Earth Day presents a terrific opportunity to reflect on how we all impact the environment, and at PSE&G we have consistently made environmental stewardship one of our highest priorities. In fact, PSEG’s “Powering Progress” vision sees a future in which “people use less energy, and it’s cleaner and more reliable than ever.”
PSE&G’s Environmental Projects and Services team is focused on ensuring the entire utility is working together to make this vision of a more sustainable operation a reality. To that end, and in alignment with our corporate sustainability and environmental priorities, we are focusing on a three-pronged strategy of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving waste management and enhancing biodiversity.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
As New Jersey’s largest energy utility, we play an important part in mitigating the potential impacts of a warming climate. PSEG is committed to continuing its leadership role in decarbonizing our economy and transitioning to a cleaner, safer, more equitable and resilient energy system – as we have for several decades. We are proactively supporting the corporate emission reduction targets with methane reduction as one of the primary areas of focus for the utility.
Reduction of methane emissions through PSE&G’s Gas System Modernization Program is expected to modernize more than 875 miles of cast-iron and bare-steel main, and reduce emissions by up to 40,000 metric tons per year. PSE&G is on track to achieve our estimated 22% reduction in methane from 2018 levels by 2023.
Improving Waste Management
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, municipal solid waste landfills are the third largest source of human-related methane emissions in the United States. In 2021, PSE&G set an aggressive goal to reduce the amount of utility-generated solid waste that ends up in a landfill. Working with our operating groups, we have succeeded in diverting more than 95% of our solid waste away from landfills through properly segregating our recyclable material and finding recycling outlets able to accept as much of it as possible. These efforts led to PSE&G being recognized by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection in 2020.
PSE&G’s Biodiversity Program
We are especially proud of our work to protect the more than 130 threatened or endangered species that make their homes on or near the almost 1,300 miles of transmission rights-of-way (ROWs) that PSE&G owns and maintains in New Jersey. The presence of these plants, animals and insects requires us to balance the responsibility we have to upgrade and maintain our transmission facilities with our obligation to ensure we do no harm to those species that call our ROWs home.
In many instances our vegetation management activities create and sustain increasingly rare early successional and meadow habitats, providing important habitats for species dependent on them. In addition, PSE&G formulated a seed mix to attract to our ROWs pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, that are so critical to New Jersey’s agriculture.
Environmental Stewardship is an obligation we take very seriously, and the EP&S team works in concert with our colleagues across PSE&G to employ a variety of strategies and tactics to achieve our goals.
It Takes a Village
PSE&G’s EP&S team includes experts in environmental science, remediation, compliance, land use, waste management, ESG and sustainability, who work to assess the potential impacts of our day-to-day operations and our large construction projects. We also work closely with environmental regulators and advocacy organizations that share our interest in preserving and protecting New Jersey’s environment.
These are just a few of the many ways that PSE&G is working to make our operations more sustainable. We know that our customers want safe and reliable electricity, but we also know they want a healthy environment. At PSE&G, we’re working hard to ensure they have both.