The Values Behind Our ESG Commitment

by Ralph Izzo, Chairman, President and CEO at PSEG
Mar 3, 2021 11:00 AM ET

Originally published on LinkedIn

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, energy providers like PSEG have reinforced their roles as essential services by providing around-the-clock power and gas to millions of customers whose homes now serve double-duty as offices, classrooms and entertainment centers. Ensuring that every customer has access to the safe, reliable energy they rely on is a public trust – and one that we are proud to hold.

Even as we devote our attention to the immediate crisis of the pandemic, PSEG remains intently focused on the long-term challenges of climate change. The impacts of our changing climate pose risks to our environment, our communities, our economy and our business.

For decades, our business strategy has considered not only how the effects of climate change might impact PSEG and its investors, but also how our business operations impact the world we live in, and how we can help all of our stakeholders manage its uncertainties.

How can PSEG, for example, reduce our collective impact on the climate – whether by reducing our carbon emissions or helping our customers find ways to reduce their own? What policies should we pursue to help create a more sustainable workforce and more resilient communities? How does our company’s leadership influence our impact on the world around us?

Increasingly, investors and other stakeholders are focusing attention on such environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors as a way to better understand our organization’s management strategy and how our business operations impact the rapidly changing world we all share.

This makes the availability of ESG metrics ever more critical for not only our close followers — employees and investors — but also everyone in those states where we do business and the nation as a whole.

From the air we breathe to how we treat each other, we’re all connected. This makes PSEG’s approach to ESG matters, and that of our peers in energy, relevant and meaningful for everyone.

For these reasons and more, PSEG is committed to increasingly detailed and transparent ESG reporting, like that contained in our first-ever PSEG ESG Performance Report. The availability of ESG data must continue to evolve, and at the same as those issues it reflects, in order to meet the needs of business and stakeholders who make decisions in this era of constant change.

In our new report, you’ll find that some things changed rapidly – such as how PSEG was able to revise its human resources practices in a matter of weeks to give additional temporary time off to those struggling during pandemic. And how PSEG pivoted its philanthropy to support our communities with $5 million in COVID-19 related support and $1.5 million to organizations that address the racial injustice, inequality and human rights in communities of color.

Some changes have a longer time horizon. PSEG, which already has one of the lowest carbon emissions rates among the nation’s largest power producers, in 2020 announced its investment in New Jersey’s burgeoning offshore wind industry and received approval for PSE&G’s historic new energy efficiency program.

Even as we prioritize our performance on material issues, as measured by ESG metrics, PSEG understands that our primary concern must remain the values that are reflected in the data. ESG performance acts as a signal not only to conscientious investors, but also to potential employees and business partners who want to work with companies that share their values. Taking stock of our ESG profile allows us to examine and explore opportunities. As we evolve as a company, we will uphold the principles of a just transition, committed to a fair, equitable and transparent approach to human capital management grounded in treating people with dignity and respect.

Above all, the goal of PSEG’s ESG efforts is that our organization remains a positive force in the world. Such purposeful focus ensures that our company exists not only to provide a public service – in our case, to provide essential access to safe, reliable and clean energy – but also to benefit our customers, our communities, our workforce and our shareholders, with a bias toward equitable and ethical behavior.