Powering Strong Communities

NYPA unveils five-year sustainability plan, first annual sustainability report

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) on April 20 unveiled a five-year plan that establishes goals and strategies to achieve the state’s climate goals through a comprehensive sustainability agenda.

Progress against NYPA’s sustainability plan will be measured with annual sustainability reports.

The 2021-2025 sustainability plan outlines the steps NYPA and its subsidiary, the New York State Canal Corporation, are committed to taking to advance sustainability efforts across 15 environmental, social and governance (ESG) focus areas.

The plan will evolve as the ESG initiatives advance to support VISION2030 implementation. The document complements NYPA’s first annual sustainability report, also released on April 20, which details the Authority’s progress in ESG areas in 2020.

NYPA noted that sustainability, measured through an ESG structure, is a foundational pillar of VISION2030, NYPA’s recently introduced strategic plan to help lead the state energy infrastructure’s transformation into a clean, reliable, resilient and affordable system over the next decade.

VISION2030 also sets NYPA on a path to support the state’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act’s (CLCPA) goal of achieving a net-zero carbon economy by 2050.

NYPA will assess its business through the ESG framework, which guides long-term business investments and shows transparency and accountability.

The sustainability plan describes NYPA goals and strategies that have been identified for 15 key sustainability focus areas, in alignment with VISION2030, the CLCPA, state energy programs and executive orders, and industry leading practices, NYPA said.

“The areas, ranging from renewable energy to employee development to risk management, are considered to have the greatest potential impact on NYPA’s business and to be of most importance to stakeholders. The plan has been developed with guidance and input from business units and department leaders across the organization, including Sustainability Advisory Council members, subject matter experts and other key stakeholders,” NYPA said.

The 2020 sustainability report outlines progress toward achieving the goals identified in the five-year plan to date.

Annual reports will disclose comprehensive data related to the implementation of sustainability goals that will be leveraged for decision-making across the organization. NYPA said its goal is to become one of the first U.S. utilities to issue an integrated report for the 2022 reporting cycle.

The report approved on April 20 highlights NYPA’s sustainability commitments and accomplishments in 2020, including:

  • Work toward a 2035 target for eliminating carbon emissions from NYPA’s small clean power plant portfolio, which NYPA said is a significant step toward meeting the state goal of a carbon-free power system by 2040;
  • The financing of hundreds of millions of dollars of customer energy efficiency and clean energy projects;
  • Supporting 400,000 jobs across New York State through economic development programs;
  • Supporting the development and engagement of a diverse workforce through a 10-Point Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Plan; and
  • Continuing to fund a $300 million Reimagine the Canals initiative to revitalize the Erie Canal corridor as a prime tourism and recreation destination.