Essential Utilities announced May 5 the appointment of Edwina Kelly to the company’s board of directors. Kelly will serve as a member of the audit committee and the risk mitigation and investment policy committee of the board.
Kelly is a senior principal at Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments) where she is responsible for originating new investments, transaction management and asset management for investments in the organization’s global Sustainable Energy Group. CPP Investments invested $750 million in Essential Utilities as part of the equity raised for the purchase of Peoples Natural Gas in 2020. Kelly is replacing former director Wendy Franks as a board representative for CPP Investments.
“I look forward to working with Edwina on Essential’s board of directors,” said Essential Chairman and CEO Christopher Franklin. “Her expertise and experience with renewable energy will be valuable as we strive to meet the emissions reduction targets announced earlier this year.”
In January 2021, less than one year since the closing of the Peoples Gas acquisition, Essential announced a commitment to substantially reduce Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions. By 2035, Essential will reduce its emissions by 60 percent from its 2019 baseline. This reduction is roughly equivalent to the emissions from 76,000 cars on the road over the course of the year. This will be achieved by extensive gas pipeline replacement, renewable energy purchasing, accelerated methane leak detection and repair and various other currently planned initiatives that are highly feasible with proven technology. This science-based commitment is consistent with the rate of reduction necessary over the next 15 years to keep on track with the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit the global temperature increase to well below 2 degrees Celsius.
Prior to joining CPP Investments, Kelly was a director at EFG Hermes UAE where she helped manage the renewable energy platform and led solar portfolio acquisitions and equity restructurings of wind farm investments. She holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, politics and economics from the University of Oxford and is an associated chartered accountant member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
Essential is one of the largest publicly traded water, wastewater and natural gas providers in the United States, serving approximately 5 million people across 10 states under the Aqua and Peoples brands. Essential is committed to excellence in proactive infrastructure investment, regulatory expertise, operational efficiency and environmental stewardship. The company recognizes the importance water and natural gas play in everyday life and is proud to deliver safe, reliable services that contribute to the quality of life in the communities it serves. For more information, visit essential.co.