On Sept. 27, Southern Company released its 2019/2020 Corporate Responsibility Executive Summary, highlighting key areas of interest to help stakeholders access environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosures and other meaningful information on topics like greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions and diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.
“The term ESG has been used increasingly by investors and others over the past few years. Since our inception more, Southern Company and its operating companies have prioritized these important topics – responsibility, sustainability, commitment to community and transparency – in how we operate our business,” said Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning. “We have long believed corporate responsibility and corporate strategy are inextricably linked.”
In 2020, Southern Company continued making progress toward its goal of net-zero GHG emissions by 2050. Last year, the system reduced emissions by 52% compared to 2007 benchmark levels. While emissions reductions may fluctuate around 50% the next few years depending on demand, weather and other factors, the system expects to consistently achieve a 50% reduction by 2025, a full five years ahead of the system’s interim goal.
Southern Company also reaffirmed its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.
The company, its subsidiaries and charitable foundations have pledged $200 million over five years to advance racial equity and social justice in its communities. This includes investing $50 million in historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) within Southern Company’s service territory and partnering with Apple Inc. to launch the Propel Center, a new digital learning hub and business incubator in Atlanta for HBCU students. Southern Company reaffirmed its goal to increase minority business enterprise spend to 20% and total diverse spend to 30% by 2025 and is committed to developing and doing business with more Black-owned businesses.
The Executive Summary can be found on Southern Company’s website by visiting https://investor.southerncompany.com/esg/key-data-and-reports/default.aspx where readers will find a suite of ESG-related documents, data and disclosures.