Our Buildings and Facilities

5-Year Targets 2010 - 2014PG&E continues to reduce the environmental footprint of its offices and service yards throughout northern and central California with a renewed focus on reducing energy, water and waste. The drivers for doing so are many, from the growing need to address global warming and water scarcity to the employee benefits of working in a green building.

For the first time, PG&E has set five-year targets for reducing energy, water and waste in office facilities and service yards, from 2010 through 2014, with 2009 as a baseline. These targets are part of a new enterprise-wide environmental metric on which a portion of the compensation for all management employees will depend.

To meet our new five-year targets, we are planning a multi-faceted strategy to invest in key facility improvements and spearhead a major effort to engage employees.


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Energy, Water and Waste Reduction Targetsmore...

PG&E made significant progress reducing energy, water and waste in our facilities in 2009:

2009 Target 2009 Result 2010 Target
Reduce energy use by 5% in BTUs at offices and service yards 5% reduction Additional 4% reduction
Reduce water use by 5% in gallons consumed at 70+ offices and service yards 8% reduction Additional 4% reduction at an expanded set of 90 sites
N/A1 N/A1 Increase waste diversion rate by 6% at 6 targeted sites, which represent one-third of PG&E's solid waste produced at offices and service yards

1 PG&E did not set a waste diversion target for 2009.

We replaced the HVAC cooling system at our San Ramon Valley Conference Center in 2009 for greater energy efficiency.
  1. We reduced energy use in offices and service yards by 5 percent—or 19,900 MMBTUs—meeting our target for the year. To save energy, we installed programmable thermostats at more than 60 locations, replaced office and yard lighting at selected sites and installed new energy management systems in two buildings. We have set a further 4 percent reduction target for 2010.
  2. We reduced water use by 8 percent—or 8.1 million gallons—at more than 70 offices and service yards, exceeding our 5 percent target. To achieve these reductions, we repaired irrigation and minimized landscape watering, installed "smart" controllers for irrigation systems, replaced HVAC water treatment systems, added aerators on faucets and shower heads and installed low flow toilets and waterless urinals at selected sites. In 2010, our goal is to achieve an additional 4 percent reduction.
  3. We laid the groundwork to initiate a pilot program in 2010 to increase the waste diversion rate by 6 percent at six targeted facilities, which account for one-third of the waste generated across the company's offices and service yards. Our facility-specific waste reduction strategies leverage best management practices from leading companies, such as ensuring consistent signage and bins. We plan to expand the waste reduction program across more offices and service yards in 2011.
Engaging Employeesmore...

As part of an enterprise-wide campaign, we installed posters and signs throughout PG&E’s facilities last year encouraging employees to reduce energy, water and waste.

We are building on this effort in 2010 by spearheading waste reduction competitions and holding special events. We are also giving employees specific actions they can take, such as turning off all equipment and lights when not in use, reducing operating hours when appropriate, reporting and repairing all leaks in irrigation and plumbing and conserving water when washing vehicles.

Energy Consumption Statisticsmore...

These figures represent electricity and natural gas usage at the 156 facilities managed by PG&E’s Corporate Real Estate department.

1 The figures for 2007 and 2008 were updated to reflect the 12-month period from December to November.

2 Figures reported in the industry standard of BTU per square foot, which incorporates all of the energy used in a facility into one comparative number that takes into account efficiency variations in the utilization of the energy.

Climate SmartLast year, we continued to offset the greenhouse gas emissions from the energy used by all our buildings through PG&E's ClimateSmart™ program. PG&E was the program's first participant, committing nearly $1.5 million of shareholder funding over three years to offset the energy use in the company's offices, service centers, maintenance facilities and other buildings.

Water Use Statisticsmore...

In 2009, we began identifying best practices for quantifying our freshwater usage. Currently, we are in the process of developing a comprehensive “water footprint” and expect to make further progress in 2010.

Please see the Water Conservation and Management section for statistics on PG&E’s water usage.

Waste Generation Statisticsmore...

In the normal course of business, utility operations generate certain hazardous wastes. Waste is also created during the remediation and cleanup of historic legacy sites. PG&E manages all such material in accordance with federal and state regulations.

Federal hazardous waste management statutes include the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and the Toxic Substances Control Act. California has its own set of hazardous waste management laws and regulations, which are more stringent and encompass a broader scope of waste streams.

The following table provides statistics on PG&E’s waste generation.

Hazardous and Other Waste
  2007 2008 2009
PCB Waste >50 ppm PCB
Total (kilograms) 730,357 485,699 738,923
Incineration 198,375 181,167 211,276
Landfill 63,863 141,814 248,522
Recycled 468,119 162,718 279,125
% Recycled 64% 34% 38%
PCB Waste <50 ppm PCB
Total (kilograms) 6,137,388 6,683,757 6,121,959
Incineration 66,613 38,654 213,309
Landfill 28,417 43,238 60,900
Recycled 6,042,358 6,601,865 5,847,750
% Recycled 98% 99% 95%
Low-Level Radioactive Waste
Diablo Canyon
Disposed (cubic feet) 1,066 1,320 793
Steel Recycled (pounds) 33,346 45,057 138,014
Lead Recycled (pounds) 4,826 0 0
Copper Recycled (pounds) N/A 36,343 61,773
Humboldt Bay Power Plant (cubic feet) 15,994 2,397 8,905
RCRA Hazardous Waste (Generated)
Total (tons) 305 952 247
Recycled (tons) 0 0 0
% Recycled 0% 0% 0%
Universal Waste (Generated)
Total (pounds) 253,928 250,688 271,798
Recycled (pounds) 253,928 250,688 271,798
% Recycled 100% 100% 100%
Federal and California Regulated Hazardous Waste
  2007 2008 2009
Federal (tons) 803 952 247
California (tons) 11,080 17,747 23,165
Total 11,883 18,699 23,412

Investing in Green Buildingsmore...

We continue to pursue LEED™ certification for new buildings and large remodel projects, with a total of five LEED™ certified buildings, three buildings registered for certification and one more to be registered in 2010. Recent milestones include the following:

At PG&E’s new Grid Control Center, nearly half of the five-acre site was restored to native vegetation after construction was completed.
  1. We received LEED-NC (new construction) Silver certification for our newly opened 22,000 square-foot Grid Control Center. Highlights of the project included restoring nearly half of the five-acre site to native vegetation, recycling 70 percent of the construction waste, using drip irrigation and low-flow plumbing fixtures to reduce potable water use by 45 percent and incorporating sustainably forested wood and low-emitting carpets, paints, adhesives and sealants.
  2. We received LEED-CI (commercial interiors) certification for a new 135,000 square-foot office in San Ramon. The project used daylighting controls and skylights to reduce energy use. In addition, we created a shuttle service and pool of alternative-fuel cars for employees to reduce the environmental impact of driving.
  3. We received LEED-CI Silver certification for the newly leased 8,900 square-foot Stockton Customer Service Office. We diverted more than 90 percent of construction waste from the landfill and incorporated energy-efficient lighting and HVAC equipment, low-flow plumbing fixtures to reduce potable water use by almost 38 percent and carpets, paints and other products that improve indoor air quality. At least 20 percent of the materials were sourced and manufactured locally.
  4. We received LEED-NC certification for the 14,000 square-foot administration building at the new Gateway Generation Station for using high reflective roofing material, zero irrigation, low flow plumbing fixtures and waterless urinals and a “rain-for rent” system during construction that improved the quality of storm water before it was reintroduced into the local river.
IT Energy Savingsmore...

PG&E is implementing innovative measures to improve energy efficiency in our IT services function.

These empty cabinets in our Fairfield data center used to house servers. They have been replaced with fewer servers using virtualization technology, saving energy.
As part of a major upgrade to our primary data center, we incorporated a number of energy-saving technologies, expected to reduce overall data center energy consumption by 5 percent. This included using variable frequency drives on cooling towers, chill water pumps and newer air handling units. In addition, PG&E adopted cold aisle containment to reduce wasteful mixing of hot and cold air and installed real-time sensors to continuously manage data center efficiency.

We also continue to pursue server virtualization, which consolidates IT workloads and uses less equipment and energy. It allows a single physical server to run multiple "virtual" servers, each with its own operating system and software. In 2009, we used virtualization technology to avoid the purchase of more than 340 servers, saving more than 1 million kWh per year. We will continue our efforts in 2010 by replacing additional systems and continuing to virtualize our servers.

Also, in 2009, PG&E purchased only Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) Gold- or Silver-level laptops, desktop computers and monitors—products that have demonstrated reduced environmental impacts. PG&E's goal is to be 95 percent Gold or Silver EPEAT-compliant for these items by the end of 2010, increasing from 89 percent at the end of 2009.

Our "Think Before You Print" campaign encourages employees to save energy and paper. Key components of the campaign included implementing double-sided printing, stored printing and increasing the use of shared network printers. We assessed more than 1,900 printers last year to ensure they were set to the new standards. If, as a result of this campaign, employees print 20 percent fewer copies, we expect to save approximately 32 million sheets of paper each year.

Waste Minimizationmore...

(left) At our warehouse in Fremont, we recycled nearly 78 percent—or 500,000 pounds—of material last year, including wood, metal, PVC and ceramic insulators. The site also features energy-saving controls for interior and exterior lighting.

(right) We continued to recycle material from the below-ground demolition of PG&E’s Hunters Point Power Plant in San Francisco. Last year, approximately 99.7 percent of the materials removed from the plant were recycled, including approximately 3,760 tons of metals, 2,600 tons of concrete and approximately 34 tons of debris.

In the normal course of business, utility operations generate certain hazardous wastes. Waste is also created during the remediation and cleanup of historic legacy sites. PG&E manages all such material in accordance with federal and state regulations. Federal hazardous waste management statutes include the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and the Toxic Substances Control Act. California has its own set of hazardous waste management laws and regulations, which are more stringent and encompass a broader scope of waste streams.

PG&E also strives to minimize and recycle non-hazardous waste, such as glass, paper and certain metals. Examples of waste reduction efforts in 2009 include the following:

  1. We recycled more than 24 million pounds of scrap iron, aluminum and copper from conductors, meters and miscellaneous material. We also recycled more than 93,000 pounds of plastic.
  2. We recycled or reused more than 130 tons of e-waste, including approximately 4,880 CPUs, 2,325 monitors, 200 servers, 675 printers and 125 copiers, fax machines and scanners.
  3. We avoided the use of more than 400 tons of paper through more than 15 million paperless e-Bill transactions for customer energy bills.

Keeping Fluorescent Lights Out of the Trash

Because compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) contain small amounts of mercury, they cannot be disposed of in the trash. In 2009, PG&E piloted a program at one of its offices allowing employees to drop off used CFLs at work so that PG&E can properly dispose of the bulbs. We plan to expand this program to other facilities.

As part of our involvement in the Department of Toxic Substances Control’s California Take-it-Back program, we also implemented successful partnerships with five local governments to increase public awareness and fund drop-off containers and disposal services for used household fluorescent lights. To reach a broad audience, we funded multi-language cable TV and radio ads, as well as point-of-sale displays in retail stores where fluorescent lights are sold, among other strategies. In 2009, the programs helped collect nearly 300,000 fluorescent lights for proper disposal.