ESG 2021 Annual Report


Creating a Truly Empowered Workforce

SJI encourages employees to “bring their whole self to work” every day by fostering an inclusive work environment that engages and empowers employees.

Building a OneSJI Culture

At SJI, we encourage our employees to use their voices to build a high-performing and engaged culture by conducting biennial engagement surveys and periodic pulse surveys that measure our performance in these areas. These efforts are part of building a Culture of Care at SJI.

Since we started surveying employees, their valuable feedback has enabled us to better understand why people choose to work at SJI, what they value, and why they choose to stay. We are committed to continuing the outreach and two-way dialogue needed to inform decision-making that aligns our workplace culture with the needs and expectations of our employees.

As part of our OneSJI culture, we want to ensure every employee is accountable, empowered and included. Through various programs, events and Employee Resource Groups, our focus remains on building community within our organization, developing employees and broadening community partnerships

Employee Data

Together, our 1,173 employees drive growth for our business, deliver on our purpose and bring us closer to achieving our vision of a clean energy future.


corporate staff members


non-utility employees


utility company employees


population represented by unions

Employee Engagement

​Better Together – The power of staying connected and engaged. 

At SJI, we’re better together. Our focus is on what we are capable of achieving as
OneSJI, collaborating and building connections with one another in our hybrid work environment. We’ve learned a lot in the past two years, and we’re excited about our path forward, working together to achieve our goals.  

Navigating the Pandemic
To respond to the continuing challenges the COVID-19 Pandemic presented to our business and our workforce in 2021, we continued to focus on the health and physical and emotional safety of our workforce while building opportunities to stay connected. As OneSJI we:

  • Equipped essential employees with the necessary PPE to protect their physical health.
  • Leveraged our Executive Pandemic Team and COVID task force to inform decision making.
  • Offered incentives for COVID vaccinations.
  • Partnered with Cooper University Health Care to provide educational information sessions on COVID-19 and vaccinations.
  • Incorporated employee recommendations into our newly renovated SJI Folsom Headquarters.
  • Instituted a business-wide Mental Health Day during the summer.
  • Debuted a Voluntary Return Program for employees to ease into returning to the office.
  • Implemented a new Workplace Flexibility Policy to prepare our workforce to navigate our new hybrid work model.
  • Encouraged workplace flexibility to support work/life balance throughout the pandemic.
  • Showed appreciation for our frontline employees with a complimentary breakfast and site visits from Leaders.
  • Sent SJI branded care packages to all employees to show appreciation to employees.
  • Increased our focus on the psychological safety of our workforce to create a “Culture of Care," leveraging our Employee Assistance Program to provide resources, training and support to promote emotional health and well-being.
  • Offered courses on best practices for working and managing remotely.
  • Provided ergonomics training to ensure physical safety while working remotely.
  • Conducted pulse surveys to ensure the psychological safety and well-being of our workforce to inform decision making throughout the pandemic.

SJI Wellness Program

Employee wellness is a priority for SJI as we continue to implement initiatives focused on our key stakeholders and move forward with “doing the right thing” as part of our Collective Ambition. The SJI Wellness Program promotes good habits and strengthens employees’ physical, mental and emotional health. Employees can earn points for participating in health challenges, webinars, wellness coaching and submitting annual health screenings that can be redeemed for gift cards and other incentives.

The SJI Employee Wellness Program addresses eight essential principles of wellness.

Wellness Principles

Employee Participation
Employee participation improved in 2021 with the deceleration of the pandemic. Significant increases in participation were reported in annual wellness exams, cancer screenings and wellness portal engagement.

  2021 Count Participation Rate
Annual wellness exam: 470 11 ppt increase YOY
Cancer screenings: 406 16 ppt increase YOY
Wellness website access: 545 13 ppt increase YOY

During 2021, SJI continued to promote initiatives that included assistance opportunities designed to help employees cope with change, loss, uncertainty, and the anticipation of returning to the workplace in early 2022.

With the growth in wellness program participation, employee wellness point accumulations for 2021 increased by 13%.
  • Employees who earned points in SJI Wellness Program:
    • 2020 - 596 employees (out of 1,155 active employees) = 52%
    • 2021 - 755 employees (out of 1,168 active employees) = 65%

Employee Assistance Program
This program provides professional assistance (counseling and guidance) available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for employees and their immediate family members regarding work/life issues, such as depression, anxiety, grief, anger, substance abuse and financial and family pressures. Thanks to outreach efforts, participation in the employee assistance program increased in 2021.

Annual Wellness Week

employees at a conference room tableEach year we promote the utilization of resources in the SJI Wellness Program through our Annual Wellness Week. Over the course of this work week, employees are encouraged to pursue wellness within the eight principles using resources available through SJI. The week includes:

  • Financial webinars
  • Physical exercise/stretching sessions
  • Wellness workshops
  • Learning modules
  • Daily challenges that allow employees to earn prizes and rewards
  • Extra wellness points for participating employees

As employees participate remotely, they can build a sense of community by sharing photos of their wellness activities. During 2021 Wellness Week, employees were asked to share either an inspirational quote or a selfie with their family and/or pet as one of the daily participation challenges. Over 80 employees posted a photo, quotation, or both.

In total, 668 employees participated in one or more activities during Wellness Week.

Keeping Employees Connected

In addition to our engagement efforts in response to the pandemic, we continued to focus on addressing employee needs and expectations, while also connecting employees with one another and our purpose.

SJI Today
SJI Today, our intranet, offers opportunities for employees to provide feedback and get involved in different initiatives. We continued to develop more employee-driven content and features, leveraging this employee communication channel to recognize our employees and keep them informed of important company news. Our Diversity Corner within the site provides an opportunity for the company to promote a culture of inclusion by highlighting employees from various backgrounds and learning about their professional and personal experiences. Recent examples of these highlights are from our Black, Asian, LGBTQ and disability communities.

Video and Audio Communications
To help employees feel more connected to each other and our leadership, we expanded our multimedia communications to include video interviews with executives and podcast episodes devoted to strategic messaging and personal stories. Topics included green energy technology, personal wellness and DEI initiatives.

Monthly One SJI Newsletter
We stayed consistent in delivering a monthly newsletter to all employees called One SJI. In the newsletter, we focused on timely and important messages, employee recognition and information on key dates and events. The newsletter served as an important tool in our employee engagement efforts, keeping all employees well informed of the same top-priority messages every month and celebrating our successes.

Monthly Managers’ Checklist
We continued with our data-driven checklist that provides information and visual support to encourage managers in their efforts to effectively share consistent messages with their employees, in a timely manner, across the organization. We also solicited feedback from managers on how to best support them through the checklist and introduced virtual huddle meetings between Human Resources and managers.

Engagement Initiatives
Throughout the year, SJI engaged its employees through creative activities that help build and maintain connections through a hybrid work environment. This year's initiatives included:

  • Energize Weeks are quarterly campaigns focused on aspects of our OneSJI Collective Ambition and included activities such as recognition boards, sharing of stories and more. The 2021 Energize Week topics were:
    • Vision Week – introducing employees to our Clean Energy and Sustainability Plan.
    • Brand Promise Week – exploring the different ways we deliver solutions to customers through infrastructure improvements and customer service.
    • Core Values Week – connecting employees to our Core Values of safety, service, community and inclusion.
    • Strategic & Operational Priorities Week – educating employees on how to embrace innovation and contribute to our “can do” culture.
  • Employee Appreciation Months were used to recognize our collective and individual employee accomplishments.
  • ImpactSJI, a new platform, where employees can submit suggestions to help improve the workplace.
  • A Virtual Holiday Party where employees gathered online and participated in activities like cooking demonstrations, trivia contests, crafting and a dance party.
  • Launching a section of our intranet that spotlights employee achievement, growth and development.
  • Employee Resource Groups driving inclusion through virtual events and activities.
  • Commemorating the 20th anniversary of September 11th with a National Day of Remembrance and reflections.
  • Offering opportunities for virtual group exercise.

Town Hall Meeting
We hosted our second company-wide town hall meeting in 2021. This created opportunities for senior leaders to share strategic initiatives and accomplishments directly with employees and for employees to offer questions directly to leaders, as well as completing pulse survey questions during the event. The town hall will be held annually to support both collaboration and engagement in our corporate strategy.

Diversity, EQUITY, Inclusion

At SJI, we operate as One SJI.

At SJI, we are committed to fostering a culture of inclusion and belonging that is safe for all and where our employees feel comfortable bringing their whole selves to work each day. To ensure it remains the focus of what we do every day – Inclusion is a core value for our company as OneSJI, united under a collective vision, purpose, and ambition.
To best grow our business and serve our communities, we believe our company should reflect that diversity with a culture rooted in care and belonging.

Diversity & Inclusion

Our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion goes beyond who we are - it’s also about how we operate.  Our values are inextricably linked to the work we do every day, as they govern our behavior and demand a commitment to personal excellence. They are not just character traits to which we hold our leaders – every employee is responsible for upholding each of these values in their work, every day.

Together, we’ve taken measurable steps to support our commitment to DEI and we continue to expand on what our commitment means for us in our changing world.

Our efforts focus on three key areas: Talent Support, Supplier Diversity, and Community Partnerships.
We deliver safe, reliable, affordable clean energy to more than 700,000 customers across 14 New Jersey counties. We serve a population diverse in experiences, background, and thought. To best serve our customers, we believe our company, our suppliers, and the way we support our communities should reflect that diversity.

At SJI, we work to build a culture of inclusion where employees feel comfortable bringing their whole selves to work each day – regardless of their race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, generation, disability status, or any other distinguishing difference that makes up a diverse workforce. We support courageous conversations to grow in our DEI journey and seek diverse talent to strengthen our business. Learn more about Talent Acquisition and Development here.

Our Supplier Diversity Program helps us support diverse businesses in the communities we serve and provide them with opportunities to grow as our organization grows. When we work with diverse suppliers, we’re supporting our values as an organization – helping our company and local economy reflect the diversity of the communities we serve. Learn more about Supplier Diversity here.

We’re a dedicated community partner. As part of our D&I strategy, we support diverse community organizations. These partnerships help us to establish deeper relationships with our customers and the communities we serve. We invest time and money to support these essential organizations and also partner with customers to help them with their energy costs through assistance and energy efficiency programs. Learn more about our Community Partnerships here.

A Workplace Culture Built on Diversity and Inclusion

For us to succeed, we must continue to work collaboratively. We all represent a diverse spectrum of backgrounds and thought, and we are a stronger company because of it. We work to build a culture of inclusion where every employee feels comfortable bringing their whole selves to work each day.
Our commitment to building a diverse and inclusive workplace is reflected in our workplace demographics summary, in the By the Numbers section of this report, which outlines our generational, gender, and ethnic employee composition.
The need for authentic care actions for our employees was underlined by the significant challenges posed by the pandemic and the unsettling racial and social climate happening all around us. We implemented several meaningful action items to further strengthen our culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion as OneSJI.

Dedicated DEI Experts
In 2021, a dedicated DEI team was put in place to develop strategy, tactics and provide the structure, that aids in administering a broader focus on DEI solutions at SJI. The DEI team, positioned in Human Resources, now leads all DEI efforts and works in consultation and collaboratively with all levels of the organization.

Cross-Functional Interdisciplinary Approach
Utilizing a cross-functional approach to DEI developments, the dedicated DEI team works with senior leadership, the Diversity Council, human resources leaders, employee resource groups and all other organization leaders with building strategies, priorities, psychological safety, and inclusive language into every aspect of the business. By implementing an interdisciplinary approach, the team aims to integrate DEI information, broad views, data, tools, techniques, and concepts into all parts of the organization.

Diversity Council
Our Diversity Council supports our commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive working environment where we value and develop employees of all backgrounds and experiences. This cross-disciplinary committee reports to senior leadership and consists of a diverse representation of key leaders charged with providing strategic guidance to the company around all corporate diversity and inclusion priorities. 

Listening Sessions
Employee listening sessions across the organization provide insight into our diversity gaps, increase DEI awareness and gather ideas to further inform our efforts to strengthen our culture of inclusion and belonging. These listening sessions create safe spaces for authentic dialogue around race, racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion at SJI to help identify meaningful action steps to address diversity, equity, and inclusion concerns.

Diversity and Inclusion Tools and Resources
We expanded our delivery and sourcing of relevant diversity and inclusion training to equip leaders for meaningful diversity discussions. To build consciousness and awareness of diversity and inclusion, we sourced tools, resources and training focused on:

  • Unconscious Bias
  • Performing Crucial Conversations
  • Communicating Across Cultures
  • Civil Treatment
  • Diversity, Equity Inclusion, and Belonging
  • Allyship
  • Inclusive Leadership

Engagement Pulse Survey
To provide all employees an opportunity to give feedback, we completed several pandemic-focused engagement "pulse surveys". Responses helped us understand our progress in navigating the global pandemic, as well as fostering an engaged and inclusive environment. This data also informed our pandemic response plans and return to work planning, making sure that our future represents the needs of our diverse workforce. We also incorporated additional questions related to inclusion into our biannual engagement survey. As a result, SJI has a baseline measurement for inclusion, a comparison to external benchmarks, and further input into our DEI strategy.

Diversity Programs & Initiatives
In 2021, new programs and initiatives were launched introducing key topics and DEI concepts to the SJI workforce to further strengthen cultural competence and foster a more inclusive environment.
The launch of the One SJI Diversity Podcast provided the opportunity for employees to be spotlighted, tell their stories and help SJI's workforce build cultural competency and awareness around various dimensions of diversity.
Monthly DEI Spotlights were provided to honor and celebrate heritage months, which included; Virtual MLK Day of Service, Black History Month a celebration of Women’s History Month, Pride Month, and Hispanic/ Latinx History Month. An additional floating holiday was also introduced to allow for greater flexibility for diverse heritages, religious holidays, or other significant cultural events.

Employee Resource Groups

Employee Resource Groups (ERG) play a critical role in driving employee engagement, fostering an inclusive and collaborative workplace, developing employees, broadening community partnerships, and attracting diverse talent to join SJI.

Each ERG focuses on workforce development, community partnerships, employee engagement, and fostering inclusion. Participation and support of the groups’ initiatives are vital for our continued growth as OneSJI, where everyone can bring their best selves to work.
In 2021, four employee resources groups served to further engage our workforce. They include:

  • SJAABE – American Association of Blacks in Energy- South Jersey Chapter: The mission of American Association of Blacks in Energy is ensuring African Americans and other minorities have input into the development of energy policy regulations, research, development technologies and environmental issues and provide scholarships and service to the community. Because of the commitment to providing this resource for its employees the South Jersey Chapter of AABE is sponsored by SJI.
  • Emerging Leaders: The mission of Emerging Leaders is to develop, equip, and retain employees through targeted initiatives and programs encouraging innovation, professional growth, and development. With a focus on intergenerational diversity, the group strives to successfully coach and develop career professionals at SJI, provide key resources to members, and foster a culture of business innovators.
  • WLI – Women’s Leadership Initiative: The mission of the Women’s Leadership Initiative is to cultivate a diverse and inclusive environment that fosters an employee’s career by building strong work relationships through networking, skill development and community outreach.
  • VETS – Veteran’s Engagement Team: The mission of the Veterans Employee Resource Group is to improve the organization through engaging Veteran employees and using their experience as an asset to the company, addressing issues unique to the Veteran community, and support initiatives, both at SJI and in our service area, that help those who proudly served in the Armed Forces of the United States.

Many of SJI's diversity programs and initiatives were powered by our ERG's, who partnered with the DEI Team, the Diversity Council and Executive Sponsors to develop programs and initiatives to help achieve DEI objectives. Some highlights for 2021 include:

  • The VETS ERG was featured in Lifetime’s “Military Makeover: Operation Career” and hosted a drive-up food drive in partnership with the American Red Cross, collecting nearly 4,000 pounds of food for families at the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst.
  • The South Jersey Chapter of the American Association of Blacks in Energy hosted a Black History Month panel titled "Diversity & Inclusion – Where Do We Go from Here" with almost 150 attendees and hosted an annual scholarship golf outing with 144 golfers that raised $25,000 for students pursuing degrees in STEM fields.
  • The Women's Leaders Initiative hosted a series of educational opportunities including a book club series focused on the topics of influence and negotiation skills for women, a LinkedIn Learning Path for Women’s Leadership, and monthly Lunch and Learns.

The Emerging Leaders ERG hosted several “generational diversity” panels, one of which featured Impact SJI and included employee experiences with over 130 employees in attendance.

All of our ERGs and employees helped contribute to the 2021 Heart Walk, raising more than $50,000 for the American Heart Association. Additional ERG developments for next year have been discussed with the Diversity Council and the senior leadership.

All of these diversity and inclusion efforts help make SJI a stronger and healthier company and community partner.


Talent Acquisition and Development

Our talented employees make SJI a great place to work

To help our employees truly thrive, we emphasize the importance of recruiting the best talent to help us meet our strategic priorities. Our talent acquisition approach focuses on current and potential employees.

At SJI, we pride ourselves on developing internal talent and capitalizing on opportunities to provide our employees with roles that will grow and challenge them. In our external recruiting, we look for talented individuals with strong technical skills, a creative vision and the ability to thrive in a highly collaborative and dynamic environment. Internally, we also focus on fostering the next generation of leaders through our development programs for early career talent.

In 2021, we welcomed 249 new employees to SJI and 30% of our current employee population assumed new roles and responsibilities through a combination of filling open positions and in-line promotions. The Company  also welcomed 17 new employees through our early career talent development programs.

Meeting an Evolving Workforce 
In the first quarter of 2021, we hired our first Talent Acquisition Operations Lead to focus on the operational aspects of talent attraction, including designing and implementing initiatives and programs that focus on attracting diverse talent across the organization and creating a best-in-class candidate experience. Talent Acquisition partnered with our DEI team and our ERG's to ensure we are aligned with our corporate strategy of being an employer of choice in New Jersey. This has resulted in a number of notable achievements, including:

  • Sponsorship of Mark Cuban's Artificial Intelligence Bootcamp program
  • A re-established relationship with Women in Sustainable Employment
  • SJI's inaugural Veterans Career Fair
  • Participation in New Jersey's Junior Achievement Career Fair
  • A referral program designed to build a broader and more diverse talent pipeline

Almost a year into the pandemic, we saw hiring confidence rise amongst employers nationwide, with SJI proving no exception. However, we also saw an unprecedented shift in employee and candidate behavior resulting in what has been called the Great Resignation or the Great Reshuffle. Because of this shift, the number of job applicants decreased by almost 40%. In response, SJI is continuing to increase brand awareness by:

  • Creating campaigns that highlight our clean energy strategy and initiatives.
  • Collaborating with community partners to build robust and diverse talent pipelines.
  • Using data to track and understand talent market trends and changes, leading to flexible and data-driven talent attraction strategies.
  • Utilizing technology to increase our reach and provide meaningful content to our talent network.
  • Evaluating our current method of capturing applicant data to ensure inclusivity.
  • Designing programs that reach and provide opportunities for unconventional talent.

Professional Development

In addition to talent acquisition, SJI is focused on training, professional development and performance management to help our employees advance themselves and their careers. Our development programs include:

  • IGNITE - our internship program for college students.
  • POWER - our rotational leadership development program for early career talent.
  • Partnership with Atlantic County Institute of Technology – our training program for high school seniors.

Flexibility Policy
SJI recognizes the benefits of providing employees with the flexibility to work from remote locations, when possible, to allow for increased productivity, job satisfaction and wellness. This flexibility can also improve the organization's ability to recruit and retain well-qualified employees.

SJI's flexibility policy applies to full-time, non-field, non-union employees who can work remotely while also:

  • Providing excellent service to employees, customers and key stakeholders
  • Effectively collaborating within and across company departments
  • Meeting performance and productivity expectations.

New Employee Onboarding
In an effort to enhance the new employee experience, New Employee Orientation expanded to an interactive full day experience. Employees gain a greater understanding of our company vision, purpose, and values in addition to meeting senior leaders and networking across functions. 

To foster inclusion and belonging from day one, each new employee is paired with a New Employee Ambassador who integrates the new employee into the OneSJI culture and serves as a guide during the new employee's first 90 days of employment.

In addition, new employees participate in our Natural Gas 101 workshop within their first 90 days to learn more about the utility industry as a whole.

Employee Workshops
Through our corporate university, Empower U, employees can develop critical leadership skills and hone industry knowledge. Workshop opportunities provide employees at every level the knowledge, skills and abilities they need to grow with the organization.

During 2021, employees benefited from a wide range of content focused on relevant topics ranging from professional development, business skills, leadership development, safety and cybersecurity. Collectively, employees gained close to 6,700 hours of relevant training to support their professional development.

Professional Development
To maintain our commitment to develop and retain high-potential talent, SJI offers employees the opportunity to grow their skills through the EmpowerU University. Workshops are delivered to develop next level talent at SJI, close skill gaps, and further develop successors for key roles in the organization.

Additionally, SJI offers a comprehensive Tuition Reimbursement program to all eligible employees. This program assists employees in pursuing certificates as well as undergraduate and graduate degrees, empowering them to contribute in new ways to the organization.

New in 2021, employees have access to over 16,000 online courses through LinkedIn Learning to further build their business, technical, and creative skills.

Employee Performance
SJI’s Performance Management Process (PMP) ensures that employees are getting the regular feedback and development needed to build capabilities, improve performance and drive a high-performing culture. The overall success of this performance management process involves aligning employee's individual goals with the organization's goals to drive engagement and produce positive business results.

Looking ahead, we will continue identifying opportunities to help our employees learn, grow and get the most out of their careers with SJI.

Future Skill Building
The demands of our employees and leaders continue to shift as a result of the impacts of our environment and the mental, emotional, and social well-being of our employees.  To prepare our employees and ensure their success in a hybrid work environment, employees participated in a Navigating Hybrid Series and Leading in a Hybrid Environment.  SJI also provided programs through our EAP to increase awareness, employee support and resilience as it relates to employee well-being.

Looking ahead, we will continue to monitor the need for future skill building and plan to implement new programs in 2022.