Delivering innovative energy solutions that balance reliability, affordability and sustainability is at the core of Vermont Gas, Systems’ (VGS) commitment to its customers. The company recently announced its vision to become Net Zero by 2050 and a nearer term goal of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30% by 2030 – an important goal that Seven Generations (7G) is honoured to support.
VGS is the latest company to join our growing group of responsible gas customers. Based in South Burlington, VGS is an American natural gas distributor serving more than 53,000 homes and businesses in northwest Vermont. The company recently signed on to purchase 7G’s responsibly produced and certified natural gas as a means to lower its overall carbon footprint and advance its net zero strategy.
“By adding responsibly sourced natural gas to our portfolio, VGS is making good on transforming our business to help combat climate change,” said Neale Lunderville, President and CEO of VGS. “Responsibly sourced natural gas is a new chapter in VGS’s long history of leading action in the industry: from publicly calling on the Environmental Protection Agency for stricter emissions standards, to committing to a 30% reduction in customer greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Seven Generations is the gold standard when it comes to implementing environmental, social and governance best practices and we are thrilled to partner with them on this exciting venture.”
Our responsible gas makes up approximately 10 percent of VGS’ overall supply and is now flowing directly to customers. In return for this low-carbon energy measure, VGS customers pay a small premium equating to approximately 15 cents per month to the average residential customer’s heating bill, demonstrating sustainable energy does not have to come at the cost of affordability.
The First Certification of its Kind
This transaction was supported by our Equitable Origin (EO) EO100™ certification and low upstream emissions intensity profile. Earlier this year, Seven Generations was the first natural gas producer in the world to achieve the EO100™ Standard for Responsible Energy Development, acknowledging our top-tier environment, social and governance performance and commitment to continuous improvement of our sustainable development practices.
The certification was granted by EO following a comprehensive and independent assurance process that included site-level assessments and discussions with key stakeholders and Indigenous communities.
Delivering Responsible Gas to Customers in Québec
The agreement with VGS is 7G’s second responsible natural gas supply transaction. In February, we announced our first transaction with Québec’s largest natural gas distributor, Énergir s.e.c. (Énergir) which came after significant collaboration with the gas distributor, EO and the Pembina Institute. The initiative was spear-headed by Énergir to provide a better understanding of the product it purchases and distributes to its 525,000 customers and, to ultimately, reduce its footprint.
“The realization of this initiative, thanks to this first transaction and the collaboration that led to it, allows us to better address the concerns of our stakeholders and customers that wish to participate in the energy transition. It is a step in the right direction, allowing us to have a better understanding of the impacts of our activities that fits our mission to provide increasingly sustainable ways to meet the energy needs of our customers and the communities we serve,” said Stéphanie Trudeau, Executive Vice-President Quebec at the time of the announcement. “Énergir is committed to actively contribute to the fight against climate change by decarbonizing our activities through numerous actions like promoting energy efficiency, injecting more renewable natural gas in our system. This initiative is aligned with this commitment.”
Enabling Increased ESG Performance & Diversifying Market Access
7G’s commitment to delivering responsibly developed natural gas to consumer markets is an evolution of its market access strategy that is enabled by our diverse, continent-wide natural gas transportation portfolio. Responsible natural gas transactions such as these not only open up new markets and support customers in achieving their environment, social and governance (ESG) objectives, but also support a reinvestment into improving our own ESG performance.
The modest premiums received on the natural gas sold under these agreements is directed toward 7G’s Sustainability Fund, a fund created to further reduce our environmental footprint and broaden Indigenous partnerships.
“Responsible development has long been at the core of our company. We are pleased to work with companies who share our commitment to sustainability,” said Marty Proctor, President & Chief Executive Officer, Seven Generations Energy. “These partnerships bring increased transparency to the full natural gas value chain, from the well-head to the burner tip, and ultimately, support our customers in reducing their overall footprint and more sustainably meeting the energy needs of the customers they serve.”
To learn more about how to get involved in a responsible gas supply partnership, please contact:
Vice President, Capital Markets & Stakeholder Engagement