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Pillar 2: Environmental Footprint

We’re passionate about protecting the environment

PGE’s Sustainability Report

Pillar 2 - Environmental Footprint

Read more about our vision for a clean energy future.

Jenkins

“We’re charting a path to reduce greenhouse gases in Oregon, because we know how important it is to our company, customers and community. We’re well on our way to transforming the energy landscape, empowering our customers and communities to harness the power of clean, renewable energy. It’s an involved, long-term commitment to clean energy, but we know it's worth it.”

Brad Jenkins, Vice President, Generation and Power Operations

Story 1

Protecting birds

PGE understands the inherent impact our business has on our environment, and we continually work to reduce that impact. A key project in 2017 focused on reducing the risk of bird electrocutions on our power lines. Birds like to perch and nest on power poles and other utility equipment, which can cause problems for both the birds and PGE customers.

To address the issue, we developed a new process to manage osprey nesting incidents on power poles, responding to them as emergency incidents and placing protective covers on equipment as soon as nests are observed. We also rolled out new bird-safe standards for the way we construct our distribution poles across the service territory. These new measures not only help to keep birds safe, but also improve our ability to provide reliable power to customers.

With the success of the project last year, we’re now mandating that all new installations and maintenance work designed after Aug. 15, 2018 must include bird-safety features such as preventative wire spacing and protective wire covers that keep wires a safe distance apart.

Story 2

Study shows a low-carbon future is possible

As Oregon’s largest electric utility, we are committed to leading an energy transformation that will harness the power of clean and renewable resources on behalf of all our customers. To help us understand the challenges and opportunities ahead, PGE commissioned a deep decarbonization study that investigated options to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for all energy services by 80 percent across our service area. The study will assist us in determining if a low carbon future is attainable while serving the growing electric and energy needs of Oregonians.

Our study suggests that:

  • Significant electrification will be an important part of the solution, especially transportation electrification. PGE’s decarbonization study projected that charging EVs on a low-carbon grid could decrease overall passenger transportation GHG emissions by 95 percent. Our communities can realize additional reductions by electrifying buses, delivery vehicles and intermodal freight trucks — giving customers the ability to choose electric and clean regardless of their needs.
  • Energy efficiency continues to be a key strategy for reaching deep greenhouse gas reduction goals, but new technologies will also drive significant energy savings, like electric vehicles, heat pumps and hot water heaters.
  • Electricity systems in a deeply decarbonized future will need new capabilities to efficiently integrate vast amounts of renewables, both distributed renewables like rooftop solar and centralized renewables like wind farms.

The findings of the study are promising and show that a low carbon future is attainable even with today’s technological outlook. The findings also show the path forward is one of shared commitment from utilities, policymakers and customers alike. For more information on our decarbonization study, check out our Integrated Resource Planning page which talks about the path to a decarbonized energy economy.

What’s next

Power-in-Pollinators

PGE is participating in the Electric Power Research Institute’s Power-in-Pollinators Initiative, a collaborative effort among power companies to explore and share best practices that help bees, butterflies and other pollinators. Pollinators perform valuable ecosystem services, but many species are experiencing population declines due to loss of feeding and foraging habitat.

Powerline corridors and other utility owned or operated lands likely contain important pollinator habitat, so electric utilities are well-positioned to help with this problem. PGE’s current pollinator-friendly practices include minimizing disturbance of important vegetation during building and maintenance, using native flowering shrubs in landscape plantings, and responsibly managing honey bee colonies encountered during utility work.

We’re looking forward to learning more about how we can incorporate pollinator best practices into how we serve PGE customers.

For more information, check out the Environmental Footprint section of our Key Metrics summary.