Over the past year, we’ve engaged in honest dialogue, reflection and redirection. We listened to our diverse set of stakeholders, who inspired us to take critical new steps toward not only conducting our business better, but toward doing better for the world.
This necessary and collaborative process led us to refine our mission statement, refresh our core values and reinforce our commitment to placing integrity at the center of our business practices and daily behaviors. Stewardship walks hand-in-hand with transparency and accountability, and we’re pleased to share our ESG achievements, along with our aspirational goals for FirstEnergy.
When it comes to providing energy, doing better means taking action to address the increasing and undeniable effects of climate change. When we sent hundreds of employees to Louisiana to help restore power after Hurricane Ida, we saw the devastating effects of extreme weather firsthand. Resolved to strengthen our own system against both physical and cyber threats, we’re targeting up to $2.8 billion in investments in 2021 to improve the reliability and resilience of our transmission system and modernize the grid for the millions of people who depend on us.
Such customer-focused investments are also key to supporting increased renewable energy sources and enabling a clean energy future. Our Climate Strategy includes significant goals for near-term emissions and waste reductions, as we strive for carbon neutrality by 2050. We’re also taking tangible steps to support widespread electrification and incorporate emerging smart technologies that help us mitigate our effect on the environment and give our customers more tools to better manage their energy use. We’ll continue to reflect on the crucial role our industry plays in the race towards a sustainable future, while supporting our customers’ evolving energy needs.
Employees at every level of FirstEnergy inspire our strategies, expand our perspectives and drive our success. Our ongoing commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) remains essential to our forward-looking strategy, and we’ve taken significant steps to accelerate our DEI progress through improvements in leadership development, hiring practices and supply chain spend. FirstEnergy’s DEI core value also informs our Investing with Purpose initiative and inspires the positive contributions our employees make in the diverse, wide-reaching communities we serve.
Beyond these crucial environmental and social goals, we’ve also made meaningful progress on a range of key governance and accountability measures. In 2021, we introduced The Power of Integrity, FirstEnergy’s new Code of Conduct, which places integrity at the forefront of everything we do. The Code requires us all to speak up if we see inappropriate behavior anywhere in the organization. And, we’ve empowered employees to do so by establishing multiple reporting channels, where they can raise genuine questions or concerns anonymously and without fear of reprisal.
FirstEnergy’s recalibration and growth in corporate responsibility stem from an influx of strong new leaders, appointed both at the board and executive levels. Together with established leaders, they are creating an environment where not only our words, but our actions, align with our core values and behaviors. These leaders and thousands of dedicated employees are lighting the way to a stronger, more sustainable future for FirstEnergy and the communities we serve.
Steven E. StrahPresident and CEO
Julia L. JohnsonBoard Committee Chair,Corporate Governance andCorporate Responsibility