Corporate Citizenship Giving Back. Paying Forward. Helping Our Communities, Our Planet.
WGL is a part of each of the communities to which we provide services, whether that’s in the form of natural gas distribution, through electric power supply services, renewable energy, greening efforts or energy efficiency programs. For as much as we see ourselves as a business enterprise, we also view ourselves as a neighbor and a citizen.
Being a good corporate citizen means many things to us. Citizenship takes the form of helping those who are less fortunate. It means giving back to our communities through volunteerism. It means protecting our environment through clean energy and energy efficiency initiatives. And it means helping the economies of our communities, contributing to jobs for all our fellow citizens, and building and maintaining a safe infrastructure that provides a strong foundation for our energy needs.
Sustainability Investing in Efficiency, Leading by Example
We all share a responsibility to protect our planet, and in every aspect of our business—in our buildings, our vehicle fleet, our pipeline system—we try to lead by example.
Five years ago, Washington Gas committed to reducing, by 2020, its fleet and facilities emissions by 70 percent. We set 2008 as our baseline. As of 2016, we reduced the carbon footprint in our fleet by 25 percent through increased use of natural gas vehicles. At our LEED Gold-certified Washington Gas facility in Springfield, VA, approximately 40 percent of the building’s base load electricity needs are supplied by a fuel cell and more than 30 percent of the building’s materials are from recycled content.
Because of efforts like these at our facilities, combined with our reduction in fleet emissions, we are proud to say that we have achieved our goal more than four years early, reducing fleet and facilities emissions by 74 percent. Our second goal—same baseline, same target date—was to reduce emissions from our gas supply system by 18 percent. We have surpassed this goal as well with a 20 percent reduction.
“We are one of the few utilities with such an aggressive commitment to reducing greenhouse gasses,” said Melissa Adams, WGL’s Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer. “We have more than exceeded our initial targets, but we’re not finished. We are developing a new set of goals to continue our progress.”
MELISSA E. ADAMS Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Officer—WGL
Growth— Investing in Jobs and Infrastructure
WGL is committed to building a resilient infrastructure, promoting sustainable growth and fostering innovation, goals that are reflected in our multi-year investment in modernizing our pipeline systems and developing clean, renewable distributed energy solutions. Modern, efficient systems and distributed energy solutions promote economic growth and increase our region’s competitiveness in our global economy.
As part of everything we do, WGL is committed to providing employment and opportunity for all. In 2015, we set a goal of awarding 20 percent or more of our business to minority-owned, woman-owned and service-disabled veteran-owned business. We exceeded that goal, awarding 26 percent of our business to qualified diverse suppliers. Since 2009, we have purchased more than $800M from certified minority-owned, woman-owned and veteran-owned businesses.
Each Other— Investing in Education, Charities, Those in Need
When the weather gets cold, thousands of people struggle to pay for basic utilities. Founded in 1983 by Washington Gas and The Salvation Army, the Washington Area Fuel Fund (WAFF) is a financial assistance program that helps families who do not qualify for, or who have exhausted, government energy assistance.
WAFF provides funds for all types of fuel to heat families’ homes. Washington Gas covers all the administrative, promotional and fundraising expenses. Since its founding, WAFF has disbursed more than $24 million to help more than 271,000 residents. In 2016, WAFF helped 6,166 area residents with more than $765,000 in energy assistance grants.
Volunteerism: In the past year alone, WGL’s 1,500 employees gave our communities more than 12,000 hours of their time. We have long been involved in helping educate children in financial literacy through Junior Achievement of Greater Washington, along with volunteer efforts that support the environment and the health needs of our communities.
Philanthropy: Each year, WGL donates, on average, almost $1 million to hundreds of regional non-profit and charitable organizations through our Corporate Giving Program. Since 2002, WGL has donated more than $10 million under this program, and WGL’s Employee Giving Campaign has raised more than $1.6 million in donations to local, national and international charities.
“We have been here almost 170 years,” said Kelly Caplan, community outreach and WAFF manager, Washington Gas. “Giving back to our communities is part of our corporate DNA. Indeed, we see ourselves as part of the DNA of the communities we serve.”
KELLY GIBSON CAPLAN Community Outreach & WAFF Manager—Washington Gas