Utilities stand out as pillars of sustainability

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Eight utilities are being recognized for their environmental stewardship, economic performance and contributions to society.

Target Rock Advisors has identified these utilities for their performance and management of the classic pillars of sustainability in three categories -- large capitalization, mid-cap and small cap -- from a pool of 150 publicly traded energy utilities and related organizations.

The large cap leaders are Duke Energy Corporation, PG&E Corporation and the overall sustainability index leader, Sempra Energy. Mid-cap winners are Idaho Power subsidiary IDACORP, NV Energy, and Pinnacle West Capital Corporation. Small cap recipients are ALLETE, MGE Energy, and Unitil Corporation.

"All utilities are assessed using a common yardstick applied to publicly available and verifiable data, and the hard facts of actual historic performance, regardless of the reasons," said Target Rock managing partner Richard Rudden.

As a group, the stocks of utilities that most successfully managed their triple bottom lines over the last 10 years have significantly outperformed other utilities, as well as the broader market indexes, such as the S&P 500, according to Rudden.

"Sustainability is about the full range of interactions a company has with all of its stakeholders," he said. "It's not just about environmental awareness or reporting transparency, it is also about strong management teams that balance the many aspects of their utility operations."

For example, large cap winner PG&E, who has been recognized in Target Rock's Sustainable Utility Leaders Index for the second time, follows a holistic approach to sustainability. This approach includes strengthening the communities where its customers and employees live and work; adding locally manufactured, low-emission bucket trucks to its fleet; focused efforts on hiring and training veterans; and helping customers in underserved communities go solar and save money on their utility bills.

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