MERRILLVILLE, Ind., Nov. 18, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI) was named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) - North America in recognition of the company's sustainable business practices and performance for the seventh consecutive year. NiSource is one of seven U.S. utility companies on the 2020 list.
The ranking is based on environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria and reflects advancements NiSource continues to make in its sustainability strategy which includes aggressive reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, safety enhancements and executing against more than $40 billion of long-term safety, asset modernization and renewable energy investment opportunities.
"NiSource is honored to once again be included on this international benchmark for sustainable business practices," said NiSource President and CEO Joe Hamrock. "We're focused on ESG principles as we run our business. Our ongoing investments in renewable electric generation and safety and asset modernization are expected to drive us toward a 90 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, and enhance the safety and reliability of our systems for our customers and communities. We're also transforming our organization to help enable these investments, build our capabilities and maintain affordability for our customers, and we're actively pursuing plans to further strengthen our culture of diversity, equity and inclusion."
"We congratulate NiSource for being included in the DJSI North America," said Manjit Jus, global head of ESG research and data for S&P Global, which publishes the index. "A DJSI distinction is a reflection of being a sustainability leader in your industry. With a record number of companies participating in the 2020 Corporate Sustainability Assessment and more stringent rules for inclusion this year, this sets your company apart and rewards your continued commitment to people and planet."
Recent NiSource Sustainability Progress
NiSource continues to achieve sustainability milestones, including significant progress in its plan to retire 80% of its remaining coal-fired electric generation by 2023 and all coal generation by 2028, to be replaced by lower cost, reliable and cleaner options. In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, this plan is expected save customers approximately $4 billion over 30 years.
NiSource's NIPSCO subsidiary expects to make $1.8 to $2.0 billion in renewable energy investments through 2023. NIPSCO has executed agreements representing $1.25 billion of these investments. Three wind energy projects are under construction, and NIPSCO has reached agreements with leading renewable energy developers on five solar projects.
In addition to its electric generation strategy, other recent sustainability milestones included:
Investing nearly $1.9 billion in its electric and gas utilities in 2019, including replacing 337 miles of priority pipe, 33 miles of underground electric cable and 1,959 electric poles. Those investment programs have continued in 2020.
Executing on its foundational safety commitment. This includes accelerated Safety Management System (SMS) implementation across the gas and electric businesses, as well as continued deployment of automatic shut off devices across its gas distribution system, to protect against over-pressurization.
Serving more than one million customers through energy efficiency programs in 2019, saving these customers nearly $21 million on their energy bills.
Contributing $4.9 million to organizations across the company's operating area in 2019, with about $1.5 million coming from the NiSource Charitable Foundation. NiSource employees spent 14,450 hours volunteering in 2019 at local nonprofits that support the environment, education, health and human services and family welfare initiatives.
Full details of NiSource's sustainability progress can be found in its 2019 Integrated Annual Report and related information available at www.nisource.com/sustainability.
NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI) is one of the largest fully-regulated utility companies in the United States, serving approximately 3.2 million natural gas customers and 500,000 electric customers across six states through its local Columbia Gas and NIPSCO brands. Based in Merrillville, Indiana, NiSource's approximately 7,500 employees are focused on safely delivering reliable and affordable energy to our customers and communities we serve. NiSource is a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability - North America Index and the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index and has been named by Forbes magazine among America's Best Large Employers since 2016. Additional information about NiSource, its investments in modern infrastructure and systems, its commitments and its local brands can be found at www.nisource.com. Follow us at www.facebook.com/nisource, www.linkedin.com/company/nisource or www.twitter.com/nisourceinc. NI-F
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of federal securities laws. Investors and prospective investors should understand that many factors govern whether any forward-looking statement contained herein will be or can be realized. Any one of those factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements concerning our plans, strategies, objectives, expected performance, expenditures, recovery of expenditures through rates, stated on either a consolidated or segment basis, and any and all underlying assumptions and other statements that are other than statements of historical fact. All forward-looking statements are based on assumptions that management believes to be reasonable; however, there can be no assurance that actual results will not differ materially. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the projections, forecasts, estimates and expectations discussed in this press release include among other things, our debt obligations; any changes to our credit rating or the credit rating of certain of our subsidiaries; our ability to execute our growth strategy; changes in general economic, capital and commodity market conditions; pension funding obligations; economic regulation and the impact of regulatory rate reviews; our ability to obtain expected financial or regulatory outcomes; our ability to adapt to, and manage costs related to, advances in technology; any changes in our assumptions regarding the financial implications of the Greater Lawrence Incident; compliance with the agreements entered into with the U.S. Attorney's Office to settle the U.S. Attorney's Office's investigation relating to the Greater Lawrence Incident; potential incidents and other operating risks associated with our business; continuing and potential future impacts of from the COVID-19 pandemic ; our ability to obtain sufficient insurance coverage and whether such coverage will protect us against significant losses; the outcome of legal and regulatory proceedings, investigations, incidents, claims and litigation; any damage to our reputation, including in connection with the Greater Lawrence Incident; compliance with applicable laws, regulations and tariffs; compliance with environmental laws and the costs of associated liabilities; fluctuations in demand from residential, commercial and industrial customers; economic conditions of certain industries; the success of NIPSCO's electric generation strategy; the price of energy commodities and related transportation costs; the reliability of customers and suppliers to fulfill their payment and contractual obligations; potential impairments of goodwill or definite-lived intangible assets; changes in taxation and accounting principles; the impact of an aging infrastructure; the impact of climate change; potential cyber-attacks; construction risks and natural gas costs and supply risks; extreme weather conditions; the attraction and retention of a qualified workforce; the ability of our subsidiaries to generate cash; our ability to manage new initiatives and organizational changes; the performance of third-party suppliers and service providers; changes in the method for determining LIBOR and the potential replacement of the LIBOR benchmark interest rate; and other matters in the "Risk Factors" section of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, as updated in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2020 and our subsequent SEC filings. In addition, the relative contributions to profitability by each business segment, and the assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements relating thereto, may change over time. A credit rating is not a recommendation to buy, sell or hold securities, and may be subject to revision or withdrawal at any time by the assigning rating organization. In addition, dividends are subject to board approval.
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