Essential Utilities Publishes 2019 ESG Report
Interactive microsite shares environmental, social and governance efforts
“Financial performance is only one measurement of a company’s strength,” said
Essential’s report reflects the efforts the company has taken to build a strong ESG platform. The report includes data from the 2019 calendar year and highlights achievements including:
Aqua, Essential’s water and wastewater division, achieved a 7x outperformance of the national average on drinking water compliance.1 Essential made an ambitious pledge to address the important issue of poly-fluoro alkyl substances or PFAS contamination in drinking water by setting a company-wide standard of 13 parts per trillion (ppt), well below the EPA’s non-enforceable health advisory level of 70ppt. PFAS are contaminants of emerging concern in communities across the country where groundwater is believed to have been impacted by nearby military bases or other causes. A state-of-the-art lab that is accredited and certified to test for PFAS is also being constructed and will open in early 2021.
Essential will be sourcing 100% of our electric power from renewables by 2022 for our water and wastewater operations in
Illinois, New Jersey, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. We have also entered into a purchase power agreement to source 25% of our electricity from solar power for our Texasoperations. Essential will increase its water and wastewater utility’s total energy derived from renewables to 60% in 2022 from around 5% at start of 2020. We also continue to make efficiency gains that have reduced the energy intensity of our operations.
Essential is proud to receive the
Advancing Women CompanyAward from the Forum of Executive Women in recognition of a workplace where women can thrive, succeed and have a voice. We were also named a Winning “W” Company by 2020 Women on Boards in recognition of one-third of our board seats held by women. Essential has made great strides providing a workplace where all feel welcome and treated fairly, including diverse recruitment tactics, employee resource groups, and unconscious bias workshops for employees.
- In 2019, we saw the strongest employee safety record across numerous metrics in the history of our water and wastewater business. The safety of Essential employees, customers, and communities is the foundation of our business and what guides all our employees’ actions. Essential continues to invest in safety improvements, implement policies and procedures guided by best practices, and develop technical training and guidelines for our employees.
The foundation of ESG at Essential has been underway for a number of years. The ESG report replaces the company’s biannually published corporate social responsibility report. Essential has also completed the CDP (formerly the
A strong environmental focus will also be applied to Peoples, Essential’s natural gas division acquired in
“Essential’s ESG report shows where we are today,” continued Franklin. “It will also guide our work in accelerating and advancing our efforts and projects. ESG is an important part of telling our entire story to the investment community, the general public and all interested audiences. A strong commitment to these principles is at the root of both the water and gas divisions of Essential. We will to continue to innovate and transparently share our progress on ESG for both sides of the business going forward.”
Essential’s ESG report is available at esg.essential.co.
This release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, among others: the company’s ability to receive governmental approval of the transactions and to successfully close the acquisitions. There are important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements including: general economic business conditions; the receipt of governmental approvals; the successful closing of the acquisitions; the successful integration of the customers and the facilities; successful donation efforts to organizations; effects of pandemics or other widespread health problems; and other factors discussed in our Annual Report on Form 10-K, which is on file with the
1 Measured as the percentage of community water systems with health-based (Tier 1 and Tier 2) violations