Climate week provides 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 our emission reduction targets with methane reduction as one of the primary areas of focus for the utility.
As of Sept. 1, 2022, PSE&G has upgraded approximately 1,745 miles of cast-iron and bare-steel main, through Energy Strong and our Gas System Modernization Program. We’ve reduced approximately 200,000 metric tons of methane emissions, from the start of GSMP through the end of 2021. When the current phase of GSMP is completed by 2023, we expect to achieve an approximate 22% reduction in methane emissions compared to 2018 levels.
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. EP&S has assisted in diverting material from the landfill through donations/reuse. A few notable examples: three-ring binders from office cleanouts were donated to the Newark Board of Education, wood pallets were supplied to the Bergen County Fire Academy for training, and surplus wood was used to construct book nooks for the Camden County Pop Up Library.
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.
We are all in this together
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 electric and gas services, but we also know they want a healthy environment. At PSE&G, we’re working hard to ensure they have both.
To read more about PSE&G’s ESG efforts, visit pseg.com/esg.