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Learn about our environmental, social, and governance program, and how we bring those values to life with green bonds, sustainable projects, and more.
DC Water is the first municipal water utility to issue an ESG Report. ESG stands for Environmental, Social, and Governance.
For decades, DC Water has been implementing ESG matters in everything we do, from vast consideration of factors in the natural world and activities that impact stakeholders, to our commitment in operating under a resilient and fair governance framework. We have naturally organized our operations to carry out ESG objectives. Operating one of the country’s largest water and wastewater utilities responsibly and efficiently relies on the awareness and prioritization of matters intrinsically inherent in ESG matters.
Our ESG ambitions are aligned with the imperatives developed under our new enterprise-wide strategic plan, Blueprint 2.0. It frames our transformational ambition to accelerate the initiatives we began addressing within our previous strategic plan, The Blueprint, to address critical, long-term drivers of change that are also needed to establish an effective ESG framework. Through the report's development, we identified the importance of learning from the past to be resilient to future challenges while at the same time keeping our people and communities safe and well. We must continue to provide reliable services while leading sustainable stewardship of the watershed in which we operate. Most importantly, we must ensure we operate in a sustainable and equitable manner to enable our key stakeholders to prosper.
In July 2014, DC Water issued its inaugural green bond to finance a portion of the DC Clean Rivers Project. This historic $350 million issuance represented DC Water’s inaugural green bond issue and the first "certified" green bond in the US debt capital markets with an independent second party sustainability opinion. It was also the first municipal century bond issued by a water/wastewater utility in the United States. The issuance achieved its green certification based upon the DC Clean Rivers Project’s environmental benefits, which include improving water quality by remediating CSOs, promoting climate resilience through flood mitigation and improving quality of life through promotion of biodiversity and waterfront restoration.
DC Water continues to offer green bonds, attracting diverse investors including a new class of socially and environmentally conscious investors.
Thee DC Water Board has adopted a Green Bond Framework which is aligned with the four ICMA (International Capital Market Association) Principles regarding use of proceeds, project selection, management of proceeds, and reporting.