MSCI Upgrades Pinnacle West’s ESG Rating to “AA”


Pinnacle West’s increased focus on ESG performance recently was recognized by MSCI, which upgraded the company’s ESG rating. As of April 27, 2021, Pinnacle West received an MSCI ESG Rating of “AA,” up from an “A.” The rating upgrade was driven by Pinnacle West’s inclusion as a top quartile performer in managing water-related risks.

MSCI’s ESG ratings measure a company's resilience to long-term environmental, social and governance risks. Thousands of companies worldwide are scored on the most relevant key issues based on a company's business model.

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“Pinnacle West has been a leader in sustainable water use for decades,” said Ann Becker, Vice President of Sustainability. “Palo Verde, a cornerstone of our clean energy commitment, relies on the most sustainable source of water in Arizona, treated effluent from cities. We are gratified to see that MSCI recognized our longstanding efforts.”

Surface water shortages in the region are expected to continue due to the ongoing 20-year drought, likely exacerbated by climate change. As droughts proliferate and surface water shortages persist, many communities, industries and agricultural users will switch to groundwater, a non-renewable supply.  

“Using groundwater is like using your savings account to make every-day purchases,” Becker said. “It can be sustainable if usage is properly planned or to make ends meet in emergencies, but it’s not the healthiest long-term strategy.”

Pinnacle West’s usage of treated effluent and continued efforts to minimize the use of groundwater ensures that the right water is available for the right use at the right time. 

MSCI also recognizes that the company’s Clean Energy Commitment is among the most ambitious in the utility sector, with a goal to provide 100% clean, carbon-free generation by 2050. The commitment aims to increase renewable generation to 45% of our resource mix by 2030. Increased reliance on renewable energy sources like photovoltaic solar and wind, which essentially use no water, will also substantially reduce our water footprint.

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