Essential Utilities Earns Spot on USA Today’s Climate Leaders List for Second Year

Essential Utilities

BRYN MAWR, PAEssential Utilities Inc. (NYSE: WTRG) has been named to USA Today’s list of America’s Climate Leaders for the second consecutive year. This recognition, compiled by USA Today and Statista, highlights U.S. companies that have made significant strides in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions over a two-year period.

Essential Utilities has shown notable progress between 2020 and 2022, following its earlier inclusion on Newsweek’s list of America’s Most Responsible Companies. In January 2021, the company announced an ambitious goal to cut Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 60% by 2035, using 2019 as a baseline.

The company aims to achieve this target through several key initiatives:

  • Renewable Energy Purchasing: Increasing the procurement of renewable energy sources.
  • Gas Pipeline Replacement: Replacing older, leak-prone pipelines to reduce emissions.
  • Methane Leak Detection and Repair: Using advanced technologies to quickly identify and fix methane leaks.

By the end of 2022, Essential had already reduced its Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 25% compared to the 2019 baseline. The company reports its progress biannually.

“One of Essential’s core commitments is to protect our planet while providing life-sustaining natural resources to our customers,” said Chris Franklin, Essential’s chairman and CEO. “Our investments in infrastructure, particularly gas pipeline replacement, are crucial to reducing our carbon footprint. We’re proud to be a leader in this space and look forward to reporting on progress toward the accomplishment of our goals.”

Most of Essential’s Scope 1 emissions come from its gas operations, with a large portion linked to fugitive methane leaks. To address this, the company employs a Long-Term Infrastructure Improvement Plan to replace 3,000 miles of aging pipelines with more durable, non-corrosive materials.

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Scope 2 emissions are associated with electricity use in water and wastewater treatment and distribution. Essential has reduced these emissions by minimizing energy consumption and transitioning operations in four states to nearly 100% renewable electricity.

Essential Utilities’ ongoing efforts reflect its dedication to environmental stewardship while maintaining reliable service to its customers.

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