We strive to improve quality of life and economic prosperity by safely and
reliably delivering earth’s most essential resources.
This is Essential Utilities Inc.’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report, for the calendar year 2022. Data in this report reflects the company as of Dec. 31, 2022, unless otherwise noted, and includes information for the entirety of 2022 for the water, wastewater, and natural gas utilities that comprise Essential.
This 2022 ESG report integrates various reporting frameworks, namely the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). For more information, please explore our ESG Hub, which, in addition to this report, houses our SASB and ESG Metrics Index and TCFD report.
For more information on Essential’s ESG initiatives, contact ESG@Essential.co with questions or comments.
This report contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which generally include words such as “believes,” “expects,” “intends,” “anticipates,” “estimates” and similar expressions. The company can give no assurance that any actual or future results or events discussed in these statements will be achieved. Any forward-looking statements represent its views only as of today and should not be relied upon as representing its views as of any subsequent date. Readers are cautioned that such forward-looking statements are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties that could cause the company’s actual results to differ materially from the statements contained in this report. Such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements relating to the capital to be invested by the water, wastewater, and gas distribution divisions of the company. There are important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements including the factors discussed in our Annual Report on Form 10-K and our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, which is filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. For more information regarding risks and uncertainties associated with the company’s business, please refer to the company’s annual, quarterly and other SEC filings. The company is not under any obligation — and expressly disclaims any such obligation — to update or alter its forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Essential is committed to supporting the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which aim to address global challenges and achieve peace and prosperity for all.
Of the SDGs, our business can most significantly positively impact:
We must be ever-vigilant in the face of emerging contaminants from pollutive industries, threats of water-borne diseases, and storms or other events that can raise obstacles to treatment capacity. The well-being of our customers is our single greatest priority.
We are rooted in a firm belief that our team members, our most valuable internal resource, should reflect the communities we live and serve each day. Our suppliers, many of which are locally based and small businesses, should have ownership reflective of the communities we live and serve each day.
We strive to deliver affordable, efficient, safe and plentiful energy to customers through resilient infrastructure and access to robust customer assistance programs. Essential is also innovating and imagining gas delivery for the future.
Although we operate in many municipalities across our footprint, the nature of our business is extremely local. Our employees are often our customers, and our customers are often our suppliers and business partners. These multifaceted and deep connections between Essential and our fellow community members enrich and strengthen neighborhoods, as well as develop a more resilient local economy.
Essential does not just supply water, wastewater and gas services to our customers – we are builders that invest in communities and bolster their resiliency. We engineer solutions to infrastructure issues that have been unresolved for years under different management or ownership. We’re bringing ingenuity and operational excellence through our water and energy brands, and by applying our economies of scale, we deliver affordable, reliable, clean and safe natural resources.
Essential Utilities Inc. is one of the largest publicly traded water, wastewater and natural gas providers in the U.S. We believe our nation’s water and gas infrastructure need new thinking and new investments to overcome the challenges of a changing climate and years of neglect.
We are a champion of communities, people and the environment creating solutions to ensure we have clean and safe natural resources for life, to serve 5.5 million people across 10 states under the Aqua and Peoples brands. With each utility lending more than 130 years of experience, Essential is committed to proactive infrastructure investment, regulatory expertise, operational efficiency and environmental stewardship.
With a nation of crumbling water systems and aging pipelines in need of championing, we are passionate about investing in infrastructure and bringing new energy solutions to communities, while delivering continued return on investment to shareholders.
We are grounded in a deep-rooted purpose that empowers people to live better lives. Integrity, respect and excellence are the core values that guide us. We put the wellbeing of our customers and communities at the heart of all we do, while preserving the culture of trust and safety for our employees. We recognize the importance water and natural gas play in everyday life and are proud to deliver clean, safe, reliable services for the greater good of the communities we serve.
We are Essential – providing natural resources for life.
To sustain life and improve economic prosperity by safely and reliably delivering Earth’s most essential resources to our customers and communities.
Safe and reliable access to natural resources sustains the lives of the people we serve. Essential Utilities is uniquely positioned to strengthen our communities by renewing and improving infrastructure, delivering excellent service, acting as stewards of the environment, enhancing economic development, and making charitable contributions. We are committed to attracting and nurturing a workforce that reflects the diversity of the communities we serve and to providing fair and equitable opportunities for all employees. We’re dedicated to working safely and managing our operations sustainably to protect each other and our environment. We believe our efforts will bring value to our customers, employees and shareholders and enable us to continue to fulfill our mission. Together, we will make a difference for generations to come.
1 Figures are as of December 31, 2022
2 It is important to distinguish between various volumetric measures of water reported by utilities like Essential. Water withdrawn is commonly defined as “water diverted or withdrawn from a surface water or groundwater source.” This is the raw input of our operations and thus has the largest volume of all figures we report. In 2022, Essential withdrew 88.3B gallons. Practically, a small percentage of this volume of surface water withdrawn is used for routine backwashing at our plants for preventative maintenance so the filter media can be reused. The remaining water volume enters the plant to be treated prior to being sent out through our distribution network to customers. This volume of treated water that was sent out from our plants in 2022, or produced, was 86.9B gallons. As water moves through our distribution network, a portion of the volume does not ultimately make it to the customer. This is considered non-revenue water loss and is comprised of both “real” loss (leakage from main) and “apparent” loss, (such as theft and meter inaccuracies) and other instances, such as water main flushing and water for emergency fire services. Across industry, and for Essential as well, these losses amount to roughly 20% of production volume. The remainder reaches the customer, is consumed and ultimately billed.
3 On January 3rd, 2023, Essential announced its plans to sell its West Virginia natural gas utility assets, which has a customer base of approximately 13,000. As this report includes information as of December 31, 2022, unless otherwise noted, West Virginia operations are included within the scope of the report.