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Power Authority develops sustainability plan

Power Authority develops sustainability plan

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The New York Power Authority last week said it has developed a five-year plan that establishes goals and strategies to achieve the state’s climate leadership goals through a comprehensive sustainability agenda.

Progress against NYPA’s Sustainability Plan will be measured with annual sustainability reports that will detail the organization’s progress as the Authority continues to lead New York State’s transition to a carbon-free, economically vibrant New York, the agency said.

“As we at the New York Power Authority take bold steps to lead our state’s transformation to a clean energy economy, we need to do so in a transparent way that informs our stakeholders about our business decisions and priorities while keeping our commitment to sustainability at the forefront,” said NYPA Chairman John Koelmel in a statement. “We will rely on clear policies, practices and controls to guide our sustainability efforts as we continue to provide clean, affordable electricity and energy services to our customers and reliable generation and transmission for all of New York.”

The 2021-2025 Sustainability Plan serves as a roadmap to deliver on a best-in-class sustainability strategy to meet the present and future needs of stakeholders and enhance long-term ESG performance, officials said. The plan outlines the steps NYPA and its subsidiary, the New York State Canal Corporation, are committed to taking to advance sustainability efforts across 15 environmental, social and governance (ESG) focus areas. The plan will evolve as the ESG initiatives advance to support VISION2030 implementation.

“By using an ESG framework to manage and measure NYPA’s sustainability commitments and successes, we will be able to share key milestones as we advance some of the nation’s most ambitious climate targets,” said NYPA President and CEO Gil Quiniones. “Everything we do as we embark on transforming our energy system for a clean energy future will be shaped by our sustainability strategy as we pursue decarbonization, foster economic growth and create an ESG blueprint for others to follow.”

Sustainability, measured through an ESG structure, is a foundational pillar of VISION2030, NYPA’s recently introduced strategic plan to help lead the state energy infrastructure’s transformation into a clean, reliable, resilient and affordable system over the next decade. NYPA will assess its business through the ESG framework, which guides long-term business investments and shows transparency and accountability.

The Sustainability Plan describes NYPA goals and strategies that have been identified for 15 key sustainability focus areas, in alignment with VISION2030, the CLCPA, state energy programs and executive orders and industry leading practices. The areas, ranging from renewable energy to employee development to risk management, are considered to have the greatest potential impact on NYPA’s business and to be of most importance to stakeholders, officials said. The plan has been developed with guidance and input from business units and department leaders across the organization, including Sustainability Advisory Council members, subject matter experts and other key stakeholders.

The report highlights NYPA’s sustainability commitments and accomplishments in 2020, including:

• Work toward a 2035 target for eliminating carbon emissions from NYPA’s small clean power plant portfolio, a significant step toward meeting the state goal of a carbon-free power system by 2040.
• The financing of hundreds of millions of dollars of customer energy efficiency and clean energy projects.
• Supporting 400,000 jobs across New York State through economic development programs.
• Supporting the development and engagement of a diverse workforce through a 10-Point Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Plan.
• Continuing to fund a $300 million Reimagine the Canals initiative to revitalize the Erie Canal corridor as a prime tourism and recreation destination.

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