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Community engagement

Investing in the communities we serve is an important part of how we do business. Since aligning our corporate citizenship activities with our vision, mission and values, we have been focused on three key priorities: climate action, D&I and economic prosperity.

These priorities are aimed at advancing social progress while helping us to achieve our mission to be North America’s premier energy infrastructure company.

In 2021, the Sempra family of companies made $52.6 million in community contributions, $17 million of it set aside for future community investments. Nearly three-quarters of charitable contributions supported diverse, underserved communities in collaboration with over 1,650 nonprofit organizations.

Sempra and Sempra Foundation community giving1,2

Community investment priorities

Climate action

Value: do the right thing

From tree plantings and carbon sequestration to habitat restoration and biodiversity, we are investing in efforts designed to reduce emissions, promote new technologies, support climate resiliency, and offer real promise to the challenge of climate change.

Diversity & inclusion

Value: champion people

By investing in training, education and cultural competency, we aim to increase representation and participation in communities – including engagement in civic affairs, advocacy and decision-making, helping to create greater equity within underrepresented communities.

Economic prosperity

Value: shape the future

From skills training and workforce readiness, to supporting the growth of diverse businesses in underinvested communities, we are providing access to tools, resources and mentoring intended to help create and sustain prosperity.

Energy access

Value: deliver energy with purpose

The Sempra Foundation is helping to address the issue of energy access for those living in energy poverty. Whether driven by poverty, availability or affordability, energy is critical to a just and prosperous world. In 2021 we invested over $1.5 million in four energy access projects that are helping build an equitable and vibrant future for those living in energy poverty. Our investments in solar projects have benefited five organizations and two indigenous communities in the U.S.-Mexico border region as well as various residential neighborhoods in different tribal communities of California. Our efforts have also enabled the distribution of almost 2,400 cleaner cookstoves in 28 communities across five states in Mexico, replacing three-stone stoves that openly burn firewood and create indoor air pollution. In another project, we are working to bring renewable energy to the El Dora Colonia in Hildago County, Texas, located along the U.S. border with Mexico.

Employee community involvement

From our headquarters in San Diego to other key locations in North America, our employees are united by the opportunity we have to improve lives and make a difference in communities. In 2021, our employees supported more than 2,500 organizations with donations of time and money, contributing $2.5 million and 28,000 hours of volunteer time. The financial impact doubled to nearly $5 million after employee charitable contributions received a match from the Sempra Foundation.

In 2021, Sempra launched an impact measurement platform to better understand how we can report on the aggregated outcomes and impacts that might result from strategic investments in our priority areas.3 As of March 2022, over $8.5 million in strategic grants have been evaluated for impact measurement, and while final 2021 results won’t be available until later this year, actual and projected impacts are strong.

Over 2 million people are being supported:

  • Economic impact4 — projecting over $2 million in economic savings for families over time
  • Environmental impact5 — projecting emission reductions equivalent to removing nearly 210,000 average passenger vehicles from the roads for a full year
  • Social impact6 — projecting nearly 1.5 million positive outcomes for families in food security, health, education, safety, community well-being and economic empowerment

A just energy transition

As the world continues to work toward the goals set forth in the Paris Agreement, managing the impacts and risks to people – as well as the opportunities – generated by the transition to a low-carbon economy will be crucial. We believe a just transition to a lower-carbon energy system will help create an economy that provides workers with decent jobs, while protecting communities. Many areas of the world are still affected by energy poverty, where people are unable to secure adequate heating or cooling of their homes, prepare food for their families or keep the lights on.

By 2050, there are projected to be an additional 2 billion people on our planet. Sempra’s goals include supporting access to energy for these people – as well as for those who do not have access to affordable, reliable energy today. If the energy transition is to be just, low-carbon energy must be available to all.

At Sempra, we know we have a critical role to play in advancing a just energy transition. However, companies cannot address the challenges alone. Sempra is partnering with key stakeholders, including community leaders, local tribes and state and local governments, on issues including human rights, diversity, equity and inclusion, energy access, affordability and safety. Together, we are working collaboratively towards implementing a just, fair and inclusive transition within the energy sector.

Our efforts align with the following UN SDGs:

  • SDG 7 – Affordable and clean energy
  • SDG 8 – Decent work and economic growth
  • SDG 10 – Reduced inequalities
  • SDG 13 – Climate action

Read more about Sempra’s alignment with the UN SDGs in Introduction.

The intersection of innovation, sound policy and capital investments are expected to accelerate a just energy transition. It will require expanding on existing and new technologies in energy efficiency, electrification, renewable natural gas, renewable electricity, fuel cells, hydrogen and carbon management, while protecting reliability and affordability.

For decades, our gas pipeline infrastructure has served as the backbone of affordable and reliable energy in parts of California. It provides flexible fuel delivery, long-term storage and resilient energy for our customers, while enabling increased electrification. Pairing clean molecules with clean electrons, as described in Environment across our networks builds reliability and stability. Disruptive events such as extreme weather also underscore the importance of the gas delivery system to maintain uninterrupted service to customers and critical facilities. Essential service providers such as hospitals, military bases and data server farms rely on gas to maintain public safety. Some hospitals have implemented a combination of fuel cell systems connected to the gas grid for back-up power in the event of an electrical outage, allowing them to continue to provide care.

To maintain affordability, utility customers have access to innovative solutions that increase their energy savings while decreasing their monthly bills. At Sempra California, these include:

  • Programs to help customers equip their homes with more efficient appliances, weather stripping and other upgrades
  • SDG&E’s Energy Innovation Center, which offers in-person and virtual learning opportunities for businesses and residents
  • The CARE program, which provides up to a 30% discount on energy bills for qualifying customers, including those who have recently become unemployed or are currently participating in public programs
  • The Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) program, which offers families of three or more individuals a discount of up to 18% off their electricity bill based on their income. If customers do not qualify for the CARE program, SDG&E automatically checks to determine if they are eligible for the FERA program
  1. 2019-2021 figures include one-time donations to donor-advised funds. (2019: $7.5 million, 2020: $10 million and 2021: $17 million)
  2. These figures do not include in-kind donations.
  3. Impact is measured in the ways lives are improved or in the contributions that are made to society. Impacts are calculated using a “contribution claim" approach designed to ensure that figures represent Sempra’s accurate claim (or share) of nonprofit partners’ impacts.
  4. Community partners self-report projections and final outcomes to Sempra’s reporting partner True Impact, an organization that provides guidance, requires backup documentation and conducts program-level reviews of all nonprofit reports to help ensure accuracy. Economic savings are primarily calculated from the delivery and installation of clean fuels, new equipment and technologies installed in communities in Mexico and California over the lifetime of the equipment.
  5. Environmental impacts are calculated over the lifetime of the species or equipment using the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator and represent an aggregated result of solar installations, cleaner cookstoves, mangrove conservation and restoration, tree planting programs and other carbon sequestration initiatives.
  6. Social impacts are calculated from nearly 150 community programs that benefited individuals, families and communities, and represent an aggregated result of STEM education initiatives, career development training, food assistance programs, safety education and civic leadership mentorships.

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