PG&E Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Report 2021

COVID-19 Response

Buildings and Facilities

We are continually working to reduce the environmental footprint of our buildings and facilities through sustainable design, increasing the efficiency of our energy and water usage, and eliminating waste. Our efforts also rely on the participation of our coworkers, 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 coworkers and incorporate sustainability principles and continuous improvement into our real estate management.

We work to use energy and water more efficiently and divert landfill waste from our office facilities and service yards. We’ve published a Facilities Sustainability Standard for future workplace design, while remaining focused on building a more sustainable supply chain through environmentally preferable product choices and procurement strategies. We also power our service centers—nearly 100 facilities in Northern and Central California—with 100% 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 coworkers 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.

2020 Milestones

In 2020, we continued to operate and maintain our facilities using sustainable practices. Compared to 2019, our electricity and natural gas usage dropped by 6% and 9% respectively, while aggregated energy use intensity decreased by more than 9%. Our water usage decreased by 3% and we generated approximately 44% less waste, while increasing our waste diversion rate by 4%. Some drops in usage may be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic and increased remote work. PG&E plans to continue embracing mobility and remote work for coworkers, in addition to other strategies, to improve facility sustainability performance. This year’s highlights include:

  • Earned LEED Gold certification for our new Livermore Substation Training Center and LEED Silver certification for the renovation of the main building. Both buildings are equipped with energy efficient HVAC systems, advanced lighting system controls, electric vehicle charging stations, native plant landscaping with smart irrigation system controllers, an on-site solar PV system and a greywater recycling system.
  • Earned recognition for our Livermore Electric Safety Academy, which was selected as the 2020 Regional Best Project for Green category for Northern California by the Engineering News Record. The campus has achieved zero net energy status, meaning the facility produces as much renewable energy as it uses.
  • Expanded our use of on-site renewable energy by completing installation of solar photovoltaic systems at our Stockton Regional Office. We added 947 kW to the site to give PG&E a total of 2.7 million kWh of solar electricity production for the year.

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
2018 2019 2020
Electricity Consumed (gigawatt hours) 89 80 75
Natural Gas Consumed (million cubic feet) 136 133 121
Energy Intensity (million BTUs per square foot) Footnote 2 57 53 48
  • 1. The data reflects the 12-month period from December to November. Between 175 and 189 sites reported electricity data for 2018 to 2020 and between 118 to 136 sites reported natural gas data between 2018 and 2020.1
  • 2. Figures are reported in the industry standard of KBTU per square foot, which incorporates all the energy used in a facility into one comparative figure.2

Water Use Statistics

In 2020, 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
2018 2019 2020
Water Consumed (gallons) 121,447,269 124,244,405 120,388,128
Water Intensity (gallons per square foot) 16.3 18.6 18.0
  • 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 2020, 149 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.

Waste Diversion at Facilities Footnote 1
2018 2019 2020
Total Waste Generated (tons) 20,389 21,604 12,115
Total Waste Diverted (tons) 15,196 16,427 9,735
Waste Diversion Rate 75% 76% 80%
  • 1. The tonnage data reflects all of the non-hazardous municipal waste at 103 to 115 sites managed by PG&E’s Corporate Real Estate Strategy and Services department for the 12 months from October to September.1

Other waste reduction efforts in 2020 included:

  • Recycling 55.9 million pounds of scrap iron, aluminum and copper from conductors, steel, meters, transformer oil and miscellaneous material. We recycled 18.9 million pounds of transformers; about 790,000 pounds of recovered meters; nearly 100,000 pounds of HDPE plastic, including pipes and hard hats; 131,000 pounds of street-light fixtures; 1.7 million pounds of transformer oil; and 6.2 million pounds of miscellaneous materials such as glass and cardboard.
  • Recycling 245 tons of e-waste, including consumer electronic devices, CPUs, monitors, servers, printers and other equipment.
  • Recycling 640 tons of furniture and other service center and office materials.
  • Recycling over 40 tons of paper with employee move-out activities at our corporate headquarters to prepare for our Oakland move-in beginning in 2022.

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
2018 2019 2020
Total Hazardous Waste (tons) 35,756 30,307 16,713
RCRA Footnote 1 Hazardous Waste 2,286 2,676 883
TSCA Footnote 2 Hazardous Waste 411 337 319
California Regulated Hazardous Waste 33,059 27,294 15,511
Federal Regulated Hazardous Waste (TSCA)—includes PCB Waste ≥ 50 ppm PCB (tons)
Total 411 337 319
Incineration 116 231 181
Landfill 182 71 23
Recycled 114 35 115
% Recycled 28% 11% 36%
California Regulated Hazardous Waste (Non-RCRA) Footnote 3 (tons)
Total 33,059 27,294 15,511
Disposed 23,403 23,885 13,556
Recycled 9,656 3,408 1,955
% Recycled 29% 12% 13%
Other Waste
Universal Waste Footnote 4 (tons)
Total 177 168 129
Recycled 177 168 129
% Recycled 100% 100% 100%
Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposed (cubic feet)
Diablo Canyon Power Plant 609 516 313
Humboldt Bay Power Plant Footnote 5a 213,170 6,239 7
Radioactively Cleared Waste Disposed (pounds)
Diablo Canyon Power Plant
Disposed (pounds) 199,184 137,427 154,747
Humboldt Bay Power Plant Footnote 5b
Disposed (pounds) 42,669,730 18,173,850
Recycled Materials from Power Plants (pounds)
Diablo Canyon Power Plant
Steel 0 80,000 0
Copper 0 0 1,840
Lead 0 0 0
E-Waste 0 946 0
Humboldt Bay Power Plant Footnote 5c
Steel 785,090 250,170 0
Copper 0 0 0
Lead 0 0 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. Reduced tonnage in 2020 was likely due to canceled or postponed project work due to COVID-19.3
  • 4. Universal waste is comprised of seven categories: electronic devices, batteries, electric lamps, equipment with mercury, cathode ray tubes (CRT), glass from CRTs, and non-empty aerosol cans. Data shown here exclude electronic waste (electronic devices with or without CRTs).4
  • 5. PG&E is decommissioning the former nuclear unit at the Humboldt Bay Power Plant and site restoration and remediation efforts are in the final phase.5a, 5b, 5c

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
2018 2019 2020
Total NOX Emissions (tons) 134 135 141
Humboldt Bay Generating Station 23 29 33
Gateway Generating Station 67 64 66
Colusa Generating Station 44 42 42
NOX Emissions Rates (lbs/MWh)
Humboldt Bay Generating Station 0.12 0.14 0.136
Gateway Generating Station 0.05 0.05 0.046
Colusa Generating Station 0.03 0.03 0.028
Fossil Plants Footnote 2a 0.04 0.04 0.044
All Plants Footnote 3a 0.01 0.01 0.010
Total SO2 Emissions (tons) 15 14 15
Humboldt Bay Generating Station 1 1 1
Gateway Generating Station 8 7 7
Colusa Generating Station 6 6 7
SO2 Emissions Rates (lbs/MWh)
Humboldt Bay Generating Station 0.005 0.005 0.0041
Gateway Generating Station 0.005 0.005 0.0049
Colusa Generating Station 0.004 0.004 0.0046
Fossil Plants Footnote 2b 0.005 0.004 0.0047
All Plants Footnote 3b 0.001 0.001 0.0010
Total Particulate Matter Emissions (tons) 90 97 97
Humboldt Bay Generating Station 39 47 57
Gateway Generating Station 21 20 20
Colusa Generating Station 30 30 30
Total CO Emissions (tons) 39 34 34
Humboldt Bay Generating Station 19 17 18
Gateway Generating Station 6 6 8
Colusa Generating Station 14 11 16
Total VOC Emissions (tons) 48 56 56
Humboldt Bay Generating Station 35 44 51
Gateway Generating Station 8 7 7
Colusa Generating Station 5 5 6
  • 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 2018 to 2020.1
  • 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