IGS Energy Aims to be Net Zero by 2040
We know that our climate is changing. Greenhouse gases that trap heat and make the planet warmer are increasing due to human activity. And in 2018, electricity production accounted for 27% of greenhouse gas emissions in the US. As an energy company, IGS Energy believes we’re both capable and obligated to help lead the fight against climate change.
A bold goalWe have already begun to see the devastating effects of increasing temperatures and climate change on our planet, which will continue to get worse unless bold action is taken. To inspire bold action at IGS Energy, we have adopted the ambitious goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2040.
Our goal of becoming net zero by 2040 means that over the next 20 years, we will work to reduce the direct and indirect emissions from our operations and products (Scope 1, 2 & 3 emissions) as much as possible and offset any remaining emissions through the purchase of carbon offsets. This will require prioritizing sustainability in our approach to making decisions about our products, our operations, and our business overall.
Net zero, explained
Net zero refers to achieving an overall balance between emissions produced and emissions removed from (or avoided from entering) the atmosphere. While the goal is to reduce our emissions as much as possible, we recognize the inevitability of some emissions, the impacts of which must be offset.
To avoid the most devastating effects of global warming and climate change, the scientific consensus is clear. We must keep the rise in global temperatures below 1.5 degrees Celsius and we must globally commit to reaching net zero emissions by 2050. At IGS Energy, we believe we can achieve net zero emissions ahead of the global target.
We have identified five areas where we’ll focus in order to achieve our net zero goal:
1. Take responsibility for our environmental footprintA 2018 baseline of our greenhouse gas emissions captured the significant impact of our traditional products (electricity and natural gas) on the environment. The baseline showed that emissions from our products (Scope 3 emissions) account for over 99% of our total footprint, making product evolution the biggest opportunity for meaningful reductions.
We are taking immediate action to reduce our emissions as they relate to our products by offering 100% green electricity and carbon-neutral natural gas for all new residential consumers and beginning to retire our traditional (non-green) electricity product and traditional (non-carbon neutral) natural gas offerings.
We know that bringing cleaner energy sources to consumers is not an overnight process, and we’re committed to expanding our product portfolio, shifting to clean energy for residential consumers, and introducing additional sustainable and efficiency-focused products for our commercial customers.
2. Evolve our product supply
Supporting the development of renewable energy sources is vital to helping our business and planet achieve net zero. We will continue investing in clean energy infrastructure by pursuing opportunities to purchase wholesale renewables.
3. Empower customers to buy green products
To reach net zero and meet consumer expectations, we need to play an active role in promoting energy-efficient technologies and accelerating the shift to renewable energy. We will continue helping consumers understand the environmental impacts of their energy choices. Additionally, we'll provide them with ways to reduce their environmental footprint by making available clean and energy-efficient options, such as solar and LED lighting solutions.
4. Innovate new products and services
We won’t reach greenhouse gas reduction goals by continuing to use the same products and technologies. Progress requires innovation. Our innovation team, IGS Labs, is focused on identifying new, innovative opportunities to offer more value by introducing products that meet the evolving needs of our customers and our planet, such as battery storage technology and energy monitoring services.
5. Use our voice
The adoption of policies focused on accelerating behind-the-meter technology – moving away from a centralized, top-down power grid, is necessary when it comes to increasing access to clean energy and creating resiliency in our energy systems. A system designed around big, centralized power plants and one-way power flows is grinding against the rise of smarter, cleaner technologies that offer new ways to generate and manage energy at the local level (think solar panels and batteries). We will continue engaging in partnerships and conversations with legislators and regulators that promote these technologies.
Acting on our commitment
From small actions like composting in our café, to larger commitments like building a LEED Platinum-certified headquarters, introducing a flexible work policy to reduce the emissions from employees’ commutes, and offsetting the emissions from our offices’ annual energy usage, we’ve taken steps to be a more sustainable, responsible company. But to make a meaningful change and to reach our goal of becoming net zero by 2040, we have to do more. We have to look at all aspects of our business through a lens of sustainability, be transparent about the progress we’re making and the challenges we’re facing and acknowledge that it’s going to be a difficult journey.
We know that the actions we take and the choices we make today are going to create a healthier, happier planet and we’re excited to get started.
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