carbon footprint have long been topics of discussion, Kateřina observes a shifting focus and emerging challenges. “In the nearest future, I expect biodiversity and nature-positive challenges to gain prominence,” she notes, emphasizing the need to prioritize water issues.

Yet, she highlights an often-overlooked challenge—the social aspect. Kateřina passionately asserts, “The fastest way to a cleaner and better world is through combating poverty.” She underscores the interconnectedness of environmental and social issues and CEZ Group is committed to addressing both by ensuring access to basic services for disadvantaged communities. In her view, solving social challenges is pivotal to conquering environmental ones, and it’s a philosophy that guides CEZ’s sustainability efforts towards a brighter future.

Energizing Tomorrow

In the energy sector,” Kateřina envisions, “it is definitely energy accumulation, which can solve the intermittency problem of renewables, transition from natural gas to hydrogen and other eco-fuels, deployment of efficient small modular reactors, generation of heat from renewables and rise of decentralization and community solutions.”

Her hope extends to the emergence of new ideas and innovations that we cannot think of now. The future of energy holds the promise of transformative solutions that will shape a more sustainable world.