Kansas Restricts ESG Investments For Public Investments – While Allowing Evergy to Reward Executives for Implementing ESG Policies


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by Jennifer Williams

This is part 2 of a 5 part series on key issues creating ethical concerns on the government-allowed utility monopoly.

As Evergy is continuing to request increases in rates, is the public aware of how their current budget is being spent? Do they know that the Evergy CEO was compensated over $6.8 MILLION in 2022, Board of Director salaries averaged over $333,000, and stockholders received over $534 MILLION in total dividends paid? Are they aware that executives are rewarded for implementing the global ESG plan, including Evergy’s adherence to the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, or that Evergy spends countless hours and dollars in lobbying and campaign donations?

Has the public read Evergy’s company policies that govern their practices? Most likely not.

Below are 5 areas of concern with Evergy’s current business practices that should make anyone, including Kansas legislators, question if the utility monopoly model is still an appropriate method or if it is becoming a method of forcing the public to pay for failing systems that are making executives and investors rich; while leaving the tab with those struggling just to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. Perhaps it is time for another approach to be explored.

This is part 2 of a 5-part Series to address the major concerns in the following categories that are affecting customer rates and the future of our monopolistic public utility.

Hefty Dividend Payments to Shareholders
ESG & “Renewable” Programs
Executive Salaries
Campaign Contributions

ESG – Environmental, Social, and Governance

Many Kansas State legislators are rightfully proud of their work during the 2023 session with SB291, which focused on restricting state agencies from adopting ESG criteria or requiring any person or business to operate in accordance with such criteria.

However, on its website, the state-granted-monopoly utility is bragging about its ESG highlights; including regurgitating its net-zero CO2 emissions by 2045 dream.

There is an entire page of the website dedicated to their ESG goals, complete with reports and info. On that link, you can find the following pictographs and company ideology discussing their vision of sustainability and their focus on ESG, DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion), and increased wind and solar investments.

This graph below claims that “Evergy’s Board of Directors understand the importance of ESG and established a management structure to oversee and drive the ESG matters.”

They also show their ESG governance committees and structures, that not only guide the Board of Directors and committee members as to Evergy’s corporate expectations, but they also focus on political lobbying spending as it relates to corporate governance and sustainability.

Keep scrolling through that Sustainability link, and you’ll find multiple other links because, as they say, “Evergy is committed to transparency.”

One report you’ll find is their 69-page Sustainability Report, which further guides expectations of their ESG and strategic priorities for topics such as diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), renewable energy, and the continued use of the word “sustainability” stating, “Sustainability: Evergy seeks to lead the responsible energy transition in our service area and take advantage of the region’s ample renewable resources and the benefits of a diverse generation portfolio. In May 2023, we closed on the purchase of the 199-megawatt Persimmon Creek Wind Farm, continuing our progress toward our goal of a 70% reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from 2005 levels by 2030. Our long-term target is to achieve net-zero CO2 emissions by 2045, which will be dependent on enabling technologies and supportive policies and regulations, among other external factors. In addition, the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in 2022 provides longer-term certainty around renewable tax credits that serve to reduce the levelized cost of energy for new renewable generation.

You’ll also find other climate reports, metrics, and board committee composition (discussed later under salaries.)

If one still believes that the United Nations Agenda 2030 is a conspiracy theory, Evergy further validates its existence under #7 UN Sustainable Development Goals, where you’ll find the following chart that addresses 10 of the UN’s goals and how Evergy prioritizes and works to implement those goals.

How did the UN get influence in Evergy’s business plan? Evergy claims here that “the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared plan for peace and prosperity for people and planet, now and into the future.”

Evergy even has a report entitled, 2022 Global Reporting Initiative Report, that lists a multitude of topics, along with relevant links to policies and committees that address those topics. Each topic has a section number, preceded by the letters “GRI.”

What is GRI? It is Global Reporting Initiative, and per their website, “The GRI Standards represent global best practice for reporting publicly on a range of economic, environmental and social impacts. Sustainability reporting based on the Standards provides information about an organization’s positive or negative contributions to sustainable development.” Headquartered in Amsterdam, they have offices worldwide with 7 regional offices in Southeast Asia, South Asia, China, Africa, Brazil, North America, and Latin America.

They claim to be a catalyst for a sustainable world, working with more than 10,000 organizations in over 100 countries. They also state, “the standards are advancing the practice of sustainability reporting, enabling organizations and their stakeholders to take action that creates economic, environment, and social benefits for everyone.

Page 5 of Evergy’s GRI report further proves their allegiance to the reporting practice by claiming, “Evergy is following the Global Report Indicator (GRI) Standards “Core” reporting methodology as the basis of our disclosures. Evergy’s 2021 Sustainability Report effectively follows GRI reporting standards for Report Content: stakeholder inclusiveness, sustainability context, materiality, and completeness; and Report Quality: Accuracy, Balance, Clarity, Comparability, Reliability, and Timeliness.”

How does Evergy convince its employees and executives to promote the implementation of the UN Agenda 2030 Global ESG and DEI goals?

They reward their executives with a compensation plan that helps implement this ideology.

Page 42-43 of their 2023 Annual Meeting and Proxy Statement explains the cash incentives, along with how much each executive earned in bonus incentives. The compensation will be discussed later under that topic, but it is included here to show the dollar amounts associated with the weighted achievement target percentages for certain topics – including implementation of ESG, DEI, and maximizing shareholder earnings per share.

Page 44 states, In 2022, we added an environmental metric to the performance-based RSUs based on total megawatts of owned renewables additions or buy-ins of PPAs by year-end 2024, among other changes. The 2021 changes that we continued into 2022 include the discretionary DE&I and Key Performance Indicator modifiers to the AIP that reinforce our commitment to improving our DE&I goals and assess our progress on the Company’s business plan. We also continue to measure cumulative adjusted EPS in the 2022 performance-based RSUs to support achievement of our long-term strategic plan and because of its alignment with shareholder value creation. The goals and targets for our 2023 executive incentive plans are aligned with our strategic business plan.”

This is important to recognize – the executives are being paid bonuses based on the additions and buy-ins of “renewables” they allow the company to invest in. This continually sets the compensation plan in a manner that incentivizes the implementation of the far-left global agenda.

How can a state-mandated monopoly give a 10% weighted percentage for a DEI plan and a 10% bonus for a “strategic performance indicator” to adhere to the global agenda, but only a 2.25% weight for residential customer satisfaction and a 1.5% weight for business customer satisfaction?

Because it’s not about the customers since the customer has no choice but to do business with them! They cannot leave for another company who may treat them better.

Its about the 32.5% weighted earnings per share for the stakeholders and the 20% total global agenda metrics for the world order.

To summarize, we have a global metric for a “sustainability” agenda, promoted by shareholders and implemented by the executives; with the additional opportunity to earn more stock and bonuses if management implements the agenda according to the global United Nations “Sustainability” plan, complete with global reporting benchmarks (GRI).

This is a bribe to implement the global agenda, and there is no other way to look at it.
So just how much total compensation and bonuses did the executives receive?
See Part 3


  1. I was the lead on the fight against ESG in the house and worked closely with Sen Thompson. We had identical bills in both sides and worked closely with AG Kobach to tweak the end result. In the end, lobbyists for the Chamber and Bankers stopped the full comprehensive bill that could have stopped much of this. An interesting side note is that an Evergy representative told us privately that ESG criteria hamstrings them from operating the way they need to. When you see companies such as Evergy tout ESG policy, it is to offer compliance so they can obtain needed capital. That’s the insidious danger of ESG…you play the ESG rules or capital, insurance and other much needed aspects of running a business can be cut off or options drastically limited.

    I’m in no way suggesting Evergy get a pass, but the ESG issue is deeply entrenched and will be hard to remove, just like a tumor that has attached to vital organs. I will look to Kansans to help put pressure on leadership and these lobbyists to do what’s best for Kansas, not the World Economic Forum.

    • Thank you so much for what’s been accomplished and for reminding Kansans that it takes all of us!

      As I told Representative Sutton last week when I asked about legislation to ban mRNA in any food – “if we can regulate the amount of alcohol allowed in our beer, then we can regulate what goes into (or stays out of) our food.”

      The same holds true on this topic.
      Maybe the banking, investment and insurance industries doing business in Kansas need more regulation preventing them from discriminating against a company based on political ideologies. They’re just diving into this and it might not be too late to pull them back out before they drown.

      Businesses every day successfully operate without playing the ESG game. The problem is that once the agenda gets a foothold, then it’s going to get a stronghold.
      Soon it becomes the norm and “the way it’s always done”, forcing more businesses to comply to the same standards, or else they’re cancelled and can’t be competitive.
      That’s how an ideology drowns out its opposition. This ideology is accelerating quickly and needs a roadblock.

      Legislation can forbid decommissioning fossil fuel facilities.
      It can put a moratorium in place while the real costs (environmental, financial, health, etc) of wind, solar, and nitrogen are studied in a non-biased (difficult, I know) manner.
      Legislation can explore more nuclear options.
      Legislation can forbid utilities from capping how much individual homeowners can feed back (sell to) the grid from their home systems, helping homeowners to truly save money and helping meet the supply needs.
      Legislation can limit stock bribes to directors and executives, and it can cap salaries and bonuses to appropriate amounts.
      Legislation can forbid lobbyists from spending money on campaigns and stop dark money, by requiring that campaign donations come from the district in which the candidate is running.
      Legislation can require the KCC to have more commissioners on the board, elected by the people, and it can bring some “diversity” to the CURB board so people who don’t believe in the climate agenda are also represented.

      Legislation in a state-regulated monopoloy is our only protection from a dictatorship, because we have no other option.
      If the certain representatives in the state don’t want to legislate our safety, then they need to open up the market for our ability to let the free market find its balance. (another potential set of problems, I get it)

      The point is that the people depend on the legislators to push back against lobbyists and leadership who are bleeding Kansans (and Kansas resources) dry.
      I see how the people can push back against the leadership and those they can vote for, but how do we push back against lobbyists?
      We’re nothing to them. We have no authority over them. They don’t listen to the people because they have a different allegience. Maybe we need to learn what we can do to help in this area?

      Thank you for all you do for Kansans!

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