With 1.8 million natural gas customers across Alabama, Mississippi and Missouri, Spire Inc. announced that it is committing to reduce methane emissions by 53% by 2025 and become carbon neutral by 2050. 

The St. Louis-based company said it is one of the first natural gas companies in the country to take the carbon neutral pledge.

“We know natural gas plays an important part in a sustainable energy future,” said COO Steve Lindsey. “That’s why we’re committed to moving our business forward in a way that protects the planet and supports communities for generations to come.”

Spire’s goal to reduce gas utility methane emissions from 2005 levels by 2025 exceeds a North America Leaders Summit agreement to cut methane emissions by 40-45% by 2025, a precedent set in 2016 between the United States, Mexico, and Canada. Spire said it has already seen a 39% reduction in overall methane emissions since 2005. 

Additionally, it said it is reducing its carbon emissions by using compressed natural gas to fuel almost 300, or 13%, of its fleet vehicles. 

As a member of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Natural Gas STAR Methane Challenge program, Spire said it has worked to reduce methane emissions by 5% each year. 

During fiscal 2019, the company said it invested $287 million to replace 359 miles of aging infrastructure. The resulting impact was a 21% leak reduction/1,000 system miles of distribution pipelines. Over the last five years, Spire said it has reduced leaks/1,000 system miles by 66%. 

“Our environmental efforts are important to our customers, and they are important to us too,” Lindsey said. “As a natural gas utility, we will continue to find innovative ways to supply the energy people depend on while striving to become carbon neutral by midcentury.”

The company is also working to create sustainable workplaces through eliminating water waste, recycling across all facilities, and fueling its fleet efficiently. The company also uses limited water for hydrostatic testing and in pipeline construction.