EEI launches environmental, social, governance and sustainability reporting template

Published on August 28, 2018 by Kevin Randolph

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The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) has launched its environmental, social, governance and sustainability-related (ESG/sustainability) reporting template to help its member electric companies provide more standardized ESG/sustainability information to investors and customers.

Developed over the past two years by EEI-led stakeholder working groups, the template provides information in a uniform and consistent format for investors and customers to accurately assess progress on long-term ESG/sustainability issues leading to a low-carbon energy economy.

“The electric power industry is leading the way to a clean energy future, having reduced carbon dioxide emissions nearly 27 percent below 2005 levels as of the end of 2017,” EEI President Tom Kuhn said. “EEI’s pilot ESG/sustainability reporting template had a high level of member participation and was well-received by investors, key stakeholders, and customers. The updated template will allow electric companies to present their ESG and sustainability-related efforts in an accurate, timely, and concise manner that is favored by investors.”

The template is designed to encourage voluntary reporting of ESG/sustainability information in quantitative and qualitative formats, EEI said. In the quantitative section, companies report information on their portfolios, emissions, capital expenditures and resources. Within the qualitative section, companies can provide details on their governance and strategy.

Marisa Buchanan, deputy global head of sustainable finance for JPMorgan Chase, said, “As ESG goes mainstream, the disclosure template will help lenders, investors, and EEI member companies engage on the most important ESG and sustainability matters for the electric power industry.”

Duke Energy was one company that participated in the initiative and utilized the pilot ESG/sustainability reporting template that EEI launched in December 2017.

“We’re committed to transparency and engagement with investors, customers and other stakeholders,” Mike Callahan, Duke Energy’s vice president of investor relations, said. “Our investors are increasingly focused on ESG and sustainability matters. We’re providing them with the information needed to better incorporate ESG into their investing strategies.”

In addition to publishing an ESG/sustainability template, Duke Energy also publishes an annual Sustainability Report that describes its efforts to advance energy efficiency, develop renewable energy and reduce emissions. Since 2005, Duke said its carbon dioxide emissions decreased by 31 percent, sulfur dioxide emissions dropped by 96 percent and nitrogen oxides emissions declined by 75 percent.

CenterPoint Energy also took part in working groups of electric company officials, finance sector specialists and buy-side and sell-side analysts that ultimately led to the crafting of Version 1 of the template.

“We recognize that key ESG-related issues are integral to our performance and are important for our investors and other stakeholders,” Scott M. Prochazka, president and CEO of CenterPoint Energy, said. “We believe the EEI ESG template complements the Corporate Responsibility Report we published earlier this year. Combined, these disclosures highlight our approaches on supporting environmental stewardship, enriching our communities and providing a safe, inclusive workplace.”

At Xcel Energy, measuring and reporting progress is viewed as essential to reaching the company’s clean energy goals.

“We’re a clean energy leader that has reduced carbon emissions 35 percent since 2005, and we’re on track to achieve 60 percent reduction or more by 2030,” said Ben Fowke, chairman, president and CEO, Xcel Energy. “Supporting this initiative to provide more consistent reporting across the industry demonstrates our commitment to transparency in meeting the information needs of our stakeholders.”

Many of the electric companies participating in Version 1 of the EEI ESG template will publish their 2017 data in the third quarter of 2018, EEI said.