Our Vision and Commitment
MGE is targeting net-zero carbon electricity by 2050. We have said since introducing our carbon reduction targets that if we can go further faster by working together with our customers, we will.
Jeff Keebler Chairman, President and CEO MGE Energy and Madison Gas and Electric
Thank you for your interest in our 2019 Environmental and Sustainability Report. This annual report captures some of the ways in which your community energy company is partnering with our customers and communities and working with our employees and other stakeholders to power a more sustainable future.
MGE is targeting net-zero carbon electricity by 2050. Our goal is based on the latest climate science from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which has outlined "pathways" and necessary actions to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Our 2050 goal reflects our vision and signals our direction, but it doesn't determine our pace. We're making decisions every day to achieve deep decarbonization as quickly as we can while fulfilling our obligation as a critical services provider.
To achieve net-zero, we are working aggressively to decarbonize our electric generation while building a reliable, resilient electric grid. Within the last five years, we have announced cost-effective projects that will grow our wind and solar capacity by roughly 600%, with investments in renewable generation totaling more than $350 million.
Net-zero will require the use of emerging technologies not yet commercially available or cost-effective, but as technology continues to evolve, we will evolve to ensure we continue to meet our customers’ needs safely, reliably, affordably and sustainably.
Our strategies for achieving net-zero are the same as those identified by the IPCC. Energy efficiency is key. MGE employees work directly with many of our residential and business customers to manage their energy use, either through educational workshops in neighborhoods, new technologies such as smart thermostats or one-on-one energy assessments of commercial buildings. Customer engagement remains at the core of our mission.
New technologies continue to offer new opportunities. MGE has been an industry leader in the electrification of transportation since first establishing our electric vehicle public charging network 10 years ago. Today, we're advancing electric buses in our community and growing home charging with our Charge@Home program.
As your community energy company, MGE is locally based in Madison, Wis., operating where we serve. The MGE Foundation is part of the fabric of our community, averaging more than a million dollars in annual charitable contributions to local organizations.
Our executive management and Board of Directors understand sustainability and corporate responsibility are important to our customers, our investors and our company’s long-term success. From business strategy to risk assessment, our board brings a diversity of experience and expertise to their oversight responsibilities.
On behalf of our board and the employees of MGE, I invite you on this journey with us as we continue to build your community energy company for the future, embracing new opportunities and innovative technologies to better serve our customers, employees and broader community.
MGE is committed to transparency and accountability. Our report is organized to be responsive to the disclosure recommendations identified by the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures to help stakeholders better understand our strategies and risks related to the threat of climate change.
Cari Anne Renlund Vice President and General Counsel Madison Gas and Electric
Like the energy industry itself, our path toward greater sustainability is ever changing as we harness the power of new solutions and explore new ways to engage those we serve.
As Vice President and General Counsel, I oversee safety and environmental initiatives, working directly with our employees to impart a philosophy of continuous improvement companywide in both sustainability and safety. MGE continues to be an industry leader in these critical areas.
We power safety
Our annual safety initiatives are employee-led. In 2018, the company achieved a historic safety milestone—the year ended with MGE employees having worked more than a million hours without a lost-time incident. For all of 2018, MGE recorded the lowest lost-time incident rate since the company began keeping records in 1971. Safety of our employees, customers and communities is a top priority.
Environmental benchmarking and oversight
MGE was the first utility statewide to be recognized as a Green Master by the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council. The voluntary, statewide benchmarking program recognizes companies for their leadership in environmental performance. Five years later, our commitment to environmental stewardship and accountability continues to grow.
MGE is working with an independent third party to oversee the expansion of our Environmental Management System (EMS). Our EMS now evaluates, prioritizes and manages environmental risks across the company.
Climate science partnership
Our goal of net-zero carbon electricity by 2050 is based on the latest climate science. Our strategies are consistent with those identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
MGE is working with scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies to evaluate our ongoing efforts for achieving deep decarbonization by mid-century. This collaboration will provide us with expert input and analysis as we work toward one of the most aggressive sustainability goals in the industry.
MGE is committed to transparency and accountability. Our report is organized to be responsive to the disclosure recommendations identified by the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) to help investors, customers and other stakeholders better understand our strategies, challenges and opportunities.
MGE also participates in the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) ESG/sustainability reporting template. Our templates are online at mgeenergy.com/environment. I invite you to visit us online regularly and join us in working toward a better, stronger, more sustainable future.