Industry-standard ESG framework to help NYPA deliver on state’s ambitious climate leadership & clean energy targets
2021-25 sustainability plan serves as roadmap for NYPA’s sustainability strategy
NYPA aims to become one of first utilities to issue integrated report in 2023
The New York Power Authority announced a five-year plan that establishes goals and strategies to achieve the state’s bold climate leadership goals through a comprehensive sustainability agenda. Progress against NYPA’s sustainability plan will be measured with annual sustainability reports that will detail NYPA’s progress as the authority continues to lead New York’s transition to a carbon-free, economically vibrant New York.
NYPA released the plan during Earth Week 2021 to celebrate the organization’s firm commitment to sustainability as it continues its leadership role in shaping the state’s energy and environment policies and programs for the future benefit of all New Yorkers.
“As we at the New York Power Authority take bold steps to lead our state’s transformation to a clean energy economy, we need to do so in a transparent way that informs our stakeholders about our business decisions and priorities while keeping our commitment to sustainability at the forefront,” NYPA Chairman John R. Koelmel said. “We will rely on clear policies, practices and controls to guide our sustainability efforts as we continue to provide clean, affordable electricity and energy services to our customers and reliable generation and transmission for all of New York.”
The 2021-25 sustainability plan, NYPA said, “serves as a roadmap to deliver on a best-in-class sustainability strategy to meet the present and future needs of stakeholders and enhance long-term ESG performance.”
It outlines the steps NYPA and its subsidiary, the New York State Canal Corp., are committed to taking to advance sustainability efforts across 15 environmental, social and governance (ESG) focus areas. The plan will evolve as the ESG initiatives advance to support “VISION2030” implementation. The document complements NYPA’s first annual sustainability report, also released Tuesday, that details the authority’s progress in ESG areas in 2020.
“By using an ESG framework to manage and measure NYPA’s sustainability commitments and successes, we will be able to share key milestones as we advance some of the nation’s most ambitious climate targets,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA’s president and CEO. “Everything we do, as we embark on transforming our energy system for a clean energy future, will be shaped by our sustainability strategy as we pursue decarbonization, foster economic growth and create an ESG blueprint for others to follow.”
Sustainability, measured through an ESG structure, is a foundational pillar of “VISION2030,” NYPA’s recently introduced strategic plan to help lead the state energy infrastructure’s transformation into a clean, reliable, resilient and affordable system over the next decade. NYPA said, “Like other top-tier companies, NYPA will assess its business through the ESG framework, which guides long-term business investments and shows transparency and accountability.
“ ‘VISION2030’ also sets NYPA on a clear path to support the state’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act’s (CLCPA) goal of achieving a net-zero carbon economy by 2050.”
The sustainability plan describes NYPA goals and strategies that have been identified for 15 key sustainability focus areas, in alignment with “VISION2030,” the CLCPA, state energy programs and executive orders, and industry-leading practices. The areas, ranging from renewable energy to employee development to risk management, are considered to have the greatest potential impact on NYPA’s business and to be of most importance to stakeholders. The plan has been developed with guidance and input from business units and department leaders across the organization, including sustainability advisory council members, subject matter experts and other key stakeholders.
The 2020 sustainability report – NYPA and Canal Corp.’s first report to align with ESG standards, including the global reporting initiative (GRI) and sustainability accounting standards board (SASB) – outlines progress toward achieving the goals identified in the five-year plan to date. Annual reports will disclose comprehensive data related to the implementation of sustainability goals that will be leveraged for decision-making across the organization.
NYPA’s ambition is to become one of the first U.S. utilities to issue an integrated report for the 2022 reporting cycle.
The report approved here highlights NYPA’s sustainability commitments and accomplishments in 2020, including:
√ Work toward a 2035 target for eliminating carbon emissions from NYPA’s small, clean power plant portfolio. NYPA said, “This is a significant step toward meeting the state goal of a carbon-free power system by 2040.”
√ The financing of hundreds of millions of dollars of customer energy efficiency and clean energy projects.
√ Supporting 400,000 jobs across New York through economic development programs.
√ Supporting the development and engagement of a diverse workforce through a 10-point diversity, equity and inclusion plan.
√ Continuing to fund a $300 million “Reimagine the Canals” initiative to revitalize the Erie Canal corridor as a prime tourism and recreation destination.