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Essential Utilities announced today progress made toward its sustainability commitments announced in January 2021, as well as two more donations from the Essential Foundation to nonprofits focused on sustainability in the southeastern Pennsylvania area.
Essential is pleased to report that it has successfully achieved a 3% reduction of Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions, as of December 2020. The organization is confident in its ability to meet its 2035 goal to reduce such greenhouse gas emissions by 60% from its 2019 baseline. This 60% reduction is roughly equivalent to removing 76,000 cars from the road each year.
"Our obligation to uphold these ESG initiatives drives us to continue exploring sustainable and productive approaches to business," said John Catalano, Essential’s ESG Manager. "We’re confident that our environmental commitments coupled with our team’s passion for providing exceptional service and resources to our customers has Essential on a constructive path for advancement."
Essential is also on schedule to source 100% renewable electricity, via certified wind power credits, for its Aqua water and wastewater operations in Illinois, New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania by early 2022. Switching to renewable energy options throughout Aqua’s footprint will help drive the progress toward the company’s emissions reduction target.
In addition to progress made surrounding Essential’s ESG commitments, the Essential Foundation announced two donations to sustainability initiatives with nonprofit partners. The Foundation gave $75,000 to Schuylkill River Greenways for the Schuylkill River Restoration Fund, which funds grants to improve the quality and quantity of water in the Schuylkill River. It also provided $112,000 to the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society for the TreeVitalize Watersheds program, which provides grants to restore tree cover along streams and in other areas that benefit water quality in southeast Pennsylvania. Aqua’s Pennsylvania operations have partnered on TreeVitalize for over 15 years and have restored about 1,044 acres with native species by planting over 179,000 trees and shrubs.
"Sustaining and bettering the environment is a team effort," said Catalano. "To make an even greater impact in our communities, in addition to Essential’s own initiatives, we must also support local organizations who are working passionately toward similar sustainability goals. These two deserving nonprofits are perfect examples of just that as they work to improve water quality."
To keep up with Essential’s progress toward these ESG goals throughout the year, please click here.
Please refer to Essential’s award-winning ESG report at http://esg.essential.co for additional information. Essential plans to release a further expanded and updated report, inclusive of the company’s natural gas operations, in the coming months.
Essential is one of the largest publicly traded water, wastewater and natural gas providers in the U.S., serving approximately 5 million people across 10 states under the Aqua and Peoples brands. Essential is committed to excellence in proactive infrastructure investment, regulatory expertise, operational efficiency and environmental stewardship. The company recognizes the importance water and natural gas play in everyday life and is proud to deliver safe, reliable services that contribute to the quality of life in the communities it serves. For more information, visit http://www.essential.co.
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