PG&E Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Report 2018

PG&E Chapter 11 Update

Buildings and Facilities

Through sustainable design, increasing the efficiency of our energy and water usage, and eliminating waste, we are continually working to reduce the environmental footprint of our buildings and facilities. Our efforts also rely on the participation of our employees, who help us reach our goals.

Our Approach

Energy, Water and Waste

We continue to execute a multifaceted strategy to invest in key facility improvements, engage employees and incorporate sustainability principles and continuous improvement into our real estate management.

In 2018, we worked to use energy and water more efficiently and divert landfill waste from our office facilities and service yards. We also remained focused on building a more sustainable supply chain through environmentally preferable product choices and procurement strategies. We also powered all our service centers—nearly 100 facilities in Northern and Central California—with 100 percent solar energy through Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s Solar Choice program.

Hazardous and Other Waste

As part of our course of business, certain activities generate hazardous wastes. Waste is also generated during the remediation and cleanup of legacy sites.

PG&E handles all hazardous waste in accordance with federal and state regulations. Our approach includes providing training and guidance to employees to ensure waste is properly managed from the point of generation to recycling or disposal.

Applicable federal and state hazardous waste management statutes include the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and the Toxic Substances Control Act under federal requirements and Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations and the California Health and Safety Code. California laws and regulations are more stringent and encompass broader waste streams than federal requirements.

2018 Milestones

In 2018, we continued to operate and maintain our facilities using sustainable practices. Compared to 2017, aggregated energy use intensity decreased by 6 percent and water usage dropped by 2 percent. The results reflect continued efforts to execute in several strategic areas to improve facility sustainability performance:

  • Incorporated leading sustainability criteria into the design standards for future PG&E facilities. One of our newest facilities, the Gas Safety Academy, earned a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification in 2018. Sustainable features at the site, which encompasses a 7.1-acre facility footprint in Winters, include highly efficient HVAC and lighting, electric vehicle charging stations and native, drought-tolerant landscaping. We also submitted a LEED Gold application for our newest facility, the Auburn Regional Service Center, which is expected to receive its certification in 2019.
  • Completed energy efficiency upgrades at over 10 of our top energy-consuming sites. This included installing interior and exterior LED lighting with advanced lighting control systems, which resulted in over one million kWh hours of energy savings compared to 2017.
  • Expanded our use of on-site renewable energy by completing the installation of a 605 kW solar photovoltaic system at our Gas Safety Academy and launching solar projects at five other new facilities that will be operational in 2019.

Measuring Progress

Energy Consumption Statistics

These figures represent electricity and natural gas usage at facilities managed by Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s Corporate Real Estate Strategy and Services department.

Energy Consumed at Facilities Footnote 1
2016 2017 2018
Electricity Consumed (gigawatt hours) 94 93 89
Natural Gas Consumed (million cubic feet) 113 136 136
Energy Intensity (million BTUs per square foot) Footnote 2 59 61 57
  • 1. The data reflects the 12-month period from December to November. Between 178 and 189 sites reported electricity data for 2016 to 2018 and between 123 to 136 sites reported natural gas data between 2016 and 2018.1
  • 2. Figures are reported in the industry standard of BTU per square foot, which incorporates all the energy used in a facility into one comparative figure.2

Water Use Statistics

In 2018, we tracked water use throughout the year. Please see the Water section for additional statistics on PG&E’s water usage.

Water Consumed at Facilities Footnote 1
2016 2017 2018
Water Consumed (gallons) 121,451,138 123,419,216 121,447,269
Water Intensity (gallons per square foot) 16.3 16.6 16.3
  • 1. The data represents all sites managed by Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s Corporate Real Estate Strategy and Services department where water was consumed and data was available for the 12-month period from October to September. In 2018, 157 sites reported water data.1

Waste Generation Statistics

PG&E strives to minimize the overall amount of waste we generate, while composting organic waste and recycling non-hazardous materials such as glass, paper and certain metals. Due to affordability measures, PG&E was unable to track and report a waste diversion rate in 2018.

Other waste reduction efforts in 2018 included:

  • Recycling more than 30 million pounds of scrap iron, aluminum and copper from conductors, meters and miscellaneous material. We also recycled nearly one million pounds of recovered meters; nearly 18 million pounds of transformers; more than 241,000 pounds of plastic, including pipes and hard hats; nearly 469,000 pounds of street light fixtures; 1.86 million pounds of transformer oil; and nearly 2.75 million pounds of miscellaneous materials such as glass and cardboard.
  • Recycling more than 340 tons of e-waste, including consumer electronic devices, CPUs, monitors, servers, printers and other equipment.
  • Recycling approximately 785,090 pounds of steel from Humboldt Bay Power Plant.

Hazardous and Other Waste

The following table provides statistics on PG&E’s waste generation. While PG&E works to reduce hazardous waste, certain projects such as infrastructure upgrades or remediation of historical contamination may increase the amount generated in a given year.

Hazardous and Other Waste
2016 2017 2018
Total Hazardous Waste (tons) 67,645 31,051 35,756
RCRA Footnote 1 Hazardous Waste 1,329 1,820 2,286
TSCA Footnote 2 Hazardous Waste 557 513 411
California Regulated Hazardous Waste 65,759 28,718 33,059
Federal Regulated Hazardous Waste (TSCA)—includes PCB Waste ≥ 50 ppm PCB (tons)
Total 557 513 411
Incineration 58 127 116
Landfill 348 360 182
Recycled 152 26 114
% Recycled 27.3% 5.1% 27.6%
California Regulated Hazardous Waste (Non-RCRA) Footnote 3 (tons)
Total 65,759 28,718 33,059
Disposed 58,157 22,317 23,403
Recycled 7,602 6,401 9,656
% Recycled 11.6% 22.3% 29.2%
Other Waste
Universal Waste Footnote 4 (tons)
Total 86 179 177
Recycled 86 179 177
% Recycled 100% 100% 100%
Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposed (cubic feet)
Diablo Canyon Power Plant 631 647 609
Humboldt Bay Power Plant 241,213 714,836 213,170
Radioactively Cleared Waste Disposed (pounds)
Diablo Canyon Power Plant
Disposed (pounds) 138,169 185,014 199,184
Humboldt Bay Power Plant
Disposed (pounds) Footnote 5 23,228,666 13,148,362 42,669,730
Recycled Materials from Power Plants (pounds)
Diablo Canyon Power Plant
Steel 1,700 0 0
Copper 6,125 0 0
Lead 0 0 0
Humboldt Bay Power Plant
Steel 301,430 514,940 785,090
Copper 0 0 0
Lead 0 21,500 0
  • 1. Refers to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).1
  • 2. Refers to the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA).2
  • 3. These figures include polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) waste < 50 ppm PCB.3
  • 4. Universal waste is comprised of seven categories: electronic devices, batteries, electric lamps, equipment with mercury, cathode ray tubes, glass from cathode ray tubes, and non-empty aerosol cans.4
  • 5. The amount of radioactively cleared waste disposed increased due to higher than expected waste from a debris landfill.5

Air Emissions

To comply with local air quality regulations, PG&E is focused on minimizing air emissions from its conventional sources of power generation. The following figures reflect emissions from PG&E-owned generation sources.

Air Emissions Footnote 1
2016 2017 2018
Total NOX Emissions (tons) 141 155 134
Humboldt Bay Generating Station 31 31 23
Gateway Generating Station 68 78 67
Colusa Generating Station 42 45 44
NOX Emissions Rates (lbs/MWh)
Humboldt Bay Generating Station 0.17 0.15 0.12
Gateway Generating Station 0.06 0.06 0.05
Colusa Generating Station 0.03 0.04 0.03
Fossil Plants Footnote 2a 0.05 0.05 0.04
All Plants Footnote 3a 0.01 0.01 0.01
Total SO2 Emissions (tons) 13 14 15
Humboldt Bay Generating Station 1 1 1
Gateway Generating Station 6 7 8
Colusa Generating Station 6 6 6
SO2 Emissions Rates (lbs/MWh)
Humboldt Bay Generating Station 0.005 0.004 0.005
Gateway Generating Station 0.005 0.005 0.005
Colusa Generating Station 0.004 0.005 0.004
Fossil Plants Footnote 2b 0.005 0.005 0.005
All Plants Footnote 3b 0.001 0.001 0.001
Total Particulate Matter Emissions (tons) 90 94 90
Humboldt Bay Generating Station 44 50 39
Gateway Generating Station 17 20 21
Colusa Generating Station 29 25 30
Total CO Emissions (tons) 59 58 39
Humboldt Bay Generating Station 32 24 19
Gateway Generating Station 11 14 6
Colusa Generating Station 16 20 14
Total VOC Emissions (tons) 53 61 48
Humboldt Bay Generating Station 42 49 35
Gateway Generating Station 6 7 8
Colusa Generating Station 5 5 5
  • 1. Due to rounding conventions, some data above sum to an amount greater or less than the totals provided. Additionally, there were no reportable mercury air emissions from PG&E’s facilities during 2016 to 2018.1
  • 2. Collective emission rates for Humboldt Bay, Gateway and Colusa Generating Stations.2a, 2b
  • 3. Includes all PG&E-owned generation sources, including fossil fuels, nuclear, hydroelectric and renewable energy.3a, 3b