ESG Q&A with Alliant Energy
What is the visibility in achieving your emissions reduction goal(s) and can you provide us with concrete examples of how you plan to get there?
Alliant Energy has released an annual Corporate Responsibility Report highlighting advancements in renewable energy since 2015 and more recently began including progress on our Clean Energy Vision. Resources are readily available to keep our stakeholders updated about our sustainable energy plans.
We have made great progress already – 2020 C02 emissions were 42% lower when compared to 2005. These reductions were enabled in part by the retirement of 1,100 MW of coal generation. Last year we also completed the addition of 1.2 GW of new wind generation - making us the third largest owner-operator of regulated wind in the country.
Our future is guided by our Clean Energy Blueprints. These plans include our announced retirement of an additional 1,300 MW of coal generation by the end of 2024 and the addition of nearly 1,500 MW of solar generation and 75MW of energy storage. Alliant Energy has also made a commitment to replace all our light duty vehicles with electric vehicles by 2030.
You have a net zero by 2050 goal, but what are your interim milestones? What are the KPI’s we can track to monitor your progress?
Alliant Energy’s interim goals toward net zero include the reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the electricity we generate by 50% from 2005 levels (which was approximately 24 million tons) by 2030, as well as the elimination of coal from our generation mix by 2040. The Key Performance Indicators tracked include tons of CO2 emissions reductions and megawatts of coal generation retired.
The progress toward our Clean Energy Vision can be found in Alliant Energy’s Corporate Responsibility Report and frequently updated customer and stakeholder communications. CO2 emissions are reported annually into the US Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration and the Iowa and Wisconsin Departments of Natural Resources, all of which maintain publicly accessible resources to obtain this information.
Some companies are resetting DE&I goals. How have the goals changed, and how are they measured? What operational changes have been made to support achieving the new goals? How are management and Board engaged in DE&I?
Alliant Energy places importance on workplace diversity, equity and inclusion, guided by our values and purpose. Our vision is to be recognized as a leader for our inclusive culture and practices that encourage all employees to bring their full self to work. This benefits all co-workers, customers and communities.
Our Board of Directors Compensation and Personnel Committee (CPC) has oversight over the health of our working environment. Diversity metrics measuring the representation of women and people of color in our workforce have been part of our short-term compensation plan for more than a decade. DE&I plans and human capital data are reviewed regularly by the CPC to ensure accountability to our strategy.
Alliant Energy has six Employee Resource Groups dedicated to creating a culture of inclusion and a sense of belonging for employees. We also want to provide an opportunity for our employees to engage in dialogue about improving inclusion at our company. We created a series called Days of Understanding focused on meaningful dialogue around unconscious bias and inclusion, in which 80% of our employees attended and shared their experiences. Additionally, as leadership plays a critical role in fostering a culture of inclusion and belonging, all people managers participated in a 5-session cohort experience focused on being inclusive leaders.
The attraction of a broader group of future employees through early career programs is critical. This includes our internship program and other pathways we’ve created into careers in energy through our pre-apprenticeship program, as well as a youth apprenticeship to educate and engage high school students about careers in our industry. Outreach for our internship program includes diversification efforts such as connecting with campus groups like Society of Women Engineers and the National Society of Black Engineers and outreach for our pre-apprenticeship programs involves partnering with non-profit organizations such as the Urban League, Urban Dreams, Operation Fresh Start, Southwestern Wisconsin Community Action Program and Home Base Iowa. We hope to provide broad awareness and better access to our company to attract more diverse employees.
Have you set ESG targets and milestones and are there incentives in place for management to hit these goals?
Alliant Energy’s Corporate Scorecard includes ESG metrics for carbon emission reductions, energy reliability, customer experience and workforce diversity. These ESG targets and milestones are linked to annual performance pay incentive programs that are applicable to staff from our CEO to individual contributors. We believe this helps all our employees understand the importance of and help drive improvements in our ESG performance.