Southern Company released today 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 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.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Certain information contained in this release is forward-looking information based on current expectations and plans that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking information includes, among other things, statements concerning emissions reduction goals. Southern Company cautions that there are certain factors that can cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking information that has been provided. The reader is cautioned not to put undue reliance on this forward-looking information, which is not a guarantee of future performance and is subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside the control of Southern Company; accordingly, there can be no assurance that such suggested results will be realized. The following factors, in addition to those discussed in Southern Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020 and subsequent securities filings, could cause actual results to differ materially from management expectations as suggested by such forward-looking information: the impact of recent and future federal and state regulatory changes, as well as changes in application of existing laws and regulations; the effects, extent, and timing of the entry of additional competition in the markets in which Southern Company’s subsidiaries operate, including from the development and deployment of alternative energy sources; available sources and costs of natural gas and other fuels; the ability to control costs and avoid cost and schedule overruns during the development, construction, and operation of facilities or other projects; the ability to construct facilities in accordance with the requirements of permits and licenses, to satisfy any environmental performance standards and the requirements of tax credits and other incentives, and to integrate facilities into the Southern Company system upon completion of construction; advances in technology, including the pace and extent of development of low- to no-carbon energy technologies and negative carbon concepts; performance of counterparties under ongoing renewable energy partnerships and development agreements; state and federal rate regulations and the impact of pending and future rate cases and negotiations; and the ability to successfully operate the electric utilities' generating, transmission, and distribution facilities and Southern Company Gas' natural gas distribution and storage facilities and the successful performance of necessary corporate functions. Southern Company expressly disclaims any obligation to update any forward–looking information.