EEI and AGA ESG Reporting Template - Version 2
At Eversource, we are proud to be recognized as one of the most responsible energy companies in the nation.
In addition to our comprehensive Eversource 2019 Sustainability Report, we have been a leader within our trade groups, the Edison Electric Institute and the American Gas Association, working to create standardized environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosures across our industry. In 2017, the nation’s electric companies adopted a common set of ESG disclosures, and in 2018, natural gas companies similarly adopted a common set of qualitive and quantitative ESG disclosures as set forth here.
Our commitment to sustainability is an important component of our vision for our business today and the future. It is also highly supportive of the long-term environmental goals of the region where states are seeking to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by at least 80 percent by 2050. Our electric, gas and water companies strive to protect the environment while providing the best solutions for our customers and the communities we serve.
ESG initiatives are integrated into the policies and principles that govern our company and reflect our commitment to sustainable growth. Sustainability is embedded into our governance processes and board-level oversight of ESG is reflected in many of the financial, operational and sustainability/ESG accomplishments each year.
We are committed to top-tier reliability, superior customer service, effective corporate governance, expanding energy options for our region, environmental stewardship, and providing transparency and clarity about our position and our performance on these and other topics.
Overall board-level responsibility for ESG oversight is with the Eversource parent company Board of Trustees, with its standing Board Committees also actively participating and include ESG implications and considerations as part of both the Board’s and the Committees’ oversight activities and responsibilities.
With respect to management oversight, our Senior Vice President, Communications, External Affairs and Sustainability oversees a team of employees who engage with operational and business partners to develop and manage strategic priorities, oversee GHG emission reduction initiatives, set sustainability goals and coordinate sustainability reporting. Our sustainability team meets regularly throughout the year to assess current practices and identify improvement opportunities.
One of the principal ways by which ESG governance is carried out is by the integration of ESG into our overall risk management process. The Board of Trustees, both as a whole and through its committees, is responsible for the oversight of the company’s risk management processes and programs. Our Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) program applies a well-defined enterprise-wide methodology to allow our Risk Committee, comprised of senior officers of the company, to identify, categorize, prioritize, and mitigate the principal risks to the company. The ERM program is integrated with other assurance functions throughout the company, including compliance, auditing and insurance, to ensure appropriate coverage of risks that could impact the company and has high management visibility.
In addition to known risks, the ERM program identifies emerging risks to the company—including those related to ESG—through participation in industry groups, discussions with management and in consultation with outside advisers. Our management then analyzes risks to determine materiality, likelihood and impact, and develops mitigation strategies. Management broadly considers our business model, the utility industry, the global economy, climate change, sustainability and the current political and economic environment to identify risks. The findings of this process are discussed with the Finance Committee and the full Board, including reporting on an individual risk-by-risk basis on how these issues are being measured and managed.
We actively engage with ESG investors and have published A Sustainable Investment Opportunity presentation specifically to respond to their areas of interest. More than 180 ESG funds that regularly screen for ESG factors include Eversource shares in their portfolios, a figure that has grown by about 110 percent since 2015.
Commitment to Environmental Sustainability and Carbon Neutrality
Eversource’s commitment underscores our environmental priorities and highlights our role as a key catalyst for clean energy focusing on climate leadership, clean energy, accountability and stewardship.
As a centerpiece of our environmental commitment, we’re dedicating ourselves to an ambitious target to be carbon neutral in our operations by 2030 and help our customers and our region reduce their carbon footprint. We will achieve this while supporting regional economic growth and without compromising the safe, reliable, affordable service we provide to approximately 4.3 million customers.
How We’ll Get There
- Reduce line losses in the electric transmission and distribution system
- Reduce our own energy use by improving the efficiency of our facilities
- Reduce vehicle emissions from our fleet
- Upgrade our natural gas distribution system to improve safety and reduce methane leaks
- Reduce sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) in our electrical gas-insulated substations and switchgear
- Increase investments in renewable generation that will further reduce the carbon footprint of our operations
- Offset the remaining unavoidable emissions
Progress on Our Goal
We continue to see a decrease in our GHG emissions, with a reduction of 19% between 2018 and 2019 and a 36% reduction over the last five years. We are committed to making further progress as we strive to achieve our newly established carbon neutrality goal by 2030.
Impacts on the Region
- We’re recognized by third-party raters such as the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) as the #1 utility in the nation for energy efficiency programs
- We’re driving the adoption of alternative vehicle fuels and the development of electric vehicle-charging networks
- We’re developing innovative battery storage projects that reduce the need for fossil fuel-powered generation and new transmission facilities while improving power quality and reliability
Implementing Strategies to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
The carbon intensity of the New England electrical grid is among the lowest in the country and is continuously supported by state reduction goals in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Each state is a member of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and has its own carbon goal or action plan to reduce GHG emissions, and we work with our regulators to contribute to targeted reductions.
by 2020 (CT, MA) & 2025 (NH)
||10% below 1990 level
||80% below 2001 level/net zero for the electric sector by 2040
||25% below 1990 level
||Net zero and at least 85% below 1990 level
|20% below 1990 level
||80% below 1990 level
* Recommendation of the New Hampshire Climate Change Policy Taskforce.
Our strategies focus on reducing our own emissions, helping our customers reduce their energy use, and supporting our region to facilitate achievement of state GHG reduction targets.
Energy efficiency is one of the most effective ways to save money, create jobs, reduce GHG emissions and enhance energy security. Eversource is consistently recognized as a leader in energy efficiency by national industry organizations. We take great pride in designing and delivering solutions that are emulated by others across the country. Our energy efficiency portfolio reflects and responds to the way our customers live and use energy today and takes a multi-year approach that enables us to help customers plan for the future.
Eversource is the number one energy efficiency provider in the nation, according to Ceres’ report, “Benchmarking Utility Clean Energy.” The ACEEE 2019 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard ranked Massachusetts first in the nation for the ninth year in a row, and Connecticut ranked sixth. ACEEE also ranked Eversource first in its 2020 Utility Energy Efficiency Scorecard.
We invested more than $500 million in 2019 alone to help customers save about over 900,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) and over 8 million therms and reduce their energy costs by nearly $200 million per year. Decoupled distribution rates and financial incentives awarded based on the effectiveness of our energy efficiency programs provide us with financial stability.
Methane Emissions Reduction Through Gas Main Replacement Programs
In 2016, Eversource, along with almost 40 other American Gas Association (AGA) members, became a founding member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s STAR Methane Challenge Program.
Eversource has set a goal to go beyond our Methane Challenge program commitment to achieve a 14.5% reduction in miles of bare steel and cast-iron main from a 2017 baseline by 2020. As of the end of 2019, we have replaced 10.7% of the bare steel and cast-iron mains across our system and we are on track to achieve the baseline reduction of 14.5% by the end of 2020. Since 2016, methane emissions have declined by more than 14%.
SF6 Reduction Goal
In 2018, we set a voluntary goal to limit our annual SF6 emission rate to 2% across all three states where we operate, including Connecticut and New Hampshire, which do not currently have SF6 regulatory limits. We reached our goal in 2018 and 2019 and are confident we will achieve that goal in upcoming years.
Eversource is committed to reducing emissions from the transportation sector by evaluating and implementing strategic upgrades to our fleet. Our fleet consists of approximately 5,400 vehicles, including light-duty trucks for meter readers and bucket trucks for line workers. As part of our goal to be carbon neutral by 2030, we have developed innovative projects and targets to drive emission reductions across the company.
Fleet targets include:
- Replace 100% of our overhead trucks with plug-in hybrid electric vehicles by 2030
- Pilot demonstration technology focused on electrification of heavy- and medium-duty vehicles that will be expanded pending results of pilots
- Replace 50% of all fleet vehicles with hybrid electric vehicles (including some plug-ins) by 2030
Along with other utility members of the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), we have pledged to commit 5% of our annual fleet spend on plug-in electric technologies. We have historically exceeded our commitment and in 2019 and 2020-to date plug-in electric vehicle purchases represented approximately 38% of our lifecycle investment plan.
Eversource facilities are strategically located throughout our service territory to ensure that we best serve our customers. Our operations have been consolidated for maximum efficiency, and as buildings and spaces are renovated, we strive to reduce our energy use through more efficient lighting and equipment, control system upgrades and optimal use of space. Facilities goals include:
- Retro-commissioning project at Eversource facilities to identify potential energy use reductions goals by assessing lighting controls, HVAC and other systems to maximize building efficiency
- Transitioning 50% of facility square footage to LED or other energy-efficient lighting as compared to a 2017 baseline which involves replacing existing lighting in more than two million square feet of facilities by 2020. We achieved this goal ahead of schedule with 51% of our facility square footage converted to LED lighting by the end of 2019
Eversource has established itself as a regional and national leader delivering innovative, forward-looking energy solutions. We are assisting Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire in meeting their environmental and clean energy goals, while also improving reliability and energy affordability. As part of its leadership, Eversource partners with like-minded companies and stakeholders to conduct our business in a responsible and sustainable way, providing the best solutions for our customers and the communities we serve.
Eversource is committed to help the states we serve in meeting their Renewable Portfolio Standards, which require a certain percentage of the states’ electricity supply to come from renewable sources.
Renewable Portfolio Standards In Place
* The Massachusetts 2025 target is an estimate because the MA Department of Energy Resources does not establish Class II renewable figures until a year before the compliance year.
As New England’s largest utility and a dedicated environmental steward, Eversource is committed to bringing more clean, affordable and sustainable energy to the Northeast.
Wind: Through our partnership with Ørsted, we are one of the nation’s leading developers of offshore wind. Our partnership is consistent with Eversource’s strategy to be a catalyst for clean energy development in New England.
The partnership includes three offshore wind leases totaling 557 square miles located off the coast of southeast New England with the potential to produce at least 4,000 MW of offshore wind generating capacity. The partnership has been awarded three long-term contracts for key offshore wind assets in the Northeast including the following:
||South Fork Wind
|Size - megawatts (MW)
|Contracts in place
||20-year contract; NY
||20-year contracts; CT/RI
||25-year contract; NY
Solar: Eversource owns and operates 70 MW of solar generation that have the capacity to generate power for more than 11,000 homes. Additionally, Eversource customers have installed nearly 90,000 solar installations totaling about 1,570 MW.
Natural Gas: In addition to the capital investments to upgrade our natural gas distribution system at an accelerated pace, we are helping to reduce natural gas leaks, improve efficiency of the gas distribution system, lower carbon emissions and provide safe, reliable service to our customers. We are executing on the state of Connecticut’s initiatives that allow for the expansion of our natural gas distribution infrastructure.
Battery Storage: We are advancing innovative energy storage projects for our customers. Construction of our Provincetown, Massachusetts, first-in-the-nation community battery storage project, which will improve power quality and reliability for electric customers in communities on outer Cape Cod, began in June 2020 and is projected for completion in 2021. In addition, our energy storage facility on Martha’s Vineyard that offsets the utilization of diesel generators is under development. It is also expected to be completed in 2021.
Electric Vehicle (EV) Infrastructure: In November 2017, the Massachusetts DPU approved Eversource’s plan to invest $45 million in EV charging infrastructure throughout our service territory in the state. The five-year program, started in 2018, will enable approximately 3,500 Level 2 and DC Fast Charger ports at publicly accessible locations, of which 10% will be in environmental justice communities. The program will increase the number of EV chargers in Massachusetts by 255%, enabling more than 22,000 EVs at its completion.
We hold ourselves accountable for the impact our business has on the environment, meeting, and in many cases exceeding, all environmental laws and regulatory commitments and requirements. We actively work with customers, community members, environmental groups, regulatory agencies, and civic and business partners to promote transparent operations. Our employees, as well as vendors, suppliers, and contractors, are expected to adhere to all environmental laws as stated in our Code of Business Conduct, Supplier Code of Conduct and procurement process. We are committed to tracking and monitoring our progress via a set of metrics, which receive regular executive leadership review.
We publicly report our emissions and sustainability efforts through a variety of frameworks, including CDP. We were among the first companies in the country to use standardized reporting templates developed by EEI and the AGA.
We value our native resources and take great care to manage our natural and cultural resources in a way that promotes conservation and environmental stewardship. We strive to foster the long-term vitality of the land we manage, such as the nearly 1,000 acres of land held by the Eversource Land Trust which was created to promote the preservation of open space.
Our rights-of-way maintenance practices promote diverse native habitats and help to sustain several rare, threatened and endangered species. We develop best management practices for species protection and hold specialized training for our vendors to protect sensitive resources in our rights-of-way. Our partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation works to restore and sustain healthy forests and rivers in New England. We partner with state Historic Preservation and Tribal Historic Preservation offices to identify and protect cultural resources of significance during construction projects.
Eversource devotes substantial resources to protecting our cyber and operational assets. Simultaneously, the Board of Trustees and its Committees provide focused attention to cyber and system security. At the Board and Committee level, comprehensive cyber security reports are provided and discussed at each meeting of the Finance Committee, which has primary responsibility for cyber and security oversight at the Committee level. These reports are provided to all members of the Board and discussed by the Board at the time the Finance Committee Chair reports on the Committee’s meetings. The reports focus on the Company’s most critical assets, describe cyber security drills and exercises, any attempted breaches, and mitigation strategies, including insurance. In addition, assessments by third-party experts of cyber and physical security risks to the utility industry and the Company in particular, are provided periodically.
At Eversource, our shared commitment to “Safety First and Always” is a principle and a mindset we weave into the fabric of every job and every task – whether in the field or in the office. A priority at Eversource is continuous improvement and Safety is at the forefront as we continue to build a strong safety culture, embrace new technologies, and learn with our industry and community partners to improve safety performance. Our safety record remained strong, with performance in the top tier of the industry.
Eversource continues our leadership role within EEI to improve contractor safety performance, including membership on the Occupational Safety and Health Executive Advisory Committee which oversaw efforts to create an industry-wide Serious Injury or Fatality (SIF) precursor standard and engaged with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration on industry concerns. We joined the Construction Safety Research Alliance which is a joint utility, construction and general industry task force that is developing a predictive analytic tool that will help us identify risk factors for projects that could lead to SIF events.
Eversource recognizes that an engaged workforce is critical to our mission of delivering reliable energy and a superior customer experience. Leaders at all levels strive to create a workplace where our employees advocate for the customer, work collaboratively, raise ideas for improvement and focus on delivering a superior customer experience. We build employee engagement through continuous communication, developing talent, fostering teamwork and creating a diverse, inclusive workplace.
A diverse workforce and inclusive culture contribute to our success and sustainability by driving innovation and creating trusted relationships with employees, customers, suppliers and community partners.
Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) at Eversource is directly aligned with our corporate mission and business objectives to:
- Attract, develop and retain a diverse workforce that enables us to work together to meet the changing needs of the customers we serve, to deliver reliable energy and superior customer service
- Create one inclusive workplace, where all employees, customers and stakeholders are respected and valued
- Leverage the talent, unique perspectives, cultural and life experiences of every employee to ensure our continued success
Eversource’s executive leadership team, led by the CEO, promotes and supports D&I by building diverse, inclusive work teams with high engagement — growing a pipeline of diverse talent, leveraging multiple perspectives to improve customer service, using diverse suppliers, engaging with multicultural organizations in our communities and supporting the work of the D&I state councils and Business Resource Groups. Human Resources works closely with Eversource’s executive leadership team to develop and implement D&I goals and drive accountability for D&I progress throughout the company. Eversource's Board of Trustees is committed to diversity and inclusion and receives regular monthly progress updates.
We encourage you to read our Eversource 2019 Sustainability Report to learn more about our sustainability efforts, including our strong corporate governance, financial performance, and environmental stewardship, as well as how we serve our customers, improve reliability and support our communities.