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Environmental policies

Environmental policy

Westar Energy is committed to responsible environmental management and stewardship through the use of sound, scientific environmental principles in every aspect of our operations.

Westar's environmental principles work together with all environmental policies, representing the shared commitment of all Westar employees to protect and enhance the environment. 

Photo: Jeffrey Energy Center wetlands

Westar's environmental principles

  • We will serve in leadership roles as stewards of the earth's natural resources.
  • We will meet or exceed the compliance requirements of environmental laws and regulations.
  • We will include environmental considerations in operational planning and decision-making processes.
  • We will accept accountability for our operations. We will respond to environmental incidents quickly and effectively and will promptly and fully inform the appropriate parties.
  • We will provide and support opportunities for involvement in environmental conservation, pollution prevention and educational programs for our employees and the communities we serve.
  • We will promote continuous improvement and pollution prevention in environmental performance.
  • We will practice responsible environmental stewardship of all company owned properties and natural resources entrusted to our management.
  • We will communicate and reinforce environmental values throughout the company.
  • We will recognize the contribution every employee can make to improve the environmental performance of our company and encourage all to become environmental stewards.
  • We will periodically review our performance to ensure that our programs and practices are consistent with these principles.

Climate change policy

Westar Energy recognizes the growing concerns regarding the threat of climate change and believes our industry must take a leadership role in this debate. It must be understood that climate change is a global problem requiring global solutions guided by sound science, objective engineering and out best economic information.

At the federal level the solution must be comprehensive, far-sighted and recognize all sources of greenhouse gases. The Westar Climate Change Policy and its Climate Change Principles, together represent the shared commitment of all Westar employees to protect and enhance the environment while providing safe, reliable and reasonably priced energy service.

We will intensify our efforts to make reductions in greenhouse gas emissions while continuing to provide safe, reliable and reasonably priced energy service.
We will base greenhouse gas reduction strategies on sound science, objective engineering and best available economic information.
We will support science-based education on climate change, its causes and how consumer choices can affect energy consumption.
We will support public policies and initiatives to accelerate the development and use of environmentally beneficial and cost effective strategies for:

  • Demand-side management
  • Energy efficiency programs for both customers and Westar's own operations
  • Zero - or low - emissions generation technologies
  • Renewable energy resources
  • Carbon capture and storage technologies

We will support public policies and initiatives that recognize early actions or investments made to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.
We will support public policies and initiatives that recognize and correct for possible extreme financial consequences that could result from the imposition of greenhouse gas regulations.
We will support compliance timelines for greenhouse gas reductions consistent with the expected development and commercialization of technology solutions.

Bird management policy

Westar Energy is committed to reducing the detrimental effects of bird interactions with electrical equipment. Bird interactions with electrical equipment may cause the mortality of protected species and may result in electrical outages. Westar management, employees, and contractors are responsible for compliance with bird protection laws (Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Bald & Golden Eagle Protection Act, Endangered Species Act, Kansas Non-Game & Endangered Species Conservation Act) while safely maintaining and improving electrical system reliability.
Westar’s customer service and regulatory compliance will be enhanced and risk to migratory birds will be reduced through the proactive and innovative resolutions of bird/electrical equipment interactions guided by this policy. In general, Westar will take a 3-tiered approach:

Preventive

Ensure through construction standards and pre-construction evaluations that all new electrical construction is bird-safe.

Proactive

Retrofit or rebuild existing equipment as appropriate when an area of high bird use or critical habitat for a protected species is identified.

Reactive

Retrofit or rebuild existing equipment to remediate negative bird interactions.

Key principles

To fulfill this commitment, Westar Energy will:

  • Implement and comply with our comprehensive Avian Protection Plan (APP).
  • Ensure our actions comply with applicable laws, regulations, permits and APP procedures.
  • Provide information, resources and training to improve our employees’ knowledge of bird protection strategies and the requirements of our APP.
  • Identify areas of high bird concentrations near electrical equipment to proactively address potential negative interactions.
  • Construct all new or rebuilt lines, where appropriate, to raptor-safe standards.
  • Remediate electrical equipment where a bird has died to minimize hazards and eliminate problem settings.
  • Participate with public and private organizations in investigations and research to reduce detrimental effects of bird interactions with electrical equipment.
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