Updated investor-focused ESG/sustainability reporting template released by EEI, AGA

Published on August 30, 2019 by Chris Galford

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An updated environmental, social, governance, and sustainability reporting template jointly developed by the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) and American Gas Association (AGA) was released on Thursday in an effort to further increase transparency and provide investors with a more comprehensive and uniform set of data.

What has changed in Version 2 of the ESG/sustainability template is the addition of more data: quantitative metrics for natural gas distribution companies from AGA and qualitative reporting elements for cybersecurity and natural gas sustainability.

It builds on an initiative launched in 2017, with an updated Version 1 of the ESG/sustainability template released in August 2018. Work on the latest version has been underway since November last year, when EEI and AGA partnered to provide the financial sector with more consistent ESG/sustainability data and natural gas information.

“The newest version of the EEI and AGA ESG/sustainability reporting template will continue to allow electric and natural gas companies to deliver the most reliable and transparent ESG/sustainability data,” Tom Kuhn, EEI President, said. “This robust, stakeholder-driven process identified clear ways to enhance the reporting template, and we are pleased to continue our partnership with AGA as we work to ensure we are meeting the needs of the investor community.”

The updated version of the template will be utilized by nearly all EEI member companies and most of AGA’s member companies by the end of the year. EEI represents all U.S. investor-owned electric companies providing power to more than 220 million residents and AGA represents upwards of 200 local energy companies delivering natural gas to more than 71 million.

“Natural gas utilities are making incredible strides reducing emissions and enhancing sustainability and this new version of our environmental, social, governance and sustainability reporting template is yet another way for our industry to demonstrate this progress,” Karen Harbert, AGA President and CEO, said. “These clear, consistent metrics are tailored to utility operations and provide the information that investors want to see.”

Members of the financial community said the organizations’ member companies are demonstrating a commitment to both transparency and continual improvement by adopting the new reporting template.

“As ESG disclosure continues to evolve from a ‘nice-to-have’ to a ‘must-have,’ EEI’s efforts to create a comprehensive reporting template and methodology that respond to the needs of both members and financial institutions are notable,” said Val Smith, global head of corporate sustainability at Citi.

The electric and gas industries continue to foster sustainability practices that benefit customers, shareowners and employees.

“Investors and other stakeholders view ESG and sustainability issues as important indicators of a company’s performance,” said Christine Martin, vice president of public affairs and sustainability for PPL Corporation and co-chair of EEI’s sustainability committee.

PPL’s participation in the development of the ESG/sustainability reporting template is a key part of the company’s disclosures along with its annual sustainability report, Climate Assessment Report, and other information, Martin added.