Southern Company has released its second Corporate Responsibility Report detailing the energy company’s progress in energy efficiency improvements, renewable resource advancements and research in carbon storage technology.
The Atlanta-based company highlights key initiatives in the report including its megawatt-saving EarthCents energy efficiency programs that help customers save money, a new carbon storage project in Mississippi and a Georgia coal unit conversion that will use wood chips leftover from forest harvests.
Available online, the report discusses key environmental improvements. The company reported that since 1990 its sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions are down more than 30 percent, while electricity generation has increased more than 40 percent. It also has reduced emissions from about 26,500 pounds in 2000 to less than 9,000 pounds per year today with goals to lower sulfur hexafluoride emissions by 7,500 pounds by 2012.
The company has invested about $6.3 billion in environmental controls with plans to spend an additional $3.1 billion through 2010 to further reduce emissions of nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and mercury.
The company has seen its average Toxic Releases Inventory (TRI – see chart) decline as a percentage of electricity produced.
In addition, the company reported that about 96 percent of the water it consumes, more than 6 billion gallons per day, is returned to rivers or lakes.
The company plans to update the report with 2008 data as it becomes available. The new report follows Global Reporting Initiative guidelines.