Covanta, a leader in sustainable materials management and a premier provider of environmental solutions benefitting businesses and communities across North America, announced the appointment of Tequila Smith as the company’s Chief Sustainability Officer, reporting to President and Chief Executive Officer Azeez Mohammed. Tequila succeeds Paul Gilman, who retired from Covanta last month after 14 years with the company.
Tequila joins Covanta after over two decades of working in a variety of roles with progressive scope and responsibility at Southern Company, Alabama Power Company and Georgia Power Company with hands-on senior leadership experience in helping industrial companies engage on issues of sustainability at both a corporate and community level. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Sustainability for Georgia Power Company, the largest subsidiary of Southern Company, one of the nation's largest generators of electricity. There, she led the implementation of Southern Company’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy. Prior to that role Tequila was Vice President of Charitable Giving as well as President of the Alabama Power Foundation and Director of Energy Services for Alabama Power Company. She was also the General Manager for Renewable Energy Operations at Southern Power.
“We are very pleased to welcome Tequila to the Covanta team,” said Azeez Mohammed, president and chief executive officer at Covanta. “She is a dynamic leader whose expertise will be invaluable as we seek to advance our sustainability performance initiatives within our expanding suite of services. Tequila will serve as a guiding light for the company as we look to further anchor our strategies around innovation and social impact.”
As Covanta’s new Chief Sustainability Officer, Tequila will be responsible for the repositioning and execution of Covanta’s sustainability strategy in accordance with the company’s recent acquisition by EQT, a purpose-driven global investment organization. Tequila will be focused on amplifying the company’s sustainability achievements through the strategic coordination of programs and initiatives through the lens of Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance impacts.
“I am proud to bring my experience to Covanta at such a pivotal time in the company’s history. I look forward to working with its talented and dedicated team to provide sustainable, socially-responsible and environmentally innovative materials management solutions to businesses and communities,” Tequila Smith said.
Tequila holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where she now sits on the board at the School of Engineering. She also holds board seats on the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, Stonehenge Capital Community Development and HudsonAlpha Foundation. She holds a Master of Arts in Communication Studies, specifically focused on organizational leadership from the University of Alabama.