PG&E Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Report 2018

Northern California Wildfires

Message from the CEO and President

To Our Stakeholders:

PG&E has a long history of engagement with the values of sustainability. We issued our first version of this report in 1990, reflecting our long-standing commitment to the environment. In the decades that followed, it has expanded to encompass the full impact of our business, documenting our progress in areas from public safety to diversity and inclusion.

Along the way, we have committed ourselves to profound changes. We supported California policymakers in setting bold goals for transforming the energy sector to cut greenhouse gas emissions. And in 2017, we reached the state’s target of providing one-third of the electricity we deliver to customers from renewable sources—three years ahead of schedule.

Today, we see ourselves as a climate-solutions company. In particular, we see our electric grid as a climate-solutions platform that will be indispensable in helping California to achieve its clean-energy goals, while also ensuring that the transition remains affordable for all.

Yet as we’ve made progress on low-carbon solutions, the evidence of California’s changing climate continues to grow: Years of extreme drought conditions, followed by unprecedented rainfall, and then record-breaking heat. Nearly 130 million dead or dying trees. More frequent and destructive wildfires than our state has ever experienced—including the devastating Northern California fires of October 2017 and July and August 2018.

Such events underline that while our actions on behalf of the climate have never been more important, the nature of sustainability is changing, too. It is expanding to include helping our communities build resilience against climate threats, cope with their disruptions, and restore normalcy as quickly as possible.

Indeed, resilience and sustainability are two sides of the same coin. What’s different are the paths for getting there.

PG&E’s corporate sustainability goals are something we can largely pursue individually, as a company. But meeting the resilience challenge requires a much broader focus on the entire economy—particularly the essential systems of energy, water, and transportation that underlie our prosperity and our quality of life.

That’s not something that any one organization can do on its own. It will require engagement at every level of government, industry, and society. It will take a lot of bright minds working together to come up with the answers, and smart investment for implementing them.

At PG&E, we’ve already started.

We’re funding projects around the state to help communities develop strategies for climate resilience through public-private partnerships, and share that knowledge broadly, while encouraging others to do the same.

At the same time, we’re hardening our own infrastructure, developing robust emergency response plans and procedures, and evaluating the risks from intense storms and sea level rise, as well as extreme heat and land subsidence.

While the obstacles may be daunting, tackling these types of challenges is familiar territory for our company and our state. From the beginning, California has always been at the front line on climate issues.

I firmly believe this is where the solutions are going to be found.

Geisha Williams
CEO and President
PG&E Corporation