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green@work : Magazine : Back Issues : Winter 2004 : Cover Story

Part of Cover Story

DJSI Taps Cinergy for Second Year

by Katie Sosnowchik with Joseph Felsik

More Cover Story Articles

For the second straight year, Cinergy Corp. has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes (DJSI), an international benchmark for excellence in social, economic and environmental leadership. Cinergy is one of only three utility companies in the United States, and 16 in
the world, to be named to the DJSI, which covers the top 10 percent of the 2,500 largest companies in the world, providing asset managers with benchmarks to manage sustainability portfolios.

Launched in 1999, the DJSI track the corporate citizenship performance of the leading sustainability-driven companies worldwide through detailed surveys that provide a thorough assessment of general and industry-specific sustainability criteria, which are verified by an external auditor.

To access Cinergy’s first annual Sustainability Report, visit:

A Voluntary Reduction

Global climate change is perhaps the greatest environmental challenge for Cinergy as a coal-burning company. It is the sixth largest utility emitter of CO2 in the United States, burning nearly 30 million tons of coal in its facilities, which emit 66.5 million tons of CO2 a year. And while it burns coal because it’s the most economical way to produce energy, the company also recognizes that it needs to do so in a way that’s as environmentally benign as possible.

As a result, Cinergy announced in September 2003 a voluntary greenhouse gas reduction program that calls for the utility to reduce or offset its greenhouse gas emissions between 2010 and 2012 to levels that are five percent below 2000. The company also committed to invest $21 million for seven years on projects that will allow exploration of the alternative options for reducing CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions on its electric generating, transmission and distribution systems, as well as its natural gas transmission system.

Fourteen projects totaling nearly $3 million have been selected for 2004 and will provide reductions and offsets of approximately 360,000 tons annually of CO2. Developed in collaboration with Environmental Defense, the 2004 projects include:
* eight projects that will improve the efficiency of Cinergy’s electricity generating units;
* three renewable energy projects;
* an energy conservation project in concert with a Cinergy customer;
* a carbon sequestration project;
* the purchase of five hybrid gasoline/electric energy vehicles;
* and a research project to analyze greenhouse gas emissions limitations and related technology.

In keeping with Cinergy’s plan to spend at least two-thirds of the $21 million dollars for on-system projects, more than 75 percent of the 2004 money was allocated to projects that will directly reduce Cinergy’s CO2 emissions. Included are seven heat rate improvement projects at the company’s generating stations. The projects are designed to reduce coal consumption by 142,000 tons annually, thus reducing CO2 emissions and other pollutants. The company is also installing new software at its hydroelectric facility at Markland Dam in Indiana to increase its efficiency.

Renewable energy projects include donation of a photovoltaic system for the Cincinnati Zoo’s new education center, as well a photovoltaic array at PSI Energy’s customer service center in Bloomington, IN. A wind turbine is being installed at the Wolcott rest area on Interstate 65 in Indiana.

In the carbon sequestration area, Cinergy is funding the purchase of trees for a 300-acre reforestation project being managed by the Nature Conservancy in Harrison County, IN. The project will sequester approximately 75,000 tons of CO2 annually.

Finally, to create additional tools for analyzing future climate change policies, Cinergy is funding research by the Electric Power Research Institute to explore and analyze critical factors in creating effective, efficient greenhouse gas emissions limitations and technology policies.

A Public-Private Partnership at Work

Cinergy Corp., the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, Environmental Synergy Inc. and The Conservation Fund are joining forces to create a market-based conservation solution that will help offset the environmental impacts of greenhouse gases, provide new fish and wildlife habitats, and bring recreation-driven economic benefits to Kentucky. With financial support from Cinergy and the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, The Conservation Fund will acquire and conserve 900 acres for inclusion in the Obion Creek Wildlife Management Area, protecting critical habitat and generating new outdoor recreation opportunities such as hiking, fishing and hunting.

Cinergy’s financial contribution to the Kentucky project is part of the company’s voluntary greenhouse gas emissions reduction project.

Cinergy will fund the reforestation of a total of 730 acres from converted agriculture land to native bottomland hardwood forest. Over the next 70 years, these trees will capture approximately 292,000 tons of CO2 equivalent from the atmosphere, generating “carbon credits” that will be retained by Cinergy.

The partnership is intended, said Larry Selzer, president of The Conservation Fund, as a model for using voluntary and market-driven approaches to address both climate change and habitat protection.

In addition to the Obion Creek project, Cinergy is a founding partner in The PowerTree Carbon Co., a multi-million dollar initiative launched in April to address climate change, improve water quality and restore critical wildlife habitat across the south. The voluntary consortium is comprised of 25 leading U.S. energy companies—almost 30 percent of the energy industry—that have committed $3 million to establish six carbon sequestration projects in Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas. The group will plant enough trees to eventually capture more than two million tons of CO2 from the atmosphere. Participating PowerTree companies expect to receive tradable credits for the carbon that will be locked inside the trees, and either use those credits to offset emissions or sell them to other companies.

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