Environmental Indicators

Management Approach

We constantly look for ways to improve and grow our company while reducing our impact on the environment.


2016 Mercury Air Emissions with blue background

 

G.3.1 INDICATOR

 

G4 INDICATOR

 


TOPIC

 


RESPONSE

 

Materials

     

 EN1

 G4-EN1

Weight or volume of materials

 

Most high-volume materials are purchased by length, reel, pole, transformer, case, truckload or other measure with no consistent relationship to weight or volume. See G4-EN3 for fuel quantities. 

 

EN2

 

G4-EN2

Materials used that are recycled content

It is not possible to precisely determine how much of the material we use to provide electric and natural gas service comes from recycled sources. A portion of steel, aluminum, other metals and plastics may come from recycled sources, and we actively pursue recycling of these materials when their useful life has been reached. Nearly all fuel used is virgin material, because sufficient volumes of recycled fuels are not available.

 Energy

     
 

EN3

G4-EN3

 


Energy Consumption

Most of the energy we use is from fuels. See the Fuels Consumed for U.S. Electric Generation table

Another significant energy use is electricity for the buildings we occupy. In 2016 Duke Energy consumed approximately 156 gigawatt-hours of electricity in its commercial buildings (excludes Piedmont Natural Gas, where a consistent tracking system is being developed).

 

EN4

 

Indirect energy consumption


 

We do not centrally track these data. Indirect energy consumption is very small relative to direct energy consumption from fuels to generate electricity.

 

EN5

G4-EN4

 
 

Energy consumption outside of Duke Energy


 

We track the amount of energy we supply to customers, and have many initiatives to help them save energy.

In our Our Sustainability Plan And Goals we have a goal to achieve a cumulative reduction in customer energy consumption of 15,000 gigawatt-hours (equivalent to the annual usage of 1.25 million homes), and achieve a cumulative reduction in peak demand of 5,250 megawatts (MW) (equivalent to nearly nine 600-MW power plants) by 2020. Click Customers in the Plan for an update.

 

G4-EN5
G4-EN6

Energy Intensity and Reduction

 

2016 fossil fuel consumed is approximately 369 million MWh.

MWh electricity produced, from our 2016 Sustainability Report, was 219,285 thousand MWh.

The calculated Energy Intensity was 0.59.

 

EN6

G4-EN7 

Energy Efficiency

In the electric utility industry context, energy efficiency is pertinent to both generation efficiency, which we report in GRI economic indicator EU11, and in use of electricity by customers, which we report in G4-EN4, and here.

Energy efficiency programs vary by state and we provide information for each state on our website.

Water

 

     

Commentary on Water Management

     

See Preserving And Protecting Water Resources in our 2016 Sustainability Report.

 EN8

G4-EN-8

 

Water Withdrawal

See Water Withdrawn and Consumed in the Environmental Performance Metrics section of our Sustainability Report.

 EN9

G4-EN-9

 

Water sources and habitats affected by withdrawals

Water for various aspects of electric generation is drawn from surface and underground sources. Large volume withdrawals are regulated by state or federal permit conditions that are designed to prevent adverse impacts on aquatic species and communities.

 

 EN10 


G4-EN10

 

Water recycled or reused

Our largest, most material use of water is for electric generation cooling. Approximately 99% of the water withdrawn is returned to the source after once-through cooling. The returned water is available for other uses.

Our largest recycling of water is through use of closed-loop cooling systems, and we do not record the volume of water recycled through these systems. See Water Withdrawn and Consumed in the Environmental Performance Metrics section of our Sustainability Report.

In 2016, water consumption totaled approximately 337 gallons per net MWh electricity produced.

 Biodiversity

     

EN11

G4-EN11

 

Land in and adjacent to protected areas and areas of high biological diversity value

We help protect the biological diversity of lands we own or manage. Specific permits and licenses regulate our operations in some of these areas. See several examples.

 EN12

G4-EN12

Impacts on high biodiversity value areas, including transmission line corridors

Environmental analyses performed during planning stages of new facilities are used to identify potential areas of high biodiversity value. If such areas are found, permit conditions are designed to prevent or minimize impacts.

 EN13  G4-EN13

Habitats Protected or Restored

 

We manage and protect various habitats surrounding our facilities and along our rights of way.

 EN14  G4-EN12

Programs to manage Biodiversity

Duke Energy is a strong partner with wildlife and biodiversity management organizations. We also provide examples of how we are protecting turtles, and protecting wildlife in recent sustainability reports.

 EN15  G4-EN-14

Special species habitats

At times, species of special concern to state and/or federal agencies are found on company land. We work closely with agency personnel to protect these species. See EN14.

Emissions, Effluents, and Waste

 
 EN16

G4-EN15
G4-EN18

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions

 

See Emissions from Generation and our response to the Carbon Disclosure Project.

 

 EN17

G4-EN16
G4-EN17

Other relevant indirect GHG emissions

We do not track or report our indirect emissions. They are a very small percentage relative to our direct emissions.

 
 

EN18

G4-EN19

Initiatives to reduce GHG emissions, and reductions achieved

See A Message From Our CEO, Advancing Low-Carbon Technologies", and an update on our carbon emissions reduction goals in our "Sustainability Plan And Goals" (click Operations in the Plan and Goals for an update. 

EN19

 

G4-EN20

Ozone depleting emissions, by weight

We do not centrally track these data. Each facility is responsible for its own compliance with recordkeeping requirements.

EN20

G4-EN21

NOx, SO2 & other significant air emissions by type and weight

See the Emissions from Generation and U.S. Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) tables in the Environmental Performance Metrics section of our Sustainability Report.

Mercury emissions to air are provided in the table, below (from our TRI reports). From 2006 to 2015 mercury emissions were reduced by nearly 90 percent.

2016 Mercury Air Emissions with blue background
Click here to enlarge image.
 EN21  G4-EN22

Total water discharges

Given our combinations of once-through cooling systems, recirculating systems and other water discharges, we do not record a total quantity.

 EN22   G4-EN23

Total weight of waste by type and disposal method

See the Waste table in the Environmental Performance Metrics section of our Sustainability Report.

In 2015, hazardous waste generation totaled approximately 0.0027 pounds per net MWh electricity produced

 EN23 G4-EN24
 

Total number and volume of significant spills

 

See the Reportable Oil Spills table in the Environmental Performance Metrics section of our Sustainability Report.

 EN24 G4-EN25 

Transported hazardous waste


 

See the Waste table in the Environmental Performance Metrics section of our Sustainability Report.

In 2016, hazardous waste generation totaled approximately 0.052 pounds per net MWh electricity produced.

 EN25 G4-EN22
 

Water discharge impacts


 

Discharges are to rivers and lakes by regulatory permits. Those permits and our operating practices are designed to protect the environment and aquatic species. 

Products and Services

 

 EN26

G4-EN27

 

Environmental impact mitigation


 

We offer a number of programs to help residential and business customers be more energy efficient and we also protect sensitive habitats on our property.


 EN27 G4-EN23
 

Percentage of product that is recycled

Electricity and natural gas cannot be recycled in the usual sense. We recycled over 77,000 tons of solid wastes resulting from our operations in 2016. See the Waste table in the Environmental Performance Metrics section of our Sustainability Report.


 

 Compliance

     
 

EN28

 

G4-EN29


Incidents and fines for environmental noncompliance


 

See the Environmental Regulatory Citations table in the Environmental Performance Metrics section of our Sustainability Report.

 Overall

     
 EN30 G4-EN31
 

Environmental protection expenditures


 

We do not centrally track this broad range of expenditures. However, please see our Sustainability Report for more information on recent and planned expenditures to reduce emissions.