Five non-profit organizations receive an additional $40,000 each to continue research and development of local projects and programs that advance innovative climate solutions towards decarbonization, diversification, and digitalization for a clean energy future.
LOS ANGELES, April 24, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) today announced that the SoCal Climate Champions Grant is awarding an additional $200,000 in grants to support research projects and programs that foster clean, safe, and innovative solutions to help achieve California's climate and clean energy goals, as part of the company's ASPIRE 2045 sustainability strategy. In 2021, ten nonprofits were each awarded $40,000 in grants for their efforts promoting climate solutions throughout Southern California. Five of these organizations have been selected in 2022 to receive an additional $40,000 each in a one-time second phase granting process.
"We are always looking for new ways to support projects and programs that promote wellbeing in the communities we serve," says Jawaad Malik, chief sustainability and strategy officer at SoCalGas. "These outreach efforts highlight how our company's ASPIRE 2045 vision, together with our community partners, can lead to real, actionable solutions that help improve air quality and reduce our carbon footprint."
One of the recipients of the second-phase grant is LA Compost's project, Bringing Community Level Composting Access to Los Angeles. The program develops community-based composting systems for food scrap collection, as well as compost education, creation, and uses.
"Our community level-systems strive to keep the valuable resource of compost local, especially within Los Angeles neighborhoods most vulnerable to climate change," says Michael Martinez, Founder and Executive Director of LA Compost. "In 2022, our decentralized network in Los Angeles was able to divert nearly four million pounds of food and carbon-based organics from landfills, reduce an estimated 3,750 metric tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere, and repurpose an estimated 14.3 million gallons of water from food waste through compost production."
The San Diego State University Research Foundation (SDSURF) is also making strides in sustainable agriculture through its Farms of the Future project. Led by Dr. Saeed Manshadi, the project has also been awarded a second-phase grant, with a primary focus on reducing the carbon intensity of agriculture in the Imperial Valley.
Dr. Manshadi shared his enthusiasm for the project, stating, "We are thrilled with the progress we've made so far in advancing sustainable agriculture in the Imperial Valley. Our goal is to encourage at least 30% of farm owners to explore electrification within the first year, and we're delighted to have already exceeded that target. By presenting this road map, we hope to reduce carbon emissions by 30% and help improve air quality in agricultural activities related to transportation, irrigation, and water supply in the food production supply chain."
Other second-phase grant recipients include The Ecology Center's Compost and Expansion and Education Initiative, a project that aims to inspire healthy change in the food system and strengthen the growing number of satellite and school farms they serve; the Cal Poly Pomona Philanthropic Foundation's Low-cost Energy Storage Using Repurposed Desalination Salt project, which aims to use desalination salt as a low cost solution to store excess intermittent renewable energy; and The Amigos De Los Rios' Emerald Necklace – Rio Hondo, San Gabriel River, & School Greening project that plants trees and native shrubs in critical areas along urban river corridors as well as schools.
"Climate change is a global issue, but it is important that we develop local solutions that can be replicated throughout the state, supporting our under resourced communities most impacted by pollution and climate change," said Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella). "SoCalGas' Climate Champions Grant will advance many of the great local projects and research taking place in southern and central California. Funding research projects like these have the potential to reach beyond just one neighborhood or city and could help lay the foundation for the climate solutions of tomorrow."
Over the last two years, the SoCal Climate Champions Grant has awarded $600,000 in grants to support nonprofit organizations. The grant will be made available again this year with another $400,000 in funding. The application process for 2023 will be open from April 24th to June 23rd.
Grant recipients will:
- Receive an award of up to $50,000 to fund new or on-going efforts that align with the Initiative.
- Gain recognition in a community of accomplished nonprofit leaders from diverse programs.
- Share their stories through the grant program.
- Be offered the aid of SoCalGas volunteers.
Successful applicants to the SoCal Climate Champions Grant will demonstrate research, projects, or programs that aim to advance climate solutions that reduce, mitigate, or sequester greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality, or drive clean energy or organic waste diversion solutions in the communities we serve. Since its inception in 2015, the SoCal Climate Champions Initiative, which is funded by Sempra shareholders, has awarded more than 150 grants totaling nearly $2.5 million. A complete list of the 2021-2022 grant recipients can be found here.
Under the ASPIRE 2045 Sustainability Strategy, SoCalGas plans to invest $50 million into communities the company serves over five years, working to advance racial and gender diversity in the workplace, and take tangible steps towards a carbon neutral future.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, SoCalGas® is the largest gas distribution utility in the United States. SoCalGas delivers affordable, reliable, and increasingly renewable gas service to over 21 million consumers across 24,000 square miles of Central and Southern California. Gas delivered through the company's pipelines will continue to play a key role in California's clean energy transition—providing electric grid reliability and supporting wind and solar energy deployment.
SoCalGas' mission is to build the cleanest, safest and most innovative energy infrastructure company in America. In support of that mission, SoCalGas aspires to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in its operations and delivery of energy by 2045 and to replacing 20 percent of its traditional natural gas supply to core customers with renewable natural gas (RNG) by 2030. Renewable natural gas is made from waste created by landfills and wastewater treatment plants. SoCalGas is also committed to investing in its gas delivery infrastructure while keeping bills affordable for customers. SoCalGas is a subsidiary of Sempra (NYSE: SRE), an energy infrastructure company based in San Diego.
This press release contains statements that constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are based on assumptions with respect to the future, involve risks and uncertainties, and are not guarantees. Future results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statement. These forward-looking statements represent our estimates and assumptions only as of the date of this press release. We assume no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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Factors, among others, that could cause actual results and events to differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statement include risks and uncertainties relating to: decisions, investigations, inquiries, regulations, issuances or revocations of permits or other authorizations, renewals of franchises, and other actions by (i) the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), U.S. Department of Energy, and other governmental and regulatory bodies and (ii) the U.S. and states, counties, cities and other jurisdictions therein in which we do business; the success of business development efforts and construction projects, including risks in (i) completing construction projects or other transactions on schedule and budget, (ii) realizing anticipated benefits from any of these efforts if completed, and (iii) obtaining the consent or approval of partners or other third parties, including governmental and regulatory bodies; litigation, arbitrations and other proceedings, and changes to laws and regulations; cybersecurity threats, including by state and state-sponsored actors, of ransomware or other attacks on our systems or the systems of third-parties with which we conduct business, including the energy grid or other energy infrastructure, all of which have become more pronounced due to recent geopolitical events, such as the war in Ukraine; our ability to borrow money on favorable terms and meet our debt service obligations, including due to (i) actions by credit rating agencies to downgrade our credit ratings or to place those ratings on negative outlook or (ii) rising interest rates and inflation; failure of our counterparties to honor their contracts and commitments; the impact on affordability of our customer rates and our cost of capital and on our ability to pass through higher costs to current and future customers due to (i) volatility in inflation, interest rates and commodity prices, and (ii) the cost of the clean energy transition in California; the impact of climate and sustainability policies, laws, rules, disclosures, and trends, including actions to reduce or eliminate reliance on natural gas, increased uncertainty in the political or regulatory environment for California natural gas distribution companies and the risk of nonrecovery for stranded assets; our ability to incorporate new technologies into our business, including those designed to support governmental and private party energy and climate goals; weather, natural disasters, pandemics, accidents, equipment failures, explosions, terrorism, information system outages or other events that disrupt our operations, damage our facilities or systems, cause the release of harmful materials, cause fires or subject us to liability for damages, fines and penalties, some of which may not be recoverable through regulatory mechanisms, may be disputed or not covered by insurers, or may impact our ability to obtain satisfactory levels of affordable insurance; the availability of natural gas and natural gas storage capacity, including disruptions caused by failures in the pipeline system or limitations on the withdrawal of natural gas from storage facilities; changes in tax and trade policies, laws and regulations, including tariffs, revisions to international trade agreements and sanctions, such as those that have been imposed and that may be imposed in the future in connection with the war in Ukraine, which may increase our costs, reduce our competitiveness, impact our ability to do business with certain counterparties, or impair our ability to resolve trade disputes; and other uncertainties, some of which are difficult to predict and beyond our control.
These risks and uncertainties are further discussed in the reports that the company has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). These reports are available through the EDGAR system free-of-charge on the SEC's website, www.sec.gov, and on Sempra's website, www.sempra.com. Investors should not rely unduly on any forward-looking statements.
Sempra Infrastructure, Sempra Infrastructure Partners, Sempra Texas, Sempra Texas Utilities, Oncor Electric Delivery Company LLC (Oncor) and Infraestructura Energética Nova, S.A.P.I. de C.V. (IEnova) are not the same companies as the California utilities, San Diego Gas & Electric Company or Southern California Gas Company, and Sempra Infrastructure, Sempra Infrastructure Partners, Sempra Texas, Sempra Mexico, Sempra Texas Utilities, Oncor and IEnova are not regulated by the CPUC.
SOURCE Southern California Gas Company