PG&E Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Report 2020

Plan of Reorganization Commitments

Buildings and Facilities

Through sustainable design, increasing the efficiency of our energy and water usage, and eliminating waste, we are continually working to reduce the environmental footprint of our buildings and facilities. Our efforts also rely on the participation of our employees, who help us reach our goals.

Our Approach

Energy, Water and Waste

We continue to execute a multifaceted strategy to invest in key facility improvements, engage employees and incorporate sustainability principles and continuous improvement into our real estate management.

In 2019, we worked to use energy and water more efficiently and divert landfill waste from our office facilities and service yards. We also remained focused on building a more sustainable supply chain through environmentally preferable product choices and procurement strategies. We also powered our service centers—about 95 facilities in Northern and Central California—with 100 percent solar energy through Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s Solar Choice program.

Hazardous and Other Waste

As part of our course of business, certain activities generate hazardous wastes. Waste is also generated during the remediation and cleanup of legacy sites.

PG&E handles all hazardous waste in accordance with federal and state regulations. Our approach includes providing training and guidance to employees to ensure waste is properly managed from the point of generation to recycling or disposal.

Applicable federal and state hazardous waste management statutes include the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and the Toxic Substances Control Act under federal requirements and Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations and the California Health and Safety Code. California laws and regulations are more stringent and encompass broader waste streams than federal requirements.

2019 Milestones

In 2019, we continued to operate and maintain our facilities using sustainable practices. Compared to 2018, aggregated energy use intensity decreased by 8 percent and water usage increased slightly by 2 percent. The results reflect continued efforts to execute in several strategic areas to improve facility sustainability performance:

  • Earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification for our Auburn Regional Service Center, a 15-acre site with more than 200,000 square feet in six buildings. The two renovations and four new buildings are equipped with energy efficient HVAC systems, LED lighting, electric vehicle charging stations, native plant landscaping with drip system, PV solar and fixtures.
  • Received LEED Silver certification for our Livermore Electric Safety Academy’s main building, an approximately 20,000 square foot facility with many similar energy efficient features as Auburn, including drought tolerant landscaping with weather sensor irrigation equipment. We also submitted a LEED application, targeting Gold certification, for the new Substation Training Center building at the same Livermore facility, and anticipate confirmation in 2020.
  • Expanded our use of on-site renewable energy by completing the installation of solar photovoltaic systems at five different facilities: 412-kW at Merced Service Center, 350-kW at Auburn Regional Center, 145-kW at Lemoore Service Center, 167-kW at Fresno Service Center and 356-kW at Livermore Electric Safety Academy. These new installations represent an increased electricity production of approximately 2.2 million kWh per year. Plans to complete new solar projects are in progress at two other facilities in 2020, which will add more than 1,000 kW to our solar portfolio.

Measuring Progress

Energy Consumption Statistics

These figures represent electricity and natural gas usage at facilities managed by Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s Corporate Real Estate Strategy and Services department.

Energy Consumed at Facilities Footnote 1
2017 2018 2019
Electricity Consumed (gigawatt hours) 93 89 80
Natural Gas Consumed (million cubic feet) 136 136 133
Energy Intensity (million BTUs per square foot) Footnote 2 61 57 53
  • 1. The data reflects the 12-month period from December to November. Between 176 and 189 sites reported electricity data for 2017 to 2019 and between 118 to 136 sites reported natural gas data between 2017 and 2019.1
  • 2. Figures are reported in the industry standard of KBTU per square foot, which incorporates all the energy used in a facility into one comparative figure.2

Water Use Statistics

In 2019, we tracked water use throughout the year. Please see the Water section for additional statistics on PG&E’s water usage.

Water Consumed at Facilities Footnote 1
2017 2018 2019
Water Consumed (gallons) 123,419,216 121,447,269 124,244,405
Water Intensity (gallons per square foot) 16.6 16.3 18.6
  • 1. The data represents all sites managed by Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s Corporate Real Estate Strategy and Services department where water was consumed, and data was available for the 12-month period from October to September. In 2019, 147 sites reported water data.1

Waste Generation Statistics

PG&E strives to minimize the overall amount of waste we generate, while composting organic waste and recycling non-hazardous materials such as glass, paper and certain metals.

Waste Diversion at Facilities Footnote 1
2017 2018 Footnote 2 2019
Total Waste Generated (tons) 27,255 21,604
Total Waste Diverted (tons) 21,411 16,427
Waste Diversion Rate 76.3% 76.0%
  • 1. The tonnage data reflects all of the non-hazardous municipal waste at 103 to 115 sites managed by PG&E’s Corporate Real Estate Strategy and Services department for the 12 months from October to September.1
  • 2. Data will become available during the 2020 reporting period.2

Other waste reduction efforts in 2019 included:

  • Recycling 32.6 million pounds of scrap iron, aluminum and copper from conductors, steel, meters, transformer oil and miscellaneous material. We recycled 19.7 million pounds of transformers; nearly 900,000 pounds of recovered meters; 154,000 pounds of HDPE plastic, including pipes and hard hats; 578,000 pounds of street-light fixtures; 2.1 million pounds of transformer oil; and 4.4 million pounds of miscellaneous materials such as glass and cardboard.
  • Recycling 87 tons of e-waste, including consumer electronic devices, CPUs, monitors, servers, printers and other equipment.
  • Recycling more than 330,000 pounds of steel from Humboldt Bay Power Plant and Diablo Canyon Power Plant.

Hazardous and Other Waste

The following table provides statistics on PG&E’s waste generation. While PG&E works to reduce hazardous waste, certain projects such as infrastructure upgrades or remediation of historical contamination may increase the amount generated in a given year.

Hazardous and Other Waste
2017 2018 2019
Total Hazardous Waste (tons) 31,051 35,756 30,307
RCRA Footnote 1 Hazardous Waste 1,820 2,286 2,676
TSCA Footnote 2 Hazardous Waste 513 411 337
California Regulated Hazardous Waste 28,718 33,059 27,294
Federal Regulated Hazardous Waste (TSCA)—includes PCB Waste ≥ 50 ppm PCB (tons)
Total 513 411 337
Incineration 127 116 231
Landfill 360 182 71
Recycled 26 114 35
% Recycled 5.1% 27.6% 11%
California Regulated Hazardous Waste (Non-RCRA) Footnote 3 (tons)
Total 28,718 33,059 27,294
Disposed 22,317 23,403 23,885
Recycled 6,401 9,656 3,408
% Recycled 22.3% 29.2% 12%
Other Waste
Universal Waste Footnote 4 (tons)
Total 179 177 168
Recycled 179 177 168
% Recycled 100% 100% 100%
Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposed (cubic feet)
Diablo Canyon Power Plant 647 609 516
Humboldt Bay Power Plant 714,836 213,170 6,239
Radioactively Cleared Waste Disposed (pounds)
Diablo Canyon Power Plant
Disposed (pounds) 185,014 199,184 137,427
Humboldt Bay Power Plant
Disposed (pounds) 13,148,362 42,669,730 18,173,850
Recycled Materials from Power Plants (pounds)
Diablo Canyon Power Plant
Steel 0 0 80,000
Copper 0 0 0
Lead 0 0 0
E-Waste 0 0 946
Humboldt Bay Power Plant
Steel 514,940 785,090 250,170
Copper 0 0 0
Lead 21,500 0 0
  • 1. Refers to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).1
  • 2. Refers to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).2
  • 3. These figures include polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) waste < 50 ppm PCB.3
  • 4. Universal waste is comprised of seven categories: electronic devices, batteries, electric lamps, equipment with mercury, cathode ray tubes, glass from cathode ray tubes, and non-empty aerosol cans.4

Air Emissions

To comply with local air quality regulations, PG&E is focused on minimizing air emissions from its conventional sources of power generation. The following figures reflect emissions from PG&E-owned generation sources.

Air Emissions Footnote 1
2017 2018 2019
Total NOX Emissions (tons) 155 134 135
Humboldt Bay Generating Station 31 23 29
Gateway Generating Station 78 67 64
Colusa Generating Station 45 44 42
NOX Emissions Rates (lbs/MWh)
Humboldt Bay Generating Station 0.15 0.12 0.14
Gateway Generating Station 0.06 0.05 0.05
Colusa Generating Station 0.04 0.03 0.03
Fossil Plants Footnote 2a 0.05 0.04 0.04
All Plants Footnote 3a 0.01 0.01 0.01
Total SO2 Emissions (tons) 14 15 14
Humboldt Bay Generating Station 1 1 1
Gateway Generating Station 7 8 7
Colusa Generating Station 6 6 6
SO2 Emissions Rates (lbs/MWh)
Humboldt Bay Generating Station 0.004 0.005 0.004
Gateway Generating Station 0.005 0.005 0.005
Colusa Generating Station 0.005 0.004 0.004
Fossil Plants Footnote 2b 0.005 0.005 0.004
All Plants Footnote 3b 0.001 0.001 0.001
Total Particulate Matter Emissions (tons) 94 90 97
Humboldt Bay Generating Station 50 39 47
Gateway Generating Station 20 21 20
Colusa Generating Station 25 30 30
Total CO Emissions (tons) 58 39 34
Humboldt Bay Generating Station 24 19 17
Gateway Generating Station 14 6 6
Colusa Generating Station 20 14 11
Total VOC Emissions (tons) 61 48 56
Humboldt Bay Generating Station 49 35 44
Gateway Generating Station 7 8 7
Colusa Generating Station 5 5 5
  • 1. Due to rounding conventions, some data above sum to an amount greater or less than the totals provided. Additionally, there were no reportable mercury air emissions from PG&E’s facilities during 2017 to 2019.1
  • 2. Collective emission rates for Humboldt Bay, Gateway and Colusa Generating Stations.2a, 2b
  • 3. Includes all PG&E-owned generation sources, including fossil fuels, nuclear, hydroelectric and renewable energy.3a, 3b