Southern Company issues update on progress toward net zero emissions

Published on September 23, 2020 by Dave Kovaleski

© Shutterstock

The Southern Company issued an update on its progress toward its goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

The report – called the Implementation and Action Toward Net Zero — provides details on the company’s plan to decarbonize.

“I continue to be confident that we are prepared and well-positioned to meet the needs of our customers, employees, communities, and investors well into the future and will succeed in this transition,” Tom Fanning, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Southern Company, said.

In May of last year, the company updated its long-term greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction goal to net zero emissions by 2050. It had made tremendous progress on its previous goal of a 50 percent reduction by 2030.

“In 2018, we were one of the first U.S. utilities to set bold, industry-leading goal to reduce carbon emissions,” Fanning said. “Since that time, the discourse around decarbonization efforts in the U.S. and beyond has evolved to incorporate concepts related to negative carbon technologies. This report reflects this evolution and shows the significant progress we have made toward our goals and our plan to get to a net zero future.”

To achieve the net zero goal, the company will pursue a diverse energy resource portfolio while focusing on technologies that lower GHG emissions. It will also engage with policymakers, stakeholders, customers, and communities to support outcomes that lead to a net zero future.

“While environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues have received increasing attention by investors over the past few years, at Southern Company, these issues have always received the heightened attention they deserve. For us, focus on ESG issues, and their alignment with long-term strategy and value creation is about far more than decarbonization. It goes to putting customers at the center of everything we do, building a sustainable workforce, and making sure that the communities we serve are better off because we’re there,” Fanning said. “This approach is embedded in our values and our DNA, and we know that it is the right way to drive long-term performance.”