Our commitment to the environment goes beyond regulatory compliance. Our Environmental Affairs team takes a proactive approach to advancing the culture and continual improvement of environmental practices and sustainability throughout the organization.
More information related to our environmental commitment is available in the Environmental section of our annual Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Report.
MGE’s Environmental and Sustainability Policy
As your community energy company, MGE recognizes its responsibility to preserve and protect the environment while serving our communities with safe, reliable, affordable and sustainable energy. We are proactive and forward-thinking in our stewardship and promote sustainability with our partners, suppliers and employees as we work together to build a cleaner, smarter future.
In pursuit of our mission and in support of our commitment to those we serve, MGE:
- Complies with all environmental laws, regulations, permit requirements and other corporate environmental commitments and exceeds compliance as demonstrated by the commitments in this policy.
- Seeks environment-friendly options and waste minimization when considering sources of supply, material and contractors.
- Considers the environmental impacts of applicable company activities and seeks sustainable, cost-effective ways to reduce adverse environmental impacts and risk.
- Sets corporate goals and objectives and fosters a culture of continuous improvement in environmental and employee safety performance.
- Educates employees about MGE’s environmental responsibilities and policy and communicates and reinforces environmental values throughout the company.
- Provides regular updates on environmental and sustainability initiatives and performance to MGE’s Board of Directors to advance oversight and transparency of company operations.
- Explores opportunities to advance new, cost-effective technologies for the benefit of all and to reduce the community’s collective environmental footprint.
- Partners with community stakeholders to promote environmental education, energy efficiency and conservation.
- Communicates openly and honestly with the public regarding MGE’s environmental policy and performance.
- Contributes to the well-being of its communities through charitable and corporate giving and the service and volunteerism of employees.
Sustainability Steering Team
MGE’s employee-led Sustainability Steering Team reviews, evaluates and prioritizes continuous improvement opportunities for day-to-day operations companywide. The group, with employee representation from across the company, is responsible for commissioning continuous improvement sustainability teams to take on specific improvement initiatives and tasks.
Environmental Management System
An Environmental Management System (EMS) is a continuous improvement process that evaluates, prioritizes and manages environmental risks. MGE’s first Continuous Improvement Sustainability Team oversaw the expansion of the company’s EMS to cover all of MGE’s operations. The expanded scope of our EMS captures environmental improvements across the company.
MGE employed an independent third party to oversee the expansion of the EMS. The independent third party’s expertise in risk management and compliance helped MGE to identify operational and environmental risks and to evaluate those risks under the scope of the expanded EMS. The EMS has a risk profile or scoring convention to evaluate risks consistent with how the company assesses risk throughout the organization. The EMS process helps to ensure effective identification, assessment and management of risk at all levels of the organization.
As part of our EMS expansion, MGE’s Sustainability Steering Team developed environmental goals, targets and action plans that were informed by the company’s Environmental and Sustainability Policy and work done by operations staff to evaluate and rank MGE’s operational environmental impacts. For more on these initiatives, see our Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Report.
Comprehensive Risk Minimization
MGE’s environmental team oversees hundreds of routine monitoring, record-keeping and reporting tasks, some of which occur every week. In the past, these were tracked on multiple different servers to manage the data and deadlines as the tasks were assigned to and tracked for employees across several departments.
In 2019, MGE began using a new comprehensive Environmental Management Information System (EMIS). The EMIS makes it significantly easier to see and track the different tasks. For example, inspections in the field are now done and saved electronically, which means the data can be retrieved instantly.
The EMIS provides MGE with better and quicker access to the status of compliance activities and improved information for resource planning. It also improves our reporting performance. This leads to more efficient use of time, better alignment of information management processes and simplified training for turnover or responsibility transfers.
MGE voluntarily participates in two statewide environmental performance programs. MGE has achieved the highest designations from both programs.
- In 2023, MGE earned the Green Master designation for the 10th consecutive year from the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council (WSBC). The WSBC ranks organizations against what are considered best practices in sustainability and ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) pillars. Participating organizations are ranked in 15 categories under four specific areas: environment, society, workforce, and governance and leadership. MGE was the first utility to be awarded the Green Master distinction in 2014.
- MGE is the only electric utility in Wisconsin to be awarded the highest participating level in the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) environmental leadership program, Green Tier, and is one of only eight Wisconsin companies to achieve the “Tier 2” level.
As a participant in the highest level of the Green Tier program, MGE’s EMS is required to be aligned with ISO 14001, an internationally recognized EMS, to manage our operational environmental impacts, opportunities and risks.
Participation in the Green Tier program provides certification for our EMS. Certification is based on an external system audit and an external compliance audit. Reporting on the performance of our EMS, including audit results, occurs annually with results available on the DNR website.
MGE also participates in the Electric Power Research Institute’s (EPRI) efforts to identify and understand metrics appropriate for benchmarking the performance of electric power companies on their priority sustainability issues. MGE has participated in this EPRI benchmarking since it began in 2014.