DC Water is First and Only Municipal Water Utility to Issue Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Report
March 01, 2023
DC Water today issued its second annual Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) report, which provides a detailed update on ESG-related programs, projects, initiatives, and goals that occurred over the course of the fiscal year of 2022 (FY22). This report builds on the organization’s inaugural FY21 report, as it recognizes the related but distinct role resiliency plays in our enterprise, making it an ESG+R report, and provides an emphasis on accountability, resiliency, and a more integrated relationship with DC Water’s Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) program.
“DC Water remains the only municipal water utility to produce and publish this type of comprehensive ESG report,” said David Gadis, CEO and general manager of DC Water. “Prioritizing ESG-related activities has significantly advanced our mission to provide high-quality water services in a safe, sustainable, and efficient manner. The FY22 report continues to hold us accountable to our many goals and objectives in numerous ways, such as by publishing 33 indicators that showcase our ESG performance over the past year relative to the targets originally set. We see our ESG program as a critical tool to our success.”
The ESG+R report provides additional information on topics such as climate resiliency, risks, and opportunities through the adoption of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework. This disclosure details DC Water’s governance, strategy, risk management, metrics, and targets for mitigating and adapting to climate change.
“We are pleased to report the progress made within the last year in relation to DC Water’s ESG-related initiatives,” said DC Water Chair of the Board of Directors, Tommy Wells. “This report enables DC Water to build trust and hold itself accountable for the many efforts it is undergoing to enhance operations. The ESG+R report, working alongside the updated strategic plan, Blueprint 2.0, enables DC Water to leave lasting positive impacts on the surrounding community and ecosystem. We look forward to tracking more progress throughout the upcoming years.”
Highlights from the report include, but are not limited to, the following:
- (Environmental) In FY22, the Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant earned another Platinum Peak Performance Award from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA). This recognition honors ten consecutive years of 100 percent compliance with the requirements of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES).
- (Social) FY22 set a record for DC Water’s Customer Assistance Programs (CAPs) with $12.8 million in assistance provided by DC Water in the over 18,000 accounts enrolled in the CAP programs. This included 2,650 total new enrollments across the three tiers of CAPs, assisting 50 percent more customers and providing an additional $2.5 million in assistance compared with FY21.
- (Governance) Over FY22, DC Water stood up the initial framework of an ESG Governance structure to institutionalize ESG throughout the Authority, allocate roles and responsibilities, guide future initiatives, manage data governance of metrics, and intentionally establish the relationship between DC Water’s strategy, Enterprise Risk Management (ERM), and ESG programs.
- (Resilience) DC Water secured $20.3 million in funding through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) grant to fund the next phases of the floodwall being constructed around the Blue Plains Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant. This grant is expected to cover 70 percent of the cost of the design build contract for the three remaining segments of the floodwall (segments A, B, and D). The fourth segment, segment C, was completed in July 2021.
To read the full FY22 ESG+R report, please click here.
Madeline Kauffman, Banner Public Affairs
ABOUT DC WATER
DC Water provides more than 700,000 residents and 21.3 million annual visitors in the District of Columbia with retail water and wastewater (sewer) service. With a total service area of approximately 725 square miles, DC Water also treats wastewater for approximately 1.6 million people in neighboring jurisdictions, including Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland and Fairfax and Loudoun counties in Virginia.