Our commitment to the environment extends beyond operating in compliance with applicable laws, regulations and requirements. We strive to not only act responsibly but also to serve in a leadership capacity in addressing the environmental challenges that impact our company and our stakeholders.
Review the policy that guides our environmental concerns.
This effort and its goals are guided by the Exelon Environment Policy, which contains a core set of principles that inform our decision-making.
Examine our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint.
Climate change represents one of the greatest challenges of our time, and demands that we actively pursue every opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As a member of the voluntary EPA SF6 Emission Reduction Partnership for Electric Power Systems Program, we’re proactively working to prevent SF6 leaks on our equipment.
See how we are managing materials and properties more efficiently.
We’re recycling tons of materials in the office and in the field—reducing our carbon footprint, cutting the amount of waste going into landfills.
Project HERE (Helping the Environment by Recycling at Exelon) increased recycling more than 5% over the previous year. The more than 1.9 million pounds of recycled material includes paper, cardboard, plastic and glass containers, and aluminum cans.
Industrial Recycling incorporates recycling of copper, aluminum, steel, transformers and oil. More than 15 million pounds of metals and more than half a million gallons of oil were recycled yearly. These two programs offset thousands of tons of carbon emissions. We continue to build on their combined success while also actively searching for ways to green our supply chain.
In 2008, our parent company, Exelon, led the formation of the Electric Utility Industry Sustainable Supply Chain Alliance, along with 14 other electric utilities. The Alliance works to improve environmental performance in electric utility industry supply chains. This includes the development of voluntary consensus standards for evaluating the environmental attributes of key materials and services provided to the electric utility industry; the environmental performance of suppliers to the electric utility industry; and the environmental performance of an electric utility industry company’s supply chain operations.
Exelon was also the first U.S. based utility to join the Carbon Disclosure Project’s Supply Chain Leadership Collaboration. As part of our commitment, Exelon is asking top suppliers to voluntarily disclose their greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption.
View our accomplishments in preserving and protecting prairie and wildlife.
ComEd maintains more than 43,000 miles of overhead electric lines in its distribution system. Our transmission rights of way on state, local and federal lands – through prairies, wetlands, woods, agricultural land, suburban and urban areas and along highways and railroad corridors – are maintained on a five-year cycle, with annual comprehensive surveys of conditions. A vital aspect of our environmental commitment is the protection of wildlife habitats and the assurance of biodiversity. As ComEd operates in and around wetlands, prairies and other ecologically sensitive areas, we must take care to abide by federal, state and local laws and minimize all impact to these environments.
Converting sections of transmission rights of way to native grasses in various areas throughout northern Illinois, ComEd has restored hundreds of acres of natural prairie habitat on buffer lands and rights of way in Illinois since the initiative's beginning in 1994. This effort helps to sequester CO2, prevent runoff and improve water quality, while restoring wildlife habitat. During this time, we have partnered with local agencies such as the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, the Audubon Society, Pheasants Forever, and The Nature Conservancy to manage transmission rights of way in conjunction with larger restoration projects.
In 2005, ComEd was selected for a Conservation and Native Landscaping Award given by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and Chicago Wilderness. The award recognizes outstanding efforts to use best practices in native landscaping and conservation development. The awards program also promotes the importance of natural habitats, biodiversity, and green infrastructure. In 2007, the Wildlife Habitat Council certified Buffalo Grove Prairie and in 2008 Superior Street Prairie was certified. In addition, ComEd received an award from the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association for the Ball Horticulture site in West Chicago.
At ComEd, we support municipalities by funding the removal and replacement of diseased, weakened or tall-growing trees under our overhead conductors. We also support National Arbor Day by working with school groups, municipalities, and civic organizations to supply trees and planting training. ComEd has received the National Arbor Day Foundation's Tree Line USA Award.
Wetlands are a vital part of a healthy natural ecosystem and serve the following functions: filters and cleanses surface water, reduces the effects of flooding by storing storm water and returning it to the water table, and serves as feeding and mating grounds for our valuable wildlife.
In Illinois, we have already lost over 90% of our natural wetlands to development of farms and neighborhoods so it is now Illinois law that we maintain our remaining wetlands. ComEd is committed to working with the government and our contractors to ensure that we don't lose any more of this threatened habitat to development.
In recent years, a number of species on federal, state, and local endangered lists have made their homes at ComEd sites. We take our responsibility to protect endangered species seriously, and work with local government and civic groups to accommodate their needs while on our sites. For example, ComEd is currently working with industry partners and government agencies, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), to develop a habitat conservation plan (HCP) for the Hine's Emerald Dragonfly (Somatochlora hineana) which will protect the dragonfly and its habitat.
Our EMS assigns roles and responsibilities at each level of our organization.
To execute this policy, we have established an environmental management program or system (EMS) that assigns roles and responsibilities at each level of our organization. The EMS is an integral part of the Exelon Management Model, the framework for the way we do business.
Our EMS received ISO 14001 Certification in November 2008. ISO 14001 Certification is the globally recognized “gold” standard for promoting effective, systematic management of environmental risks and liabilities. ISO 14001 contributes to our goal of implementing an EMS and strengthens our position as an industry environmental leader.
Our EMS is a continual cycle of planning, implementing, reviewing and improving the processes and actions that we undertake to meet our business and environmental goals. Built on the "Plan, Do, Check, Act" model, our EMS enables ComEd to take the following actions:
Through ongoing support of our EMS program and execution of our environmental policy, our stakeholders can expect to see continued improvement in Exelon’s environmental performance.
Find sources of generation purchased by ComEd and emission rates.
The electric industry restructuring law, passed in 1997 by the Illinois General Assembly, provides many benefits for all customers. In compliance with this law, electric utilities and suppliers provide an Environmental Disclosure Statement for the 12 months ending every quarter.
The information in the Environmental Disclosure Statement shows the breakdown of the different sources of electricity supplied ComEd customers who have not chosen another retail energy supplier and the average amounts of emissions and nuclear waste produced associated with this energy.
In addition to the electricity sources shown in the Environmental Disclosure, ComEd also procures renewable energy certificates (RECs) each year since 2008 to fulfill its obligation under the Illinois Renewable Portfolio Standard, a requirement established in the Illinois Power Agency Act (PA 95-0481). A REC represents the beneficial environmental attributes associated with one MWh of renewable generation from resources such as wind, hydroelectric, biomass and solar.
For the 12 months ending December 31, 2012, ComEd procured approximately 2.4 million RECs from the following renewable energy resources primarily in Illinois and adjoining states: 83% Wind, 1% Solar and 16% Other.
If you purchase energy from a retail electric supplier other than ComEd, additional information on companies selling electrical power in Illinois may be found at the Illinois Commerce Commission’s website at