Message from the Chief Sustainability Officer

A Note to Our Stakeholders:

For more than 10 years, I’ve been fortunate to actively participate in PG&E’s sustainability journey, as we have expanded our definition of sustainability beyond acting as responsible environmental stewards. Over the past decade, we have increasingly adopted a broader lens, one that encompasses priorities such as strengthening the safety and bolstering the economic vitality of the communities where PG&E does business and where our employees live and work.

As a company that stretches across 70,000 square miles, employs more than 20,000 people and provides essential services to 15 million Californians, sustainability is an integral part of our business. A focus on sustainability helps create a company that’s ready to stand the test of time—one where safety is at the center of everything we do, employees are engaged, taking care of the environment is prioritized and our business and all of our stakeholders can thrive.

No one knew that better than PG&E’s first Chief Sustainability Officer, Steve Kline, who retired earlier this year. For me, following Steve in this role is both a privilege and an honor. For PG&E, building on the positive momentum he and countless employees have built on sustainability will no doubt be a challenge, as will be continuing to address the formidable challenges we face as a company.

After the tragic accident in San Bruno two years ago, PG&E reassessed how we do business, how we operate and maintain our gas and electric systems, and how we serve our customers. We are working every day to incorporate the lessons we’ve learned from that tragedy across our business so that an accident like that never happens again.

Under the leadership of Tony Earley, PG&E Corporation’s new Chairman, CEO and President, we have embraced a back-to-basics strategy that’s focused on delivering safe, reliable and affordable gas and electric service and building a better PG&E for the long-term. The changes we’ve made as a result of this strategy have been sweeping, perhaps most visibly in the decision to separate our gas and electric units, our renewed commitment to public and employee safety, and the investments we’re already making—and those we’ve proposed—to upgrade our energy infrastructure.

As we get back to the basics, we will continue to integrate and drive a sustainability mindset across our business. This year’s report includes many examples of the progress we’re making, including our pioneering partnership with Altec Industries and their new green fleet manufacturing facility in Dixon, which will build low-emission bucket trucks for PG&E and add about 100 jobs to the local community. Through our PowerPathway™ and Pre-Apprentice Line Worker programs, we are helping to build the workforce of tomorrow by hiring and training qualified employees, including those who have served our country in the armed forces. And our Solar Habitat Program continues to help customers in underserved communities to go solar and save money on their utility bills.

Earning a spot on last year’s Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index, 100 Best Corporate Citizens List and Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index reflects that we are moving in the right direction. But we know that we have more work to do.

As we move ahead, we continue to benefit from the active engagement and guidance of our many stakeholders—maintaining the open dialogue that Steve pledged in last year’s report. We are especially grateful for the ongoing counsel of the nonprofit Ceres, which again facilitated a conversation with a diverse group of our stakeholders in preparation for this report. The input of these customers, suppliers, investors, environmental and community groups, and workforce development experts continues to inform our reporting efforts and our path forward.

We look to the future well aware of the challenges that we and our customers face: a struggling job market, the ongoing transition to a low-carbon economy and the continued integration of a wide array of emerging technologies, among others. But by thinking long-term—by thinking sustainably—and working together, we can meet the challenges of tomorrow and build a brighter future for our state and our customers.

That journey continues with the publication of our 2011 Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Report. We invite your feedback on the progress we are making and look forward to your continued engagement in the months and years to come.


Ezra Garrett
Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer