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Southern Company Builds on Sustainability Transparency Leadership

Southern Company Builds on Sustainability Transparency Leadership

Published 11-17-22

Submitted by Southern Company

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Company releases 2021 Corporate Responsibility Executive Summary, demonstrates alignment with key ESG reporting frameworks, publishes Trade Association and Climate Engagement Report


Consistent with its commitment to transparency and stakeholder engagement, Southern Company has published its 2021 Corporate Responsibility Executive Summary, refreshed key environmental, social and governance (ESG) data and published a new Trade Association and Climate Engagement Report. These materials can be found in the Data, Downloads and Reports section of the Company’s website.

“Southern Company and its operating companies have remained focused on producing clear and comprehensive disclosures that help investors better understand our company and strategic initiatives,” said Tom Fanning, chairman, president and CEO for Southern Company. “Members of Southern Company’s Board of Directors, our management team and subject matter experts across the company dedicate their time to routinely engaging with a broad range of stakeholders to understand their priorities and concerns. By marrying the information and perspectives gathered through these important conversations with our objective to provide clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy, we are able to achieve optimal outcomes for our customers.”

2021 Corporate Responsibility Executive Summary

Southern Company has long believed corporate responsibility and corporate strategy are inextricably linked. Effectively aligning the company’s corporate strategy with its commitments to stakeholders requires the attention of the entire leadership team, as well as the Board of Directors. This report describes Southern Company’s endeavors and serves as a roadmap for stakeholders wishing to learn more.

The report highlights:

  • Southern Company’s six corporate sustainability priorities: Net Zero and Environment; Reliability, Resilience and Affordability; Innovation; Workforce Sustainability; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; and Community Relationships
  • Southern Company’s core sustainability goals and progress against those goals
  • New and notable items such as updated timelines for proposed coal-fired generation retirements/repowerings and renewable generation additions; discussion of emissions reporting and third-party verification/assurance; commitment to undertake a racial equity audit in 2023; UN Sustainable Development Goals alignment; and a description of the Company’s priority sustainability assessment.

Complementary to the 2021 Corporate Responsibility Executive Summary, Southern Company has updated its ESG Data Table to include 2021 metrics, refreshed its TCFD and SASB indexes and published a new, comprehensive GRI Index.


2021 Trade Association and Climate Engagement Report

Southern Company also published its 2021 Trade Association and Climate Engagement Report, highlighting its continued constructive engagement with policymakers. The report, which brings together existing disclosures and provides analysis and insight into Southern Company’s net zero advocacy positions and memberships in trade associations, provides transparency for investors and other stakeholders into how the company’s engagement with policymakers allows the company to deliver clean, safe, reliable, affordable energy to customers.

“We believe it is important to participate in the public policy process and advocate for enduring policies that are in the interests of Southern Company and our operating companies, as well as customers, employees, stakeholders and the communities that we serve,” said Jim Kerr, executive vice president, chief legal officer and chief compliance officer for Southern Company. “We are pleased to provide the 2021 Trade Association and Climate Engagement Report to our stakeholders who have expressed an interest in our advocacy efforts.”

Key elements of the report include:

  • An overview of Southern Company’s foundational principles and net zero advocacy positions
  • A description of the company’s approach to assessing trade association membership and alignment with the company’s business objectives, including its net zero goal
  • An assessment of climate-related positions of trade associations to which Southern Company or a subsidiary pays dues of $50,000 or more and that lobby on federal energy policy issues as of December 2021
  • A discussion of Board and management oversight of political engagement activities

The report will be updated over time consistent with Southern Company’s long-standing commitment to transparency.

Recognition by CPA-Zicklin as Trendsetter

In addition, Southern Company has been recognized for political disclosure and accountability in the 2022 CPA-Zicklin Index. Companies that score 90 points or higher on the index are considered Trendsetters. Southern Company received a score of 91, the highest mark it has received on the Index since it was first published in 2011.

The CPA-Zicklin Index is produced annually by the Center for Political Accountability in conjunction with the Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. The index measures political disclosure and accountability policies and practices for election-related spending by S&P 500 companies, including political spending policies and board oversight.

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Southern Company

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About Southern Company

Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is a leading energy company serving 9 million customers through its subsidiaries. The company provides clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy through electric operating companies in three states, natural gas distribution companies in four states, a competitive generation company serving wholesale customers across America, a leading distributed energy infrastructure company, a fiber optics network and telecommunications services. Southern Company brands are known for excellent customer service, high reliability and affordable prices below the national average. For more than a century, we have been building the future of energy and developing the full portfolio of energy resources, including carbon-free nuclear, advanced carbon capture technologies, natural gas, renewables, energy efficiency and storage technology. Through an industry-leading commitment to innovation and a low-carbon future, Southern Company and its subsidiaries develop the customized energy solutions our customers and communities require to drive growth and prosperity. Our uncompromising values ensure we put the needs of those we serve at the center of everything we do and govern our business to the benefit of our world. Our corporate culture and hiring practices have been recognized nationally by the U.S. Department of Defense, G.I. Jobs magazine, DiversityInc, Black Enterprise, Forbes and the Women's Choice Award. To learn more, visit www.southerncompany.com.

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