Buildings and

14 Number of PG&E’s buildings that have received LEED™ green building certification

PG&E continues to reduce the environmental footprint of our facilities, while providing an enhanced workplace for our employees. A growing network of employee volunteers has been critical to our progress—engaging and training fellow employees to reduce their environmental impact at work.

Our Approach

Energy, Water and Waste Reduction

In 2009, we set five-year goals for reducing energy, water and waste in office facilities and service yards. To meet our goals, we are executing a multi-faceted strategy to invest in key facility improvements, engage employees, and incorporate sustainability principles and continuous improvement into all aspects of our real estate management.

We pursue LEED™-certification for new buildings and large remodel projects. Our efforts include improving the operational efficiency of existing buildings; ensuring that equipment replacement, major remodels and new facilities meet high efficiency standards; and identifying additional projects that would result in significant efficiency improvements. We also continue to engage our broader workforce, including partnering with a Grassroots Green Network that brings together employee volunteers to support energy, water and waste reduction awareness and initiatives.

Hazardous and Other Waste

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 hazardous waste in accordance with federal and state regulations. Our comprehensive approach includes providing guidance and training to employees to reduce overall waste generated and ensure that waste is properly managed from the point of generation to its ultimate disposal or recycling.

Federal hazardous waste management statutes include the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and the Toxic Substances Control Act. In addition, our operations are subject to California’s hazardous waste management laws and regulations, which are more stringent and encompass a broader scope of waste streams. For example, wastes such as used oil are subject to California’s hazardous waste requirements.

PG&E uses drought-tolerant landscaping at its San Carlos Service Center.

2013 Milestones

In 2013, we made significant progress toward our five-year goals for reducing energy, water and waste in office facilities and service yards:

  • Reduced energy use by 3.5 percent, meeting our annual target. We achieved this reduction by specifying energy-efficient designs when replacing mechanical and lighting systems, installing advanced controls and building automation systems, and adopting similar measures during major remodel projects. We stayed on track toward our cumulative five year goal of reducing energy use by 15 percent by 2014.
  • Made substantial progress on water conservation. We fell short of our annual water reduction target, due to irrigation needs during statewide drought conditions. However, we achieved an 18.7 percent reduction toward our overall five-year goal of 20 percent by 2014. Given the importance of this area, we have stepped up efforts to conserve water in our facilities, engage employees and help customers reduce water use through energy efficiency measures.
  • Reached a 77 percent waste diversion rate at an expanded number of sites, exceeding our annual target of 73 percent. Key steps included ensuring yard bins were the right size, upgrading service, and adding composting and single-stream recycling at select locations. Our five-year goal is an 80 percent diversion rate.

Other waste reduction efforts included:

  • Recycling more than 27 million pounds of scrap iron, aluminum and copper from conductors, meters and miscellaneous material. We also recycled more than two million pounds of recovered meters, 12 million pounds of transformers and 180,000 pounds of plastic, including pipe and hard hats.
  • Recycling more than 370 tons of e-waste, including consumer electronic devices, CPUs, monitors, servers, printers and other equipment.
  • Recycling 132,840 pounds of steel and copper from Humboldt Bay Power Plant and Diablo Canyon Power Plant.

Measuring Progress


Progress Toward PG&E’s 5-Year Energy, Water and Waste Reduction Goals
  • 1 The energy reduction goal is measured in million BTUs (MMBtus) and included 156 sites in 2010 and 168 sites in 2011 through 2013.
  • 2 The water reduction goal is measured in gallons and included 91 sites in 2010, 125 sites in 2011, 135 sites in 2012 and 134 sites in 2013.
  • 3 The waste diversion rate measures the diversion rate in the final quarter of each year. It included administrative waste for 48 office facilities and service yard sites in 2010 and 2011. In 2012, we expanded the scope to include all non-hazardous municipal waste. We added 67 sites in 2013, expanding the scope of our waste diversion program from high volume sites to all sites covered by the California Mandatory Recycling regulation.

Energy Consumption Statistics

These figures represent electricity and natural gas usage at 168 facilities managed by our Corporate Real Estate Strategy and Services department.

Energy Consumed
  • 1 The data reflects the 12-month period from December to November and is normalized for weather.
  • 2 Figures are reported in the industry standard of BTU per square foot, which incorporates all of the energy used in a facility into one comparative number.

Water Use Statistics

In 2013, we made continued progress toward quantifying our “water footprint.” Please see the Water Conservation and Management section for statistics on PG&E’s water usage.

Waste Generation Statistics

PG&E strives to minimize the overall amount of waste generated; compost organic waste; and recycle non-hazardous waste, such as glass, paper and certain metals. These figures represent the total waste diverted from the landfill at 115 sites managed by our Corporate Real Estate Strategy and Services department.

Waste Diversion at Facilities1
Total Waste Generated (tons) 21,866
Total Waste Diverted (tons) 16,132
Waste Diversion Rate 74%
1 The tonnage data reflects all of the non-hazardous municipal waste at 115 sites managed by PG&E’s Corporate Real Estate Strategy and Services department for the 12 months from October 2012 to September 2013. PG&E’s 77 percent diversion rate reflects the final quarter as measured one quarter in arrears (July to September 2013).

Hazardous and Other Waste

The following table provides statistics on PG&E’s waste generation. While PG&E works to reduce hazardous waste, certain projects such as infrastructure upgrades or remediation of historical contamination may increase the amount generated in a given year.

  2011 2012 2013
Total Hazardous Waste (tons) 114,999 117,553 22,2341
RCRA2 Hazardous Waste 4,286 13,204 1,570
TSCA3 Hazardous Waste 1,041 1,783 2,901
California Regulated Hazardous Waste 109,672 102,566 17,763
Federal Regulated Hazardous Waste (TSCA)—PCB Waste ≥50 ppm PCB (tons)
Total 1,041 1,783 2,901
Incineration 230 290 204
Landfill 379 1,204 2,697
Recycled 432 289 0
% Recycled 41.5% 16.2% 0%
California Regulated Hazardous Waste (Non-RCRA)4
Total 109,672 102,566 17,763
Disposed 105,127 97,580 12,539
Recycled 4,545 4,986 5,224
% Recycled 4.1% 4.9% 29.4%
Other Waste
Universal Waste (tons)
Total 159 200 199
Recycled 159 200 199
% Recycled 100% 100% 100%
Low-Level Radioactive Waste
Diablo Canyon Power Plant
Disposed (cubic feet) 660 453 2,630
Humboldt Bay Power Plant
Disposed (cubic feet) 130,602 12,344 13,404
Radioactively Cleared Waste
Diablo Canyon Power Plant
Disposed (pounds) 113,767 133,917 167,871
Humboldt Bay Power Plant
Disposed (pounds) N/A 2,819,197 5,429,786
Recycled Materials from Power Plants
Diablo Canyon Power Plant
Steel Recycled (pounds) 30,300 68,463 31,649
Copper Recycled (pounds) 6,250 4,215 1,450
Lead Recycled (pounds) 15,500 N/A N/A
Humboldt Bay Power Plant
Steel Recycled (pounds) 54,856 41,700 120,340
Copper Recycled (pounds) N/A N/A 12,500
  • 1 The reduction in hazardous waste was largely driven by PG&E substantially completing remediation at some larger scale remediation sites.
  • 2 Refers to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).
  • 3 Refers to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).
  • 4 These figures include PCB Waste <50 ppm PCB.

Air Emissions

To comply with stringent local air quality regulations, PG&E is focused on minimizing air emissions from its conventional sources of power generation. The following figures reflect emissions from PG&E-owned generation sources.

Air Emissions1
  2011 2012 2013
Total NOX Emissions (tons) 144 158 153
Humboldt Bay Generating Station 23 25 23
Gateway Generating Station 73 78 78
Colusa Generating Station 48 55 52
NOX Emissions Rates (lbs/MWh)
Humboldt Bay Generating Station 0.10 0.12 0.04
Gateway Generating Station 0.06 0.05 0.05
Colusa Generating Station 0.05 0.04 0.04
Fossil Plants 0.06 0.05 0.05
All Plants 0.008 0.01 0.01
Total SO2 Emissions (tons) 12 15 17
Humboldt Bay Generating Station 2 1 1
Gateway Generating Station 6 8 11
Colusa Generating Station 4 6 5
SO2 Emissions Rates (lbs/MWh)
Humboldt Bay Generating Station 0.009 0.005 0.004
Gateway Generating Station 0.005 0.005 0.007
Colusa Generating Station 0.004 0.004 0.004
Fossil Plants 0.005 0.005 0.005
All Plants 0.0007 0.0009 0.0011
Total Particulate Matter Emissions (tons) 96 99 95
Humboldt Bay Generating Station 51 51 44
Gateway Generating Station 19 22 25
Colusa Generating Station 27 26 25
Total CO Emissions (tons) 43 46 45
Humboldt Bay Generating Station 15 14 15
Gateway Generating Station 10 8 10
Colusa Generating Station 18 24 20
Total VOC Emissions (tons) 74 60 59
Humboldt Bay Generating Station 66 47 41
Gateway Generating Station 7 8 11
Colusa Generating Station 1 4 7
  • 1 Due to rounding conventions, some data above sum to an amount greater or less than the totals provided. Additionally, there were no reportable mercury air emissions from PG&E’s facilities during 2011 to 2013.

Investing in Green Buildings

We have increased the number of PG&E LEED™-certification projects to 14 as part of our ongoing efforts to certify new buildings and large remodel projects. This includes LEED Platinum certification for our San Francisco Service Center Garage remodel. As shown below, this includes a range of facilities throughout our service area.

Facility Name Location Scope LEED™ Level Status
Stockton Customer Service Office Stockton Major remodel—leased building LEED-CI Silver Received March 2010
Gateway Generating Station—Administration Building Antioch New building LEED-NC Certified Received March 2010
San Ramon Office Building San Ramon Major remodel—leased building LEED-CI Certified Received March 2010
Grid Control Center Vacaville New building LEED-NC Silver Received April 2010
77 Beale, 25th Floor San Francisco Major remodel LEED-CI Gold Received June 2011
Santa Rosa Service Center—Front Building Santa Rosa Major remodel LEED-NC Certified Received September 2011
Bakersfield Service Center Operations Building Bakersfield Major remodel LEED-NC Certified Received January 2012
Stockton Service Center Operations Building 2 Stockton Major remodel LEED-NC Silver Received January 2012
Stockton Service Center Operations Building 1 Stockton Major remodel LEED-NC Silver Received April 2012
Santa Rosa Service Center—Back Building Santa Rosa Major remodel LEED-NC Certified Received May 2012
San Francisco Service Center Garage San Francisco Major remodel LEED-NC Platinum Received in November 2013
General Office Headquarters Complex San Francisco Existing Building LEED-EBOM Gold Received in 2013
Energy Procurement Alternate Headquarters Vacaville New Building LEED-NC Certified Received in December 2013
Colusa Generating Station—Administration Building Colusa New building LEED-NC Silver Received April 2014

Green Facilities

In 2013, PG&E opened a new Gas Control Center to centralize the management of our gas system. Located in the LEED-certified Bishop Ranch business park in San Ramon, the center brings employees together in one centralized location for gas distribution, transmission, dispatch and reliability planning.

(Photo by Sherman Takata)

PG&E’s San Francisco Service Center Garage earned a LEED Platinum Certification.

Looking Ahead

To support construction and major remodel projects, we have created new workplace standards for using environmentally responsible materials and construction practices. These new standards will help us improve indoor air quality, generate less waste and increase operational efficiency over the life of our facilities.

PG&E’s headquarters complex achieved LEED Gold Certification.

In 2014, we achieved LEED Gold certification for our headquarters complex in downtown San Francisco—the first time the U.S. Green Building Council has awarded this honor to an entire office complex. We also plan to open the first of three electric distribution control centers that will house new smart grid technology and will also be LEED certified.

Our Sustainability Journey





Economic Vitality