In recent years, we’ve made significant strides in our efforts to achieve a level of transparency that our customers deserve. In addition to providing informative resources throughout our website, we’ve been compiling annual reports that highlight our yearly accomplishments.
In 2021 our dedicated teams ensured our core values of stewardship, ethics and integrity, accountability, safety, and equity defined everything we do. Following are some
examples of how we met and exceeded our expectations.
Environmental Compliance and Ethics: As part of our commitment to regulatory compliance for the environment and water quality, we hired a Chief Environmental Compliance & Ethics Officer and expanded our Environmental Compliance Department. The enhanced department provides guidance, tracking, and direction to ensure we meet our regulatory obligations.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: We developed and implemented a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion policy to foster a diverse workforce and talent pipeline. We also advanced our Supplier Diversity Program by contracting with 76 Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs), resulting in 18% or $31,294,999 of all Board-approved contracts being paid to DBE businesses.
Customer Assistance: We launched PGH2O Cares, a group of education and outreach professionals working directly with our most vulnerable customers to bolster enrollment in our Customer Assistance Programs and identify ways to reduce water usage. Their success has helped PWSA achieve enrollment of 5,217 customers in our Bill Discount Program at the end of 2021, an approximately 21% increase since the end of 2020. We also continued to enhance our Customer Assistance Programs to offer discounts to more customers and simplify the enrollment process.
Improved Stormwater Management: We established a stormwater fee to equitably charge for stormwater services and adequately fund stormwater improvements. We also initiated a stormwater strategic planning process to address climate change and prioritize future project locations.
More information, including a link to our Year in Review report, is available in our CEO Briefing piece.