Con Edison has been committed to the concepts of sustainability for over two decades – we have learned from our challenges and are proud of our successes. We recognize that sustainability is a journey, and while we have achieved much, we continue to look for ways to improve and meet the needs of our stakeholders.
EPA’s Gas STAR Program: As a part of our commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Con Edison becomes one of the first American gas distribution utility companies to voluntarily join the EPA’s Gas STAR Program to reduce fugitive methane emissions.
1989 Gramercy Park Steam Explosion: Con Edison pleads guilty to conspiracy and environmental-law violations for failing to tell authorities of asbestos release as result of 1989 Gramercy Park Steam explosion. The company is convicted as a criminal and sentenced to three years probation under a federal court monitor.
EPA WasteWise: Con Edison voluntarily joins more than 800 businesses and state and local governments to participate in the federal EPA WasteWise program to reduce municipal solid waste.
Arthur Kill Fire: A fire at the Arthur Kill generating station exposes more than 250 emergency workers to PCBs. Con Edison does not immediately disclose their risk of exposure. The company later settles the rescuers’ lawsuit for $2 million.
Commitment to reduce SF6 fugitive emmisions Continuing the commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, CECONY commits to its first SF6 reduction goal, a 5% reduction from a 1996 baseline (and have since reduced our SF6 emissions over 90%) as a founding member of the SF6 Emissions Reduction Partnership for Electric Power Systems
Additional highlights in 1999:
- Con Edison Solutions begins offering wind and hydropower to its customers
U.S. Coast guard William M.Bernkert award: Con Edison honored by the U.S. Coast Guard with the William M. Benkert Award for Excellence in Marine Environmental Protection. This is the Coast Guard’s most prestigious environmental protection award and presented in recognition of the company’s outstanding achievements extending far beyond compliance with industrial and regulatory standards.
Additional Highlights in 2000:
- CECONY first approved for company-wide certification to the International Organization for Standardization 14001 Environmental Management System Standard
- First electronic waste recycling contract established
September 11th Con Edison requires all responding employees to wear respirators. As a result, zero work-related illnesses are reported among company responders.
Additional Highlights in 2001:
- Con Edison endorses the Ceres Principles
- The National Arbor Day Foundation names O&R a “Tree Line USA Utility” for the first time for leadership in tree maintenance along company rights-of-way; the company will go on to win this award numerous times
- Con Edison wins the 2001 “WasteWise Champion” award for a series of recycling and other environmentally-conscious actions.
Energy Company of the Year: Con Edison was named Energy Company of the Year at the Global Energy Awards sponsored by Platts/Business Week. Criteria for the award are overall excellence in safety, the delivery of energy, customer care, technological innovation, and environmental concern.
Additional Highlights in 2002:
The EPA awards Con Edison the following:
- Clean Air Excellence Award for Hunts Point Market Truck Electrification Project
- Environmental Quality Award for mecury guage exchange program
- WasteWise Champion Award for recycling program
Climate Change Partnership: Con Edison joined with a group of companies and the World Resources Institute to explore prospective private-sector actions to address climate change.
Committing to Eliminate Stray Voltage: An energized service box electrocutes a 30 year old woman. Con Edison develops an inspection and repair program aimed at eliminating contact (stray) voltage and improving public safety.
Additional Highlights in 2004
- Establishes Demand Side Management Program.
- Clean Air Communities wins at New York State Department of Conversation Environmental Awards for four projects executed in partnership with Con Edison
- Con Edison Solutions: Earns Quality Supplier of the Year from U.S. Postal Service for millions of dollars of energy savings at hundreds of USPS locations in New York.
East River Repowering Project: Con Edison declares full commercial operation of its East River Repowering Project with two state-of-the-art, natural-gas-fired steam generators began providing steam for the company’s district steam system, and supplying electricity to New York’s grid. The two newly installed steam-electric generators have up-to-date emission-control technology and burn natural gas exclusively, making the East River station one of the cleanest combustion facilities in New York.
Additional Highlight from 2005
Con Edison was named as a “Champion of Diversity” by the New York Urban League
Con Edison ranked second in Diversity.Inc magazine’s 2006 “Top 50 Companies for Diversity.”
Lexington Ave. Steam Main Rupture: A 24-inch steam main ruptures in midtown, opening a 35-foot wide crater in the middle of Lexington Ave. and injuring 45 people. Con Edison immediately declares the area an asbestos-containment zone and takes all appropriate precautions, demonstrating our lessons learned from the Gramercy Park and Arthur Kill events.
Additional Highlights in 2007:
- CECONY reaches a 75% reduction in hazardous waste generation from 1997 levels
- Named top-ranked US Utility for S&P 500 by the Carbon Disclosure Project
- Honored by the Financial Times/Citi Private Bank for the “Greatest Improvement in carbon efficiency achieved by a large Enterprise in the Americas.”
- Ranked second of 27 international utilities in environmental and social performance by Innovest Strategic Value Advisors
Sustainability Strategy and Communication: Sustainability Strategy First Established and first Sustainability Report Published
Additional Highlights from 2008:
- ConEdison Solutions earned a Supplier Excellence Award under the 2008 United States Postal Service (USPS) Supplier Performance Awards Program
- Installed our first green roof (pictured above) at our training facility in Long Island City, in cooperation with Columbia University’s Center for Climate Systems Research
- Recognized by the United States Environmental Protection Agency for replacing paper insulated lead-covered cable with nonleaded solid dielectric cable.
Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI): CECONY begins participation in first RGGI compliance period
Additional Highlights from 2009:
- Named to Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the first time
- Newsweek magazine named Con Edison to its Green Rankings list as one of the country’s most environmentally friendly utility companies
- Con Edison Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standards Programs initiated
- 5-year goal to drop OSHA rate to first-quartile performance established
- Dunwoodie substation fire and release of approx. 15,000 gallons of oil to the environment accelerates water vulnerability assessment and establishment of corporate Spill Management Team
Pilesgrove, NJ Solar Farm: Con Edison Developments’ 20-Megawatt installation in Pilesgrove, NJ, one of the largest in the country, ground-breaking is announced
Additional Highlights from 2010
- Ranked first among all S&P 500 companies by the Carbon Disclosure Project in its Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index, as well as first among utilities in the new Carbon Performance Leadership Index
- Received Honorable Mention in the EPA WasteWise Partner of the Year Award for recycling over 60,000 tons of materials
- Earned perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index, which rates company practices and policies related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender employees
- Con Edison Solutions installs its first behind the meter solar power at seven sites in MA
- Con Edison Solutions was recognized by Johnson County in Kansas where our Kansas office won a “Green Business Award” in recognition of its achievements in promoting sustainability and environmental responsibility
- Resolved three water-related consent orders for a total cost of over $6.5M.
2020 GHG Emission Goal Achieved: Exceeded our 2020 goal to reduce GHG Emissions 40%
Additional Highlights from 2011
- Met extreme weather challenges including Hurricane Irene (200,000 outages were most in Company history to date), heat waves, and a Halloween snowstorm.
- Oil-to-Gas Conversion Group established
- First GRI Index published
- CES announces City of New Bedford, MA city-wide, multi-site solar power initiative that will reduce the City's overall energy spending through a goal of installing up to 10 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy, enough to power approximately 1,500 homes
Superstorm Sandy: Superstorm Sandy hits North East region and is the worst natural disaster to strike Con Edison’s customers in the company’s history. Sandy caused five times as many outages as the next-largest storm, totaling 1.1 million customer outages. Within 12 days, the company had restored service to 98 percent of the customers affected by the storm. As a result of Superstorm Sandy, and in acknowledgement of the influences of Climate Change, the company has committed $1B in storm hardening activities to improve grid resiliency from future storms.
Additional Highlights from 2012:
- CECONY achieves its 5-year OSHA goal two years ahead of schedule, cutting the rate by more than half from a 3.24 to 1.28
- CECONY dealt with the challenges associated with the expiration of the Collective Bargaining Agreement with Local 1-2 of the Utility Workers Union of America. By the expiration date at midnight on June 30, 2012, the parties were still not in agreement. In the early hours of July 1, the union did not agree to company proposals to extend the contract or to sign a separate agreement providing there would be no-strike or lockout without advance notice. The company believed it would be unfair to ask Con Edison customers to live under the threat of a sudden strike that could undermine the reliability of their energy services, and concluded it had no choice but to lock out the union employees to protect the safety of the system and provide its customers uninterrupted service. The lockout lasted for just under a month, concluding with an agreement reached on July 26th.
- Con Edison Development becomes 5th largest solar producer in North America
- Con Edison Solutions was again recognized by Johnson County in Kansas where our Kansas office won a “Green Business Award” in recognition of its achievements in promoting sustainability and environmental responsibility
Gas Addition Projects Complete: Sustainable gas additions to final two steam plants completed making the entire CECONY fleet independent of oil as our primary fuel source and resulting in a reduction of CO2 emissions of 148,000 tons annually.
Additional Highlights from 2013
- Sustainability Strategy re-designed by Leadership Team to better embrace the triple bottom line
- Received Outstanding Achievement in Residential Program Design and Implementation, and Outstanding Achievement in Pricing and Demand Response for CoolNYC program, along with ThinkEco, from the Association of Energy Services Professionals
- O&R named 2013 Business Leader of the Year, by Leadership Rockland
EAST HARLEM GAS EXPLO SION An explosion involving natural gas leveled two buildings in East Harlem and eight lives were tragically lost. We have increased gas safety patrols to help identify leaks sooner and prevent accidents. To better educate the public about gas leaks, Con Edison has created an online gas map and enhanced communications about the importance of reporting the smell of gas.
- We invested $2.3 billion to keep our electric, gas, and steam systems reliable, resilient, and secure.
- We’re now more than halfway through our four-year plan to fortify our energy infrastructure against changing weather patterns.
- We added solar farms in California, Nevada, and Texas. We also augmented our renewable profile by entering the wind market with projects in Ohio, Nebraska, and South Dakota.
- Our customers installed nearly 3,000 new solar systems – more than all in our combined history – in our service territory from Orange County to Staten Island.