President and Chief Executive Officer
A Message from Dave Lesar, President and Chief Executive Officer
In 2020 we embarked on a journey to execute on strategies to transform CenterPoint Energy into a leading utility company. Top performance requires an enterprisewide commitment to excellence and continuous improvement, and now we are taking a significant transformational step with the announcement of industry-leading goals for reducing carbon emissions attributable to our operations and customer usage that will be an important cornerstone of our ongoing Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy. We are also proud to introduce a new dedicated website, which will provide a means for communicating our ESG reporting by setting out measurable performance metrics that will enable stakeholders to monitor our progress toward meeting our ESG commitments.
New Net Zero Goal – Actionable, Measurable and Transparent
One of the hallmarks of a leading utility is its customer base. With our corporate headquarters located in Houston, the fourth largest – and growing – city in the United States, CenterPoint Energy provides both electricity and natural gas to the heart of the nation’s energy industry. Our seven million customers across an eight-state footprint expect us to lead the transition to safe, clean and resilient energy, and we have challenged ourselves to be an industry leader in the transition to a Net Zero energy future.
To meet this challenge, CenterPoint Energy has committed to be the first combined electric and natural gas utility with generating assets to commit to achieve Net Zero for its Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2035, fifteen years ahead of our average peer goals. Our Net Zero commitment is based on actionable pathways taken on our operating systems (both electric and natural gas), within our footprint. We intend to achieve our Net Zero goals through measurable emission reductions and minimal reliance on carbon offsets. Further, we will report those emission reductions in a transparent manner.
In addition to an industry-leading Net Zero goal, CenterPoint Energy intends to be a leader in enabling our customers to transition to a cleaner energy future by being the first utility to set a meaningful Scope 3 emission reduction goal across our multistate operating jurisdictions. Specifically, CenterPoint Energy is committed to helping our residential and commercial customers in our footprint reduce GHG emissions attributable to their use of natural gas by 20-30% by 2035.
We are confident in our belief that we can deliver on these new ESG commitments. CenterPoint Energy is well on the way to executing our generation transition plan in Indiana, and we have a very successful track record in delivering effective conservation and energy efficiency programs. We will continue to seek to expand these proven program offerings, coupled with new renewable natural gas opportunities and additional hydrogen and commercial-scale carbon capture and sequestration technology pilots. CenterPoint Energy also has a critical role to play in continuing to partner with the City of Houston to support the City’s Climate Action and Resilient Now Partnership plans, including leveraging new resiliency measures recently authorized by the Texas Legislature.
Commitment to ESG Governance
Like all premier companies, sustainability is ingrained in everything we do at CenterPoint Energy and serves a fundamental role in our strategic planning and decision making. In recognition of the importance that ESG plays in utility performance, we are committed to a renewed corporate governance structure that aligns with our ESG strategy. This includes the recent implementation of a new independent leadership and governance structure following the substantial refreshment of the company’s diverse Board of Directors, including appointing Martin Nesbitt to the newly created position of Independent Chair of the Board.
We have also worked to align management’s incentive compensation and the CenterPoint Foundation giving strategy with Diversity and Inclusion goals and metrics. Most recently, we announced signature environmental contributions, including $1 million in conservation grants to the Nature Conservancy and the Arbor Day Foundation. These investments will fund water pollution and mitigation, Texas Gulf restoration and environmental education for elementary school students. Additionally, we provided a $1 million grant to the State of Indiana to fund programming for the state’s first diversity officer and office for four years.
But just announcing our new industry leading carbon reduction commitments is not enough. Our stakeholders demand clear pathways and transparent ESG reporting that we believe our new dedicated ESG website will provide.
We are very excited to be sharing these new transformational steps with our stakeholders, and we thank you for the trust that you have placed in us.
President and Chief Executive Officer, CenterPoint Energy
September 23, 2021