Southern Company annual sustainability summary touts 46 percent greenhouse gas emissions reduction

Published on October 27, 2023 by Chris Galford

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Compared to 2007, Southern Company managed to cut its greenhouse gas emissions 46 percent by 2022, according to its latest annual sustainability summary report.

Additionally, the company reportedly emphasized investments into reliability and resilience measures for both the grid and pipeline systems, coupled with $120 million in funding for community investment. Compared to 2021, the company’s use of coal also dropped another percentage, to 20 percent of its overall portfolio, while natural gas picked up another 2 percent, to the largest share: 50 percent. Compared to 2007, that change is even more significant, given that back then, their roles were nearly inverted: coal held a 69 percent share, while natural gas made up just 16 percent.

Renewables, when coupled with nuclear power, now make up the remaining 30 percent of the company’s energy portfolio.

“Southern Company and our subsidiaries remain committed to serving customers with clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy,” Chris Womack, CEO and president of Southern Company, said. “For our company, sustainability means effectively engaging with a broad range of stakeholders to develop strategic solutions that will enable our transition to a new energy economy. Our sustainability pillars reflect the work that we are doing across the company and in our communities to create long-term value. We have worked diligently through our state regulatory processes and with customer groups, communities, policymakers and other stakeholders to develop customer-focused plans that are allowing us to prudently invest in new infrastructure, reduce environmental impacts and support our communities. This important work would not be possible without what I believe to be one of the best workforces in America.”

The report covered Southern and seven subsidiaries, spanning 9 million customers in total: Alabama Power, Georgia Power, Mississippi Power, Southern Company Gas, Southern Power, Southern Nuclear and Southern Company Services. As one, they have cut emissions by 72 million metric tons since 2007, to a running total of 85 million last year. They still hope to achieve net zero emissions by 2050

In the same sphere, the companies have also converted 21 percent of their light-duty fleet vehicle electrification to electric.