Governance

Ever-Green Energy is committed to providing expert, accountable, and transparent leadership to our organization and the partner operations we serve.

In 2021, Ever-Green began development of its environmental, social, and governance (ESG) platform as an extension of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) platform previously developed for the organization. This ESG commitment extends throughout the business and operations, building from the company values that guide our everyday actions and long-term priorities. As the platform develops, Ever-Green is turning to two established reporting platforms to guide our efforts to be transparent and diligent: the Global Reporting Index and the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark.

We are providing the following information as an introduction to our ESG reporting efforts, using GRI General Disclosures (102) as our guide. In future reporting years, this information and the reporting approach will be refined. We welcome stakeholder input to these reporting efforts and general inquiries into the guiding principles directing our efforts to be good corporate stewards. Reporting inquiries can be directed to Amy Stanton, Director of Environmental Health and Safety.

Ever-Green Energy Services

Ever-Green Energy is a utility system owner, operator and manager, and developer. The corporation was formed under the laws of the state of Minnesota. Ever-Green Energy, Inc. is wholly owned by a subsidiary of District Energy St. Paul, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. The company’s activities are focused in the energy and water sectors, including production of power, thermal energy, blackwater recycling, and water services.

Ever-Green is an affiliate of the nonprofit organization, District Energy St. Paul. Ever-Green is under contract to operate and manage the following energy utilities and operations: CoolCo, District Energy St. Paul, Duluth Energy Systems, Energy Park Utility Company, Environmental Wood Supply, Milwaukee Regional Medical Center Thermal and Water operations, Mission Rock Utilities, and St. Paul Cogeneration. All Ever-Green operations and services are currently conducted in the United States in California, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

Ever-Green provides utility operations to a variety of energy and water end users, including, but not limited to, city, county, state, and federal government, hospitals and clinics, private business (entertainment and sports complexes, commercial, and industrial), nonprofits, and residential buildings.

To our knowledge, Ever-Green does not have any products or services that have been banned in any markets.

Supply Chain

Ever-Green is in the process of updating its supply chain reporting and will provide additional information on this activity in future ESG reporting cycles. Ever-Green was a founding member of the Sustainable Growth Coalition, which promotes a circular economy approach to business and operations. The Coalition considers impact, reporting, and advancement in the categories of energy, water, and waste, providing an important framework to guide Ever-Green’s analysis and actions moving forward.

External Initiatives, Memberships, and Stakeholder Engagement

The company was founded as a public-private partnership. This remains a fundamental operating principle, with collaborative partnerships and organizations providing opportunities to connect, learn, and grow as a business. Of the many organizations in our realm of partners, the following have been key to our connection to business, environmental, and industry collaboration.

International District Energy Association

Environmental Initiative

Sustainable Growth Coalition

Building Owners and Managers Association

Saint Paul Chamber of Commerce

Saint Paul Port Authority

City of Saint Paul

City of Duluth

City of Cincinnati

Additionally, the organization has a long-standing history of public-private partnership and community engagement. The Senior Leadership Team consults with the following key stakeholders for input on operational and strategic direction, as well as yearly initiatives:

  • State agencies responsible for commerce, energy, environmental protection, natural resources, and labor.
  • Local government agencies responsible for planning, climate action, workforce, economic development, and finance.
  • Key nonprofit partners involved in planning and execution of regional well-being, climate action, community engagement, energy planning, and business development.

 

Stakeholders are reviewed and added to program work and engagement on an ongoing basis. They are selected based on potential impacts, benefits, and opportunities presented by the scope of work of operations and development. Current stakeholders in collaborative work are often consulted for recommendations to expand the reach and partnership of this work at the community, regional, and national level.

This may include groups and individuals served by utility systems, or potentially served by future systems under design, as well as those interested in the environmental, social, and economic considerations of the work.

Customers are surveyed annually in public-serving utility systems. There are opportunities for additional input through regular customer meetings, annual events, and trainings.

Regular meetings are hosted with local officials to discuss applicable rules and regulations, local initiatives, anticipated policy changes or goals, and opportunities to work together.

Ever-Green participates in local, regional, and national workgroups focused on workforce, environmental stewardship and climate action, equity, workplace safety, policymaking, industry advancement, training, and technology exchange.

Ethics and Integrity

Integrity is a core value of the organization and a guiding principle for all leadership. We strive for excellence in our business and in our conduct. We are committed to accountability and fairness. As industry standards evolve, we work diligently to update our internal training and expectations to continue our commitment to integrity throughout our company culture.

All employees review and receive training on and sign Ever-Green’s employee handbook. Additionally, employees that have the ability to influence or make business decisions, including but not limited to procurement, sign and receive training on Ever-Green’s Conflict of Interest policy. The handbook and conflict of interest policy contain provisions that provide direction to employees about how to seek advice and guidance about ethical and lawful behavior and how to report concerns related thereto. Reporting can be directed to the office of the General Counsel, human resources, the CEO, or the Board.

Annual Conflict of Interest training and policy completed each year. If conflict arises, it is required to be reported to the General Counsel of the organization.

In 2020, no key topics or concerns were raised through stakeholder engagement efforts.

Board Governance

Ever-Green has been led by an exceptional Board of Directors since its inception. As the parent organization, District Energy St. Paul’s Board of Directors is the highest governing body with accountability to our operations, creating an additional layer of oversight to the organization.

District Energy St. Paul, Inc.’s board members are appointed (3 by the City of St. Paul and 2 by the Board at large) and elected (3 according to size of customer group). One board member (President of Company) acts as ex officio board member.

Each Board below District Energy is appointed by the process as defined in each organization’s governing documents. The processes all incorporate input from the parent organizations. Board members at Ever-Green Energy, Inc. (entity that retains all employees) are selected for a variety of factors including diversity, independence, expertise and experience related to economic, environmental, and social topics.

Within the Ever-Green Board structure, the Board of Directors convenes the following committees: Audit and Risk, Personnel and Compensation, and Governance. The Board, Governance Committee and Audit and Risk Committee all play roles in review of the organizations risk management process. The Senior Leadership Team conducts a comprehensive Enterprise Risk Assessment process every three to four years that identifies action items related to organizational risk including those related to economic, environmental and social topics. The identified action items are then shared with and reviewed by the Board and the relevant committees.

To ensure accountability and executive function, the Board of Directors of the organization may delegate certain tasks to the executive officers of the company who in turn may delegate to other senior leaders within the organization. The members of Senior Leadership, including the Chief Financial Officer and General Counsel, report to the Chief Executive Officer, who reports to the Board of Directors. The organization has appointed an executive-level positions responsible for economic, environmental, and social topics. These responsibilities are shared by the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and General Counsel. The chair of the highest governance body is not an executive officer in the organization.

Senior Leadership develops and periodically updates the organization’s purpose, value or mission statements, strategies, policies, and goals related to economic, environmental, and social topics. The Board ultimately reviews, edits and approves what is presented to it by the Senior Leadership Team. It is a priority of the leadership to uphold a learning and adaptive culture organization.

Performance evaluations of the Board are conducted every two years and the Senior Leadership Team’s performance, including performance related to goals associated with organization’s purpose, value or mission statements, strategies, policies, and goals related to economic, environmental, and social topics.

The Board currently has visibility over the organizations CSR report that includes sustainability reporting. Going forward, the Board will take a more active role in reviewing the organization’s ESG report.

Reporting Practices

Ever-Green is in the process of developing its formal environmental, social, and governance platform and policies. This will ultimately guide the processes for tracking and reporting on all related activities. This 2020 report is a voluntary reporting exercise prepared by the organization as a step toward this formal structure and reporting mechanism, which will address final topics and principles for reporting.

As part of its overall corporate stewardship, the organization has already published 2019 and 2020 CSR reports. The reports focus on extending information and transparency of the company’s key values, which align with key CSR categories – people, community, and environment. The report also provides detailed information on sustainability metrics, including greenhouse gas emission reporting and fuel usage. These categories were selected based on key goals for the organization regarding efficiency and carbon reduction, as well as through input from stakeholders who regularly track and request updates on local operations. The updated ESG and CSR reporting structures and reporting cycle will be established by December 2022.

Financial transparency and diligence are essential to business ethics and sustainability. On an annual basis, the following entities complete consolidated financial statements: District Energy St. Paul, Inc., Ever-Green Energy St. Paul, LLC, Ever-Green Energy, Inc., and EG Services, LLC.