Submitted by Southwire
ENERGY & EMISSIONS
For decades, Southwire has been leading innovations that move the electrical industry forward. With each generation comes new challenges and opportunities that shape the future of our company, our industry and the world. In this era of our growth, climate change is a defining issue that we must actively address. That’s how we’ll ensure Southwire can continue to fulfill its mission for the next 100 years.
Our ambitious Carbon Zero objective drives our efforts to eliminate and offset our Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions. The road to progress includes increasing the use of renewable energy and reducing our overall energy consumption. Building on this momentum, in 2022, our Board Sustainability Committee approved Southwire’s first Scope 3 emissions reduction goal. The objective: Implement six activities to reduce our Scope 3 carbon emissions by 2028. With the need for climate action more urgent than ever before, we’re energized to tackle our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across all three Scopes.
OUR APPROACH TO RESPONSIBLE ENERGY MANAGEMENT
Southwire’s environmental, health and safety (EHS) Management System, Policy and Principles outline our approach to protecting the environment and sustainably managing our energy usage through operational efficiency. We use internal and external benchmarking and audits to drive accountability while sharing best practices through our external partnerships and across Southwire’s management teams.
“ Southwire has demonstrated great leadership by setting a 100% Carbon Zero goal for its operations by 2025. We’re proud to acknowledge the company’s commitment to sustainability, which serves as an inspiration to others. It will be the collective efforts of the PSC and businesses like Southwire that move Georgia forward.” - Tim Echols, Vice Chairman of the Georgia PSC
Standing Out for Our Sustainability Strides
In July 2022, the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) presented Southwire with its inaugural Energy Matters Award for Best Sustainability by a Large Company. Some of our recent successes that contributed to the award include:
CLIMATE RISK & OPPORTUNITIES
Addressing complex challenges begins by identifying potential risks and seeking opportunities for innovation. In the case of climate change, these factors will evolve over time, but we can start with what we know today. Extreme weather events are projected to become more frequent and intense, increasing risks such as flooding and severe storms, and straining power systems and grids. However, with demand for sustainable, clean energy and renewable solutions forecasted to rise, our company and customers have an opportunity to build worth.
In 2022, Southwire initiated a third-party climate assessment, which we plan to finalize and begin integrating into our enterprise risk management process in 2023. This will empower us to identify, prepare for and respond to potential climate-related risks, while harnessing opportunities to align climate action with long-term business resilience and success.
These efforts build on our previous initiatives to create a flood emergency response plan and establish winterization procedures. We have also implemented climate-minded infrastructure improvements to harden our operations.
ACCELERATING CARBON ZERO
Our Scope 1 and 2 emissions are generated through our operational activities and the energy we purchase to power our sites. We must stay vigilant in our efforts to address both areas of emissions to keep Southwire on track to achieve our Carbon Zero goal.
In 2022, we invested in widespread efforts to modernize our operations. In the short term, these activities and other factors caused our Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions to slightly increase. However, once completed, these modernization projects will enable us to operate more sustainably for years to come.
One example is our new investment with Sinclair Digital Services, which specializes in the design and implementation of advanced connected buildings. To boost energy efficiency, we partnered with Sinclair to design and implement PoE lighting at our Battery Atlanta office space in Georgia.
Meanwhile, in Carrollton, Ga., we completed construction of our new Southwire Continuous Rod (SCR®) plant — a 100,000-square-foot facility with capacity to produce more copper rod than any other SCR rod system in the world. Once the site is fully functional, it will replace an older plant, thereby reducing Southwire’s carbon footprint. Southwire has contracted with the Carroll EMC utility to provide the facility with 100% renewable electricity, the benefits of which will be fully revealed in 2023.
We will also begin to see the full benefits of a multi-phase initiative to address our carbon footprint through renewable energy credits (RECs). In 2021, Southwire contracted with Georgia Power and Constellation Energy to provide the environmental attributes (in the form of RECs) associated with new solar installations, which came online in two phases in the summer and fall of 2022.
With an eye toward reducing transportation-based emissions, we added new EV charging stations at our plants in Heflin, Ala., and Bremen, Ind. This brings us to a total of seven EV charging locations — including our Carrollton headquarters — with another location in Florence, Ala., currently underway. As we expand this infrastructure, we are exploring the potential to invest in a corporate EV fleet. In 2022, we partnered with master’s students at Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business for a semesterlong project to assess the potential to move this initiative forward.
Driving Targeted Energy Reductions
Low cost. Easy implementation. Big payoff. It’s a savvy strategy to move the needle on our operational emissions and accelerate energy reductions on a large scale.
In 2022, we took this approach to implement simple but effective energy-reduction practices at 13 high-priority sites. Collectively, these sites accounted for about 90% of our total energy consumption, making them prime candidates for energy efficiency improvements.
The projects ranged from switching to LED lighting to improving the sites’ compressed air systems through leak detection and repairs. Of about 100 improvements we identified through the initiative, we completed approximately 95 throughout the year. We expect to see the benefits of these efforts begin to add up in 2023.
LAUNCHING OUR SCOPE 3 GOAL
Our Scope 3 emissions occur through activities in our wider value chain, such as material sourcing and product use. While Southwire doesn’t directly contribute to these emissions, we can work with our suppliers, shipping partners and customers to actively promote and support reduction practices.
Throughout 2022, we worked closely with our Board Sustainability Committee to develop and solidify a goal to implement six activities to reduce our Scope 3 carbon emissions by 2028. Now that we have received the Board’s approval, we are engaging our Global Sustainability team and leaders and subject matter experts throughout our organization to identify high-potential projects.
Seven Ways We’re Reducing Our GHG Emissions
COLLABORATING TOWARD PROGRESS
When we work together, we can power transformation on a larger scale. At Southwire, we’re inspired by the bold sustainability initiatives being led by industry associations, academic institutions, and nongovernmental organizations worldwide and in our own backyard. We seek out opportunities to engage these groups and accelerate progress toward our respective sustainability goals.
Our partnership with The Ray is a great example of how we can collaborate with organizations that align with our values and strengths. As one of their areas of focus, the Atlanta-based nonprofit promotes the deployment of roadside solar, EV charging and underground high-voltage transmission along interstate rights of way. Southwire team members serve on two of The Ray’s councils, and our company provides the organization with funding and technical support. In September, we welcomed The Ray’s Executive Director, Allie Kelly, as the keynote speaker of our annual Innovation Experience.
We also signed on as a partner with The Copper Mark, an assurance framework set up to promote the responsible production of copper along the value chain.
In addition, we continue to engage with:
Overseeing & Integrating Our Energy & Emissions Strategy
Our corporate sustainability department manages our Energy and Emissions strategy, with support from our business group leaders, operations sustainability and environmental staff, energy procurement team and others. The sustainability and energy procurement staff evaluate opportunities to increase our use of renewable energy, while the operations teams seek opportunities to implement energy-saving measures at our sites.
Our executive vice president, general counsel, and chief sustainability officer is responsible for overseeing energy- and emissions-related data collection, goal progress and reporting. He provides updates to the Board Sustainability Committee, which guides our Energy and Emissions strategy and provides additional oversight of our performance. Learn more about corporate and sustainability governance at Southwire.
A leader in technology and innovation, Southwire Company, LLC is one of North America’s largest wire and cable producers and an emerging influence in many important electrical markets. Southwire and its subsidiaries manufacture building wire and cable, utility products, metal-clad cable, portable and electronic cord products, OEM wire products and engineered products. In addition, Southwire supplies assembled products, contractor equipment, electrical components, hand tools and jobsite power and lighting solutions, and the company provides a variety of field and support services to customers around the world. For more information about Southwire’s products, its community involvement and its vision of sustainability, visit www.southwire.com.
More from Southwire