Utility supplier Southern California Gas Co. has a plan to readily supply clean energy to its 21.8 million consumers.
The nation's largest gas distributor is focusing on further providing renewable natural gas derived from landfills, dairies and wastewater treatment facilities to several areas in Central and Southern California. The company's commitment to clean energy is reflected in its ASPIRE 2045 SoCalGas Sustainability Strategy.
Jawaad Malik, SoCalGas vice president of strategy and sustainability and chief environmental officer, summarized the plan of action, saying that "[the company's] sustainability strategy puts our environmental, social, and governance goals into action and is built on our core values of doing the right thing, championing people, and shaping the future. This will be an evolving strategy that we intend to build upon and use to hold ourselves accountable."
The strategy outlines the steps the company will enact to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045, invest $50 million throughout a period of five years into communities and advance diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in the workplace.
Five key focus areas are disclosed throughout the report:
1. Accelerating the Transition of Clean Energy
SoCalGas, in conjunction with various research partners, will provide $400 million for research and development of clean fuels and hydrogen technology and infrastructure by the end of 2025. The company has increasingly focused on hydrogen pilot projects and infrastructure adjustments to support the 2028 Olympics, eventually supporting a 20 percent hydrogen blend by 2030. It aims to "deliver 20% renewable natural gas to core customers by 2030."
2. Protecting the Climate and Improving Local Air Quality
Among the company's climate initiatives include the goal of exceeding state mandates to show a 20 percent reduction in fugitive methane emissions by 2025 and 40 percent by 2030. SoCalGas also aims to achieve net zero energy for 50 percent of its existing buildings by 2030 and transition its fleet to 100 percent zero emissions by 2035. By 2045, the goal is to achieve net zero for scopes 1, 2 and 3 GHG emissions.
3. Increasing Clean Energy Access and Affordability
SoCalGas plans to surpass state energy efficiency goals by 25 percent or more each year while increasing accessibility to energy programs for 90 percent or more of its low-income customers through enrollment and creation of new programs. Furthermore, the company will "manage gas procurement costs effectively for core customers and achieve top quartile of lowest average monthly residential bill compared to our top 50 peers nationwide every year."
4. Advancing a Diverse, Equitable and Inclusive Culture
The company's actions to enhance DEI within the workplace detail its plan to not only increase representation within the utility industry but to lead the industry in diversity leadership. SoCalGas says it not only will increase efforts in the workplace, but a $50 million investment to advance diverse and underserved communities will be implemented throughout the next five years.
5. Achieving World-Class Safety
Reflective of ESG goals seen throughout corporate America, SoCalGas will enhance workplace safety efforts. Emergency preparedness and incident response is on the company's radarw ith the goal of training 100 percent of its employees. Third-party pipeline construction contractors also must have a formal safety management system program as part of contract requirements starting 2023, according to the company. SoCalGas also detailed a commitment to achieve zero employee and contractor on-the-job fatalities each year.