As part of its continued commitment to sustainable practices, American Water, the nation’s largest private water company, announced its participation in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Climate Leaders program, making the company the first water utility to join.
Launched in February 2002, Climate Leaders is an industry-government partnership that works to develop long-term, comprehensive corporate climate change strategies. As an official Climate Leaders partner, American Water has pledged to reduce and inventory its corporate-wide greenhouse gas emissions.
“Water is a precious natural resource that is essential to life, and American Water strives to provide water and wastewater management services in a manner that prevents pollution, enhances the environment and promotes sustainability,” said Mark LeChevallier, director of research and environmental excellence. “Climate change poses a potential threat to the efficient stewardship of water as an essential resource. American Water is committed to approaches that limit the emission of greenhouse gases contributing to global warming.”
American Water has a strong track record of complying with, and in many cases, surpassing, applicable environmental laws and regulations. Since 1999, 65 of American Water’s surface water treatment plants have received the prestigious EPA Director’s Award from the Partnership for Safe Water for voluntarily achieving more stringent performance goals than those required by state or federal drinking water standards.
As of December 2005, there were 78 Climate Leaders corporate partners. The EPA estimates that greenhouse gas reductions by these partners will prevent more than eight million metric tons of carbon equivalents per year, equal to removing the emissions of five million cars from the road annually.