Environmental, Social & Governance Initiatives
At Eversource, we are proud to be recognized as one of the greenest energy companies in the nation.
Building on our key pillars of top tier financial performance, customer reliability and operational excellence, we are focusing on:
- Enhancing our customers’ experience by making it easier to do business with us.
- Supporting a diverse and engaged group of approximately 8,000 employees who are ready to deliver great service safely.
- Being the catalyst for clean energy development in New England to enhance our environmental stewardship.
- Being a leading partner in the communities we serve.
Our commitment to sustainability is an important component of our vision for how we conduct our business today and for future generations.
As a key catalyst for clean energy, we partner 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.
In December 2017, Aquarion Water Company became a wholly owned subsidiary of Eversource. Aquarion is focused on ensuring the continued delivery of high quality drinking water to customers through water conservation, energy efficiency, water system acquisitions, and sustainably managing lands and natural resources to protect and enhance water quality.
ESG Sustainability Governance
Environmental, social and governance initiatives are integrated into the policies and principles that govern our company and reflect our commitment to sustainable growth.
We are committed to reliability, effective corporate governance, expanding energy options for our region, and environmental stewardship. Our goal is to provide transparency and clarity about our position on these topics.
Sustainability reporting at Eversource is managed by a sustainability team, which is overseen by executive level management. Our team meets regularly throughout the year to assess current practices and identify improvement opportunities, and refine our strategy to reflect our environmental commitment, operational initiatives and standards. All operational and business disciplines are engaged in our sustainability reporting 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. In addition to known risks, ERM identifies emerging risks to the company 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. More details on our strong corporate governance program is available in the Corporate Governance section.
Eversource’s Commitment to Environmental Sustainability underscores our environmental priorities and highlights our role as a key catalyst for clean energy focusing on:
- Climate Leadership - We have developed meaningful strategies to reduce our carbon footprint.
- Clean Energy - Our commitment is to bring clean, affordable and sustainable energy to the region.
- Accountability - We meet and in many cases exceed environmental laws and regulatory commitments and requirements.
- Stewardship - We take great care to promote conservation and manage natural and cultural resources.
We actively engage with ESG investors and have published a slide presentation specifically to respond to their areas of interest. About 120 ESG funds include Eversource shares in their portfolios.
We have developed meaningful strategies to reduce our carbon footprint.
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 has its own carbon goal or action plan to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and we work with stakeholders in each agency to contribute to targeted reductions.
In 2017, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection passed additional regulations aimed at SF6 use and methane loss from distribution systems that will support the achievement of its targeted reductions in 2020. In 2018, Connecticut also passed an interim goal of a 45 percent reduction of GHGs by 2030.
||Targeted Reduction by
2020 (CT, MA) & 2025 (NH)
|Targeted Reduction by 2050
||10% below 1990 level
||80% below 2001 level
||25% below 1990 level
||80% below 1990 level
||20% below 1990 level
||80% below 1990 level
*Recommendation of the New Hampshire Climate Change Policy Taskforce
Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategies
Our strategies to support our region and facilitate achievement of state GHG reduction targets focus on four broad areas:
- Reducing customer energy use.
- Adding renewables to the energy mix both through generation or transmission expansion.
- Using electricity or natural gas for emerging end uses, such as transportation, displacing higher-emitting petroleum-based fuels.
- Expanding distribution of natural gas by assisting customers who wish to convert their space heating source from higher-emitting fuel oil to much cleaner burning natural gas.
Delivering clean, efficient energy is one of our primary goals. We work with our customers to improve their energy efficiency.
We invest approximately $500 million a year in energy efficiency and consider these investments the most economical way to reduce our region’s emissions and increase its competitiveness. Eversource’s recent rankings confirm the success of our programs.
Eversource is consistently recognized as a leader in energy efficiency by national industry organizations. The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) 2017 Utility Energy Efficiency Scorecard ranked Eversource in Massachusetts first and Eversource in Connecticut fourth among the 51 largest U.S. electric utilities, and Ceres’ 2016 report, “Benchmarking Utility Clean Energy Deployment,” ranked Eversource number one in energy efficiency among investor-owned utilities.
Decoupled distribution rates and financial incentives awarded based on the effectiveness of our energy efficiency programs provide us with financial stability.
As New England's largest utility and dedicated stewards for the environment, we are committed to bringing more clean, affordable and sustainable energy to the region.
- We are committed to bringing cleaner energy into the region through our proposed Northern Pass Transmission and Bay State Wind projects, which would significantly reduce the region’s carbon emissions. Northern Pass would import Canadian hydropower into New England through the construction of a 1,090 MW transmission line. Bay State Wind would construct at least 2,000 MW of offshore wind facilities south of Cape Cod.
- Eversource installed 8 MW of solar generation between 2010 and 2014. Our new program consists of 19 sites totaling an additional 62 MW. By the end of 2018, 17 sites will be fully operational, and the remainder will be complete by mid-2019. The project is estimated to save nearly 32,000 metric tonnes of CO2e emissions per year. We are focused on improving the efficiency of our electric and gas distribution systems, preparing for the innovation and opportunity that clean energy advancements will create, and providing customers with ways to manage their energy use.
- We are focused on improving the efficiency of our electric and gas distribution systems, preparing for the innovation and opportunity that clean energy advancements will create, and providing customers with ways to manage their energy use.
Eversource is committed to help the states that we operate in meet Renewable Portfolio Standards, which require a certain percentage of the states’ electricity supply to come from renewable sources.
|Renewable Portfolio Standards in Place
Natural Gas Distribution Expansion
Connecticut’s 2013 Comprehensive Energy Strategy (CES) included recommendations in the areas of energy efficiency, industrial energy needs and electricity supply - including renewable power, natural gas, and transportation.
Within the 2013 CES, Connecticut’s leaders endorsed natural gas as the “fuel of choice” for the state - recognizing the emerging opportunity provided by shale gas for a lower-cost, cleaner, and domestically available fuel choice for residents and businesses.
Since 2013, the price differential between natural gas and oil has decreased, reducing demand for residential natural gas conversion. However, the updated 2018 CES reaffirms natural gas remains a cost-effective, cleaner fuel choice, and further states increased commercial and industrial demand is making up for most of the decreased residential demand.
Connecticut’s local distribution gas companies’ 2013 joint natural gas infrastructure plan will help reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 743,900 metric tonnes, for a 7 percent reduction of total emissions in Connecticut.
Actions to Reduce Our Carbon Footprint
Methane Reduction Through Gas Main Replacement Programs
In March 2016, Eversource and almost 40 other American Gas Association members became founding members of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s greenhouse gas emission reducing Natural Gas STAR Methane Challenge Program.
Through the program, the companies showcase their efforts to improve air quality by reducing bare steel and cast-iron mains at least 3 percent each year until 2021. In 2018, Eversource set a goal beyond our Methane Challenge program commitment to reduce 4.5 percent of miles of bare steel and cast-iron main in 2018, and achieve a 14.5 percent reduction from 2017 baseline by 2020.
We are committed to delivering natural gas safely, reliably and efficiently every day for use by our residential, commercial and industrial customers. Our top priority is the safety of the public, Eversource customers and our employees.
We have a comprehensive maintenance and inspection program, and an effective leak management program that exceeds the requirements of federal and state pipeline safety regulations.
Our leak survey program includes:
- Semi-Annual Surveys – High-pressure distribution lines and critical infrastructure pipes are surveyed for leaks twice a year. High-pressure lines are also patrolled an additional two times.
- Annual Surveys – In business districts, we conduct annual leak surveys over all gas distribution mains. Surveys are conducted from vehicles or on foot.
- Winter Surveys – When cold weather and frost are prevalent, we survey all cast-iron mains on a 10-day cycle. The surveys continue until warmer weather returns.
- Tri-Annual Surveys – Every three years, we survey pipelines exposed to the atmosphere, including company-owned piping inside customers’ buildings. We meet or exceed state or federal regulations, which require surveys every three years on some types of pipelines and every five years on others.
In accordance with federal regulations, we test and inspect gas meters and associated piping to monitor corrosion and detect potential leaks before they become a hazard.
Pressure on the gas distribution system is maintained by specialized equipment positioned in strategic locations throughout the system. At each location, additional over-pressure protection equipment monitors and limits pressure.
We also monitor system pressures 24/7 at our natural gas control centers.
Eversource is proud to be an industry leader in SF6 emissions reductions. Due to effective operational controls - including the careful management, handling and recordkeeping of SF6 and SF6 containing equipment - our SF6 emission rate is estimated to be less than 1 percent. This is almost 50 percent below the industry average of 1.9 percent.
In 2018, we set a voluntary goal of emitting less than 2 percent of nameplate capacity annually across all three states we operate in. We are confident we will achieve that goal.
Eversource is committed to reducing emissions coming from the transportation sector by evaluating and implementing strategic changes to our fleet.
Our fleet consists of approximately 5,200 vehicles, including light duty trucks for meter readers and bucket trucks for line workers. We have switched portions of our diesel equipment to operate on B5 and B20 biodiesel, an alternative fuel created by mixing diesel fuel and soybean oil and ethanol.
In 2017, we burned more than 825,000 gallons of biodiesel fuel, displacing approximately 124,000 gallons of diesel fuel resulting in a 1,269 metric tonnes CO2e emission reduction. We have set a goal to replace 45 percent of our fleet diesel use system-wide with biofuel blend in 2018.
We are further reducing our carbon footprint by installing 39 electric vehicle charging stations at our facilities and operating plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Along with other utility members of the Edison Electric Institute, we have pledged to commit 5 percent of our annual fleet spend on plug-in electric technologies. This began in 2015. In 2017 we exceeded our goal with 5.15 percent of fleet spend going to plug-in electric technologies.
We have 106 compressed natural gas (CNG) powered vehicles across our service territory. In 2017 the compressed natural gas (a liquid) used to power the vehicles was equivalent to the energy created by 19,508 gallons of gasoline, thus avoiding 36 metric tonnes of CO2e emissions.
Eversource owns seven natural gas vehicle refueling compressor stations that are used by our corporate fleet.
Eversource has many facilities throughout our territory to ensure that we are strategically located to best serve our customers. As our operations have been consolidated for maximum efficiency, with many underutilized facilities having been sold and/or leased to other entities.
As buildings and spaces are renovated, we seek opportunities to reduce our energy use through energy efficient lighting and equipment, control system upgrades and optimum use of space.
Our goals include transitioning 50 percent of our facility square footage to LED or energy-efficient lighting by 2020 from a 2017 baseline.
Eversource provides investors with:
- Attractive earnings growth.
- Upper tier dividend growth.
- Very strong financial condition.
- Highest S&P corporate credit ratings among our industry peers.
Our future earnings growth is driven in part from implementing progressive state policies on reducing energy use and emissions, and accelerating adoption of clean technology.
Our strong financial condition and best-in-industry credit ratings provide important access to the capital markets to support the substantial investment in our distribution and transmission infrastructure.
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.
We are a successful organization only if our employees go home safely every day, which is why we are proud of our safety and health record at Eversource.
In 2017, we achieved our best safety performance ever by achieving first quartile Days Away Restricted or Transferred (DART) incident rate performance and approaching first decile Lost Time Incident (LTI) case rate performance.
This performance was achieved by increasing active engagement of all levels of management to improve the safety culture of the entire Eversource community. We are cultivating an environment of improved transparency, trust, accountability and shared responsibility for safety for electric and natural gas operations in all three states and among the union leadership.
This strategy has enabled safety leadership and key safety initiatives to strengthen our safety culture of continuous improvement resulting in outstanding safety performance across Eversource.
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.
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:
- Attract, develop and retain a diverse workforce that enables us to work together to meet the changing needs of the customers we serve and deliver reliable energy and superior customer service;
- Create one inclusive workplace where all employees, customers and stakeholders are respected and valued; and
- Leverage the talent, unique perspectives, cultural and life experiences of every employee to ensure our continued success.
Eversource has enhanced its D&I strategic plan, direction and goals to further facilitate an inclusive culture and implement additional D&I initiatives in support of business priorities.
Human Resources works closely with Eversource’s executive team to develop and implement D&I goals and drive accountability for D&I progress throughout the company. Eversource's CEO and Board of Trustees is committed to diversity and inclusion, receiving monthly progress updates.
We encourage you to read our Eversource 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.