ESG 2020 Annual Report

Governance, Stakeholder Engagement & Risk Management

As of April 2021, SJI is governed by a 10-member Board of Directors, nine of whom are independent.

Our Board of Directors, elected by the shareholders, is the company’s ultimate decision-making entity, except for matters reserved for shareholder consideration. Three of SJI’s 10 members of the Board of Directors are female. We are proud of this 30% female representation on our Board and the significant, positive role diversity plays in our organization.

In 2018, the Board of Directors established an internal Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Management Committee that includes cross-functional members of management from key areas of the Company such as ESG, human resources, legal, risk management, communications, safety and environment. The committee reports to the Board of Directors quarterly and at each ESG Committee of the Board meeting, and is responsible for the development and implementation of the company’s key human capital management, sustainability and ESG strategies, initiatives, and policies. This includes management of SJI’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, safety, climate, health, human rights, human capital management, and community support strategies.

The ESG Committee of the Board provides oversight, monitoring and  guidance of environmental and social related risk and opportunities regarding safety, corporate and social citizenship, public and legal policy, work force initiatives, corporate culture, climate change, environmental stewardship and compliance, political and regulatory activities, sustainability, employee work life, diversity and inclusion and economic and social vitality in the communities and markets in which the Company operates.

The Committee also oversees the production of the Company’s annual Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report, which provides an overview of the Company’s commitment to ESG.

We welcome feedback on this report and our programs, as well as our environmental, social and governance metrics. Please submit comments to

Board of Directors:

  • Michael J. Renna (President & CEO, SJI)
  • Joseph M. Rigby (Chairman)
  • Sarah M. Barpoulis
* ESG Committee of the Board Member
  • Victor A. Fortkiewicz*
  • Sheila Hartnett-Devlin*
  • Sunita Holzer
  • G. Edison Holland, Jr.
  • Kevin O’Dowd
  • Christopher J. Paladino*
  • Frank L. Sims*

Board Committees:

  • Audit Committee
  • Compensation Committee
  • Environmental, Social and Governance Committee
  • Executive Committee
  • Strategy & Finance Committee
  • Nominating & Governance Committee



3 of our 10 directors are women
Ethnic Diversity

Director Age Diversity

Stakeholder Engagement

In an effort to move our Collective Ambition initiative forward, SJI engages with our stakeholders to understand their needs and expectations regarding our business and the services we provide.  We believe these exchanges of information are fundamental to strategizing how we can continue to provide long-term value.  SJI’s stakeholders include customers, employees, regulators, shareholders and the communities we serve.



SJI is committed to providing safe, reliable, affordable clean energy to our more than 700,000 customers across the state of New Jersey. The importance of delivering an outstanding experience for our customers is core to everything we do at our utilities — and the results of our commitment are clear. We continually strive to modernize critical infrastructure and enhance our customer experience. We are proud to have delivered uninterrupted service in 2020, despite numerous challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. We listen to the needs of our customers and provide solutions to help them save energy and lower their bills by proactively working to educate our customers about managing their accounts and accessing financial assistance. We are proud to deliver the quality service our customers expect and deserve, without sacrificing affordability – this year it is more important than ever. Learn more about how we serve our customers here.


EmployeeOur employees are our greatest asset. Together, we work to foster a culture of belonging, where our professional, well-trained and knowledgeable staff treat each other with courtesy and respect. We’re committed to engaging our workforce and helping them achieve their professional goals. At SJI, we do this by helping employees connect with one another in meaningful ways, offering helpful training and development resources and more. We also regularly survey our employees to measure the effectiveness of our employee engagement efforts, including career development and wellness programs. Learn more about how we value our employees here.


RegulatorsAs a regulated company, public policy considerations often have a direct and measurable impact on our business. SJI works collaboratively with legislators and regulators to achieve results that ensure reliable, affordable and clean energy for our customers, while balancing the interests of the Company and public policy objectives. Learn more about our government involvement here.


EmployeeMembers of SJI management and the Board periodically meet with our shareholders to foster dialogue around the issues that are of value to both SJI and our investors. A key objective of our outreach efforts is to listen to our shareholders to better understand their perspectives on our executive compensation and environmental, social and governance programs and to obtain recommendations for strengthening our approach on these matters. To achieve this, in 2020, we reached out to approximately 17 of our largest shareholders, aggregating approximately 67% of our shares outstanding. Members of the Board of Directors, including the Chairman and the Chairwoman of the ESG Committee of the Board, SJI management and members of the ESG Management Committee met with five of our top shareholders.  Those meetings included our second and third largest shareholders, representing approximately 30% of our shares outstanding. We will continue to engage with our shareholders in similar ways to seek feedback on our performance and disclosed ESG information.

Communities We Serve

EmployeeSJI provides more than just energy to the communities we serve; we are an active partner in addressing the financial, social, health and safety needs of communities throughout New Jersey. We offer assistance to hospitals, food banks, social services and civic organizations, first responders, school programs, athletic teams and many other worthy causes. SJI employees volunteer time as mentors, coaches, laborers and more as they seek to improve the communities where they live and work. SJI also serves as an economic engine by providing jobs and infrastructure enhancements and working with a diverse pool of local suppliers to support their businesses. Learn more about how SJI serves surrounding communities here.

Risk Management

To strategically manage ESG risks that may impact SJI, the Risk Management Team established the following Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) process utilizing the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) framework:

  • Conduct annual one-on-one meetings with Business Area Leads to identify and assess risks for
  • likelihood and criticality, including Environmental (specifically climate-related risks), Social and Governance (ESG) risks.
  • Develop risk assessment scores for short-, medium- and long-term risks to determine materiality.  
  • Evaluate the speed of onset or velocity (the time that elapses between the event and the impact to the company).
  • Create and obtain an understanding of the controls that have been established to mitigate significant risks.
  • Communicate material risks to the Risk Management Committee (RMC) via monthly distribution of a Risk Dashboard Report, monthly Key Risk Indicator & Emerging Risk Report, real-time PowerBI ERM Dashboard, and at the Q1 RMC meeting; communicate strategic risks, including ESG-related risks, at the Q2 RMC meeting, and Communicate material ESG-related risks annually at the ESG Management Committee meeting and the ESG Board Committee meeting as needed.

Leveraging the ERM process will provide consistent evaluations and common language throughout the risk assessment process. The ERM risk assessment includes the integration of identifying, assessing, managing, monitoring and communicating ESG risks. Data, metrics and controls are then communicated to the RMC, Internal Audit, Audit Committee of the Board, the ESG Management Committee and the ESG Committee of the Board. This comprehensive approach enhances SJI’s ability to mitigate ESG risks, creates resiliency and contributes to our mission to deliver safe, reliable, affordable clean energy for a better today and tomorrow.

Political Involvement


SJI is committed to advocating for sound public policies that advance the interests of our customers, employees and shareholders. Our participation in efforts to properly influence public policy takes many forms, but in every instance, we conduct such activities in full compliance with all federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations. Under the corporation’s Code of Ethics, all directors and employees are required to uphold all laws and applicable regulations, which include provisions governing lobbying activities, issue advocacy, political contributions and government contracting.

As a heavily regulated company, public policy considerations often have a direct and measurable impact on our business. Accordingly, SJI takes an active role in legislative, regulatory and other policymaking processes to ensure that legislators and regulators are properly informed about the decisions they make that may impact our business, and ultimately, our customers, employees and communities.  Notably, SJI’s efforts in this regard include informing policymakers about the company’s decarbonization initiatives. 

To ensure proper compliance and adherence to the highest ethical standards, all persons performing lobbying activities on behalf of the company are required to be registered with the appropriate regulatory agencies and must file applicable reports and disclosure statements on a regular basis, as required by law. Additionally, all persons conducting lobbying activities on behalf of the company, including third-party consultants, are required to report and avoid any and all conflicts of interest that may arise.


Finally, SJI reports all legislation and proposed regulations upon which advocacy activities are undertaken to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC)and provides annual  reports to ELEC on all corporate expenditures to support such activities. ELEC makes all such disclosures and reports available to the public on its website,

New Jersey law explicitly prohibits regulated corporations such as utilities, banks and insurance companies from using corporate funds to make or solicit political contributions. In strict adherence to State law, SJI does not make or solicit campaign contributions for candidates for elected office at any level. Moreover, SJI does not permit the utilization of corporate resources, including staff time, supplies, equipment or property, in support of candidates for elected office at any level.

Finally, it should be noted that for more than two decades, SJI employees have maintained a separate, independent continuing political committee, known as the SJI PAC, in accordance with State laws, rules and regulations. The SJI PAC is not supported by or controlled by the corporation and participation by SJI employees is completely voluntary.