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American Water Releases 7th Biennial Sustainability Report

American Water Releases 7th Biennial Sustainability Report

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American Water, the largest regulated water and wastewater utility company in the U.S., announced that it has issued its seventh biennial Sustainability Report covering its industry leadership and performance on ESG principles.  

“This report tells the story of how we expect to fulfill our mission of providing safe, clean, reliable, and affordable water and wastewater service sustainably to American Water customers,” said M. Susan Hardwick, President and CEO of American Water. “Our business practices foster operational and financial sustainability for American Water and provide stability and longevity to our share of the nation’s water and wastewater infrastructure.”

The report spans the 2021-2022 reporting years and is the final biennial Sustainability Report. American Water will begin publishing the report annually in 2024. 

American Water prepared the Sustainability Report in accordance with the standards of the Global Reporting Initiative, Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, and Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures and included applicable metrics from the Edison Electric Institute and American Gas Association ESG/sustainability reporting template.

See related article: American Water Publishes 2022 ESG Data Summary and Inclusion, Diversity & Equity Summary

Highlights from the Sustainability Report on key reporting areas include:

  • Water Quality and Emerging Contaminants: Led PFAS research efforts, published by the Water Research Foundation, by developing publicly available risk communication materials for water systems to use in their messaging efforts under the EPA’s Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule 5 (UCMR5).
  • Water and Wastewater Infrastructure: In 2022, reached a water line replacement rate of 136 years, significantly better than the industry average replacement rate of nearly 200 years.
  • Water Access and Affordability: Balanced infrastructure investment needs with water affordability to limit the wallet share of American Water’s average residential customers’ bills to 1% or less of median household income.
  • Water Supply Resilience: Shared forward progress on California American Water’s Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project, fulfilling regulatory requirements and increasing the water supply to the Monterey Peninsula without affecting marine and other wildlife.
  • Employee Health, Safety and Well-Being: Achieved a 75% reduction in workplace injuries since 2018. In 2022, we reduced our OSHA Recordable Injury Rate to 0.85, approximately two times better than the water industry average and the lowest in the Company’s recorded history.
  • Inclusion, Diversity and Equity: Completed a pay equity analysis in 2022 to analyze and improve upon pay decisions companywide. Additionally, American Water launched four employee business resource groups (EBRGs) focused on members and allies that support female empowerment, a diverse and inclusive work environment for Black/African American employees, a supportive community for LGBTQ+ employees, and resources for caregivers and disabled employees.
  • Emissions: Set a new medium-term goal of reducing absolute scope 1 and 2 emissions by 50% by 2035 from a 2020 baseline, and a new long-term goal of achieving net zero absolute scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2050, which are science-based and aligned with the Paris Agreement.

American Water has received a range of awards and recognition that celebrate accomplishments tied to the company’s commitment to ESG:  
Recognized on Newsweek’s list of America’s Most Responsible Companies 2023

  • Named one of Barron’s 100 Most Sustainable Companies for 2022 as the highest-ranked utility
  • Awarded 2022 top-scoring company, for the fourth consecutive year, as Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion by the Disability Equality Index
  • Awarded 2022 Best for Vets Employers by Military Times
  • Included in the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index for the fourth consecutive year in 2022
  • Ranked 6th on Corporate Knights’ Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World index as the top water utility company
  • Received the 2022 WaterSense® Excellence in Education and Outreach award from the United States (U.S.) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), followed by 17 Partnership for Safe Water awards for continuously optimizing water treatment plant and distribution systems

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