PG&E Corporation environmental policy framework

As a supplier of energy to approximately five percent of Americans and more than 40 percent of Californians, we recognize that the choices we make about the way we produce and deliver our products and serve our customers can have a direct impact on the environment. We also believe that a healthy environment is necessary for the well-being and vitality of our customers, our employees, the communities we serve, and for society at large.

PG&E has pursued initiatives, implemented programs, and advocated for policies that raised the bar on environmental stewardship not only for our industry, but for U.S. industries in general. Projects that we have led or been part of have helped us, our customers and our communities save energy, reduce environmental impacts and deploy cutting-edge technologies. This includes preventing more than 135 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions from being released into the atmosphere through customer energy efficiency programs (electric and natural gas), conserving more than 140,000 acres of forest and watershed lands for future generations, helping our customers convert their fleets to low-emission vehicles – and doing the same for our own vehicle fleet – and facilitating the deployment and installation of the U.S.’s largest concentration of customer-owned, solar generation facilities.

These efforts and accomplishments form the basis of our actions and efforts going forward, as we strive to achieve even more.

Environmental commitment

At PG&E, we are committed to being an environmental leader and demonstrating this through our actions. We pledge to think creatively, work cooperatively and be results-oriented in our environmental stewardship efforts.

Environmental policy

Our Environmental Policy reflects our environmental commitment and challenges us to find ways to produce, deliver, and use energy as safely and sustainably as possible. It is our policy to:

  • Comply fully with the letter and spirit of all applicable environmental laws and regulations.
  • Maintain an environmental management system that: (1) fosters environmental excellence and innovation, (2) ensures that regular independent reviews of all environmental aspects of our business are conducted through a risk-informed process, (3) trains employees on applicable environmental requirements and the importance of environmental leadership to achieving our vision, and (4) strives for continuous improvement.
  • Lead by example and reduce our impact on the environment by delivering clean energy, building more sustainable and climate-resilient operations, and serving as responsible stewards of land, wildlife and cultural resources.
  • Proactively engage with our customers to help them use less energy and better manage their energy footprint.
  • Advocate for public policies that create greater environmental benefits while balancing the needs of our customers, communities and shareholders.
  • Partner with our stakeholders as we strive to meet our environmental commitment.
  • Publicly communicate our progress and performance.

Living up to our environmental commitment

To ensure that we are implementing our environmental policy effectively and achieving our overall commitment, we have established tangible goals and initiatives to monitor our environmental efforts and performance, and to help our employees translate this policy into their everyday actions. Examples of specific goals and initiatives are as follows:

  • To comply fully with the letter and spirit of all applicable environmental laws and regulations, PG&E will:
    • Provide all employees with a copy of our environmental commitment and policy.
    • Conduct regular, systematic reviews of facilities and projects using applicable environmental regulations.
    • Educate and train its employees and contractors on all of the environmental laws and regulations applicable to their work areas and provide them with the systems and tools to ensure compliance.
  • To seek opportunities to exceed current standards of environmental protection, including pollution prevention, climate protection, and habitat and species protection, PG&E will:
    • Account for the greenhouse gas emissions associated with its operations, and identify and pursue cost-effective options for reducing and/or avoiding the release of these emissions.

      Living up to our environmental commitment (PDF, 24 KB)
    • Foster development and deployment of clean and sustainable energy supply resources, and, as part of the planning process, screen these resources to minimize environmental and community impacts.
    • Develop and seek to implement habitat conservation plans throughout our Utility service area that will allow us to more effectively protect vulnerable species populations, while more efficiently maintaining our electric and natural gas infrastructure.
    • Implement an Avian Protection Plan for PG&E-owned facilities to reduce bird mortality and improve electric system reliability, working in cooperation with the federal and state resource agencies.
    • Work collaboratively for the recovery of threatened salmon and steelhead species.
    • Model and exemplify sound energy efficiency and energy conservation practices in the management of company-owned and company-controlled buildings.
    • Continue to pursue efforts to increase the use of recycled materials, reduce waste streams and water consumption, maintain high waste recycling rates, and minimize the amount of toxic and chemical substances used in our operations and maintenance activities.
    • Adopt procedures and systems at our facilities, and while undertaking construction and maintenance activities, to minimize impacts to water quality.
  • To lead efforts to craft and reform laws and regulations to create more effective policies and greater environmental benefits, PG&E will:
    • Continue to play a constructive and active role in the area of climate change and advocate for a national, market-based, mandatory program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a way that promotes technological innovation and the efficient use of natural resources.
    • Continue to work cooperatively with state and federal agencies and legislatures to promote aggressive energy efficiency standards for appliances, buildings, lighting, and other energy-consuming products and services.
    • Support cost-effective and pragmatic approaches to increase the use of alternative-fuel vehicles in commercial fleets, including our own.
    • Pursue opportunities to encourage policymakers to prioritize energy efficiency as an energy supply resource and to develop and implement regulatory structures and rate designs that encourage utilities to design and implement aggressive energy efficiency and demand response programs.
  • To improve management programs and standards that foster environmental excellence and innovation and reduce our impact on the environment, PG&E will:
    • Continue to enhance its existing environmental management system to facilitate compliance with all environmental laws and regulations, effectively mitigate risks, and identify and manage emerging environmental issues affecting PG&E.
    • Review and adopt “best practice” procedures and systems to ensure that our environmental programs are as effective as possible.
    • Continuously benchmark our systems, programs, procedures, and practices against other leading utilities to ensure top-level performance.
  • To ensure that regular independent reviews of all environmental aspects of our business are conducted through a risk-based audit plan and corrective action program, PG&E will:
    • Implement an annual risk-based audit plan.
    • Communicate results of the audits to senior management for action, and present audit findings to PG&E’s Board of Directors.
    • Maintain a leading corrective action program to ensure full and timely compliance.
  • To enhance our transparency with regard to environmental progress and performance and provide this information to the public, PG&E will:
    • Continue to share information on its climate change “footprint,” including reporting and registering its greenhouse gas emissions with the California Climate Action Registry and submitting information on the climate change risks and opportunities facing our business to the Carbon Disclosure Project, an international effort to coordinate disclosure of companies’ investment-related information on climate change.
    • Continue to issue and provide every employee with a copy of its Corporate Responsibility Report, which includes information on our environmental-related policies and actions, and environmental performance, including compliance, climate change, air emissions, resource consumption, and waste.
    • Undertake activities and initiatives to ensure that we are following “best practice” environmental reporting guidelines for our industry.
  • To maintain a constructive dialogue with our customers and stakeholders on environmental matters and seek out partnerships to achieve results more effectively and efficiently, PG&E will:
    • Continue to lead the industry in pioneering FERC’s new Integrated Licensing Process when relicensing our hydroelectric facilities; and seek collaborative solutions with stakeholders on key operational and environmental issues.
    • Continue its active participation in the U.S.-China Energy Efficiency Alliance, to help facilitate information exchange and best practice in energy efficiency.
    • Continue its active support of and participation in the Pacific Forest and Watershed Lands Stewardship Council, which is responsible for protecting and enhancing 140,000 acres of watershed lands in a way that provides environmental, recreational, and educational benefits for current and future generations.
    • Continue to support and work cooperatively with the California Clean Energy Fund to promote and commercialize clean energy and energy efficiency technologies.
    • Continue to partner with, and support through our philanthropic efforts, organizations that protect, restore, and enhance the environment.
    • Continue to partner with and support our customers and communities in achieving their sustainability and/or climate change goals.
    • Conduct our operations in a manner that is consistent with and promotes environmental justice principles, reinforced by the company’s Environmental Justice Policy and Procedure.

      Download PG&E Corporate Environmental Justice Policy (PDF, 168 KB).
  • To train all employees on applicable environmental requirements and the importance of environmental leadership to achieving our vision, and ensure that there is accountability for and recognition of actions, PG&E will:
    • Continue to include environmental protection as one of its core company values, and PG&E’s CEO and Senior Management will regularly discuss the importance of living these values with employees.
    • Continue to recognize achievements of environmental excellence and innovation of its employees through the Richard A. Clarke Environmental Leadership Award and other awards.
    • Incorporate environmental protection, performance, and leadership into employee performance expectations.

Environmental governance procedures

Once every quarter, PG&E's Utility Officer Committee sits as an Environmental Advisory Committee to recommend the strategic direction for the company’s environmental compliance and leadership activities, in accordance with the Environmental Policy Framework and Environmental Management System.

To support the mission of the Environmental Advisory Committee and to strive for continual improvement in our environmental performance:

  • PG&E’s Vice President for Corporate Environmental and Federal Affairs will coordinate regular updates to the Corporation’s Environmental Policy Framework to ensure that its goals and initiatives are both meaningful and timely. PG&E Corporation’s Environmental Policy Framework is intended to clearly articulate the company’s overall environmental commitment and policy for both PG&E employees and external stakeholders.
  • PG&E’s Vice President of Shared Services and Chief Procurement Officer will coordinate regular updates to the company's Environmental Management System, which is a comprehensive, systematic approach to managing our impacts on the environment and reducing potential environmental risks. PG&E’s Environmental Management System identifies the operational procedures the company has put into place to meet the goals of the Corporation’s Environmental Policy Framework.
  • The results of these concurrent and coordinated processes will be presented to and confirmed by PG&E’s Utility Officer Committee sitting as the Environmental Advisory Committee and the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of PG&E Corporation.