MILWAUKEE, July 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- WEC Energy Group today released its 2018 Corporate Responsibility Report, a comprehensive overview of the company's environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance. The report details progress made by WEC Energy Group and its family of companies on major projects and sustainability goals.
The report highlights the company's aggressive effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the announcement of a new methane emissions reduction plan. Both efforts are being undertaken while maintaining fuel diversity and reducing customer costs.
"Our companies have provided vital services to our communities for more than a century," said Gale Klappa, executive chairman – WEC Energy Group. "We look forward to a new era of sustainable growth across the Heartland."
Carbon dioxide emissions reduction
WEC Energy Group continues to work toward a long-term goal of reducing total carbon dioxide emissions by 80% below 2005 levels by 2050. Since 2006, the company has invested nearly $6 million in climate change research and development programs. The majority of the electricity supplied to WEC Energy Group customers today comes from low- or no-carbon sources.
Methane emissions reduction
The company announced a new target in 2019: to reduce the rate of methane emissions from its natural gas distribution lines by 30% per mile from a 2011 baseline by 2030. Key to this effort – WEC Energy Group's Peoples Gas subsidiary is working to modernize approximately 2,000 miles of natural gas pipelines serving the city of Chicago by replacing outdated cast iron pipes with modern polyethylene materials.
Additional 2018 performance highlights
- Helped customers save more than 420 gigawatt-hours of electricity and 32 million therms of natural gas through energy efficiency programs.
- Spent $123 million on conservation programs and activities.
- Spent $263 million with businesses qualified for the company's Supplier Diversity Initiative, setting a company record.
- Provided $17 million of grants and donations to nonprofit organizations through subsidiaries and foundations.
The 2018 Corporate Responsibility Report and further information on WEC Energy Group's ESG efforts are published online at www.wecenergygroup.com/csr.
WEC Energy Group (WEC), based in Milwaukee, is one of the nation's premier energy companies, serving 4.5 million customers in Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota.
The company's principal utilities are We Energies, Wisconsin Public Service, Peoples Gas, North Shore Gas, Michigan Gas Utilities, Minnesota Energy Resources and Upper Michigan Energy Resources. The company's other major subsidiary, We Power, designs, builds and owns electric generating plants.
WEC Energy Group (wecenergygroup.com) is a Fortune 500 company and a component of the S&P 500. The company has approximately 50,000 stockholders of record, 8,000 employees and nearly $34 billion of assets.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Information
This press release contains forward-looking information that is based upon management's current expectations and projections that involve risks and uncertainties, including, among other things, statements concerning goals to reduce carbon and methane emissions, investment opportunities, and corporate initiatives. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on this forward-looking information.
In addition to the assumptions and other factors referred to in connection with the forward-looking information, factors that could cause the company's actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in any forward-looking information or otherwise affect the company's future results include, among others, the following: general economic conditions, including business and competitive conditions in the company's service territories; timing, resolution and impact of rate cases and negotiations, including recovery of deferred and current costs and the ability to earn a reasonable return on investment, and other regulatory decisions; political developments; energy conservation efforts; continued adoption of distributed generation by customers; the company's ability to continue to successfully integrate the operations of its subsidiaries; availability of the company's generating facilities and/or distribution systems; unanticipated changes in fuel and purchased power costs or availability; key personnel changes; varying weather conditions; continued industry consolidation; cybersecurity and terrorist threats; construction risks; equity and bond market fluctuations; the remaining uncertainty surrounding the tax legislation enacted in December 2017; federal and state legislative and regulatory changes relating to the environment, including climate change and other environmental regulations impacting generation facilities and renewable energy standards, the enforcement of these laws and regulations, changes in the interpretation of regulations or permit conditions by regulatory agencies, and the recovery of associated remediation and compliance costs; the performance of projects the company's energy infrastructure business invests in; the ability to obtain additional generating capacity at competitive prices; current and future litigation and regulatory investigations; the inability of customers, counterparties, and affiliates of the company and its subsidiaries to meet their obligations; advances in technology, and related legislation and regulation supporting the use of that technology; the value of goodwill and its possible impairment; changes in accounting standards; and other factors described under the heading "Factors Affecting Results, Liquidity, and Capital Resources" in Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations and under the headings "Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Information" and "Risk Factors" contained in the company's Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2018, and in subsequent reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company expressly disclaims any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.