During the past few years, American corporations have been challenged to more fully demonstrate the claims they make about ethical standards and integrity. Calpine is meeting all of the challenges set before the company in this era of greater corporate scrutiny, without compromising the company's long history of lawful, ethical conduct and strong corporate integrity, and by responding with an even higher degree of transparency in its financial statements. Calpine's number one priority has been, and always will be integrity.
Every day, Calpine strives to demonstrate its commitment to the highest ethical standards through the company's performance in key areas: corporate governance, environmental responsibility, safety practices and through its people, as they conduct day-to-day business.
First and foremost, corporate integrity is demonstrated through strong, ethical corporate governance standards. Calpine is open, honest and forthright in all of its activities and in its financial reporting. The company has taken a leadership position in many ways. Calpine was the first major independent power company to sign SEC certification documents and the first major U.S. independent power company to elect to expense the cost of stock option grants.
A second measure of Calpine's performance is its commitment to safety. Safety and reliability are essential to a company with operational integrity. The safety record at Calpine continues to be outstanding. The company's focus on safety is an integral part of every facet of its work and Calpine is continually committed to looking for new ways to enhance its performance in this area.
Another way in which Calpine defines its commitment is its dedication to operational practices that safeguard the environment. Calpine has the most environmentally friendly power plant fleet in the world. All of its plants are either fueled by clean natural gas or renewable geothermal steam. Calpine has the largest, cleanest, most fuel-efficient fleet of gas-fired power plants in North America. In fact, the company's projects frequently exceed compliance standards for environmental and public health protections, going beyond the legal requirements, and notable environmental, health and consumer groups have applauded Calpine. Once our plants are brought online, Calpine continues to show its commitment by developing and maintaining strong relationships with surrounding communities.
Calpine's commitment to the highest ethical standards is also characterized by the ways in which its employees conduct day-to-day business and by the results of their concerted efforts. The company demonstrates this position through the corporate culture it has established, which includes a variety of channels for employee feedback. In 2002, in order to support communication about corporate ethics, Calpine set up an anonymous hotline program so that its employees can report any concerns they might have about ethics and integrity.
Calpine is well-positioned to address this new, dynamic business environment very successfully. The company has established a reputation for honest and reliable business conduct and performance with integrity, even under extremely challenging economic circumstances. Calpine's corporate values and culture attract exceptionally talented people. The company's record of integrity and continued display of high ethical standards demonstrate its commitment to accomplish the job it set out to do-to be the finest power company in North America.