As part of its continued commitment to sustainablepractices, American Water, the U.S.’ largest private water company, recentlyannounced its participation in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA)Climate Leaders program, making the company the first water utility to join.
Launched in February 2002, Climate Leaders is anindustry-government partnership that works to develop long-term, comprehensivecorporate climate change strategies. As an official Climate Leaders partner,American Water has pledged to reduce and inventory its corporate-wide greenhousegas (GHG) emissions.
“Water is a precious natural resource that is essentialto life, and American Water strives to provide water and wastewater managementservices in a manner that prevents pollution, enhances the environment andpromotes sustainability,” said Mark LeChevallier, director of research andenvironmental excellence.
Each EPA Climate Leaders partner commits to:
•Setting corporate-wide greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals, to be achievedin five to 10 years;
• Developing a corporate-wide inventory of the six majorgreenhouse gases;
• Developing a corporate greenhouse gas inventorymanagement plan; and
• Reporting inventory data annually and documentingprogress toward their reduction goal.
Since every corporation has a unique mix of greenhousegas emissions and potential reduction opportunities, each partner takes aslightly different approach to mitigating its climate footprint.
According to LeChevallier, “Climate change poses apotential threat to the efficient stewardship of water as an essential resource.American Water is committed to approaches that limit the emission of greenhousegases contributing to global warming.”
American Water has a strong track record of complyingwith, and in many cases, surpassing, applicable environmental laws andregulations. Since 1999, 65 of American Water’s surface water treatment plantshave received the prestigious EPA Director’s Award from the Partnership for SafeWater for voluntarily achieving more stringent performance goals than thoserequired by state or federal drinking water standards.
As of December 2005, there were 78 Climate Leaderscorporate partners. The EPA estimates that greenhouse gas reductions by thesepartners will prevent more than eight million metric tons of carbon equivalentsper year — equal to removing the emissions of five million cars from the roadannually. More information can be found by calling the EPA at (202) 343-9442 orvisiting www.epa.gov/climateleaders.