COLUMBUS, Ohio, April 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) has released its first Corporate Accountability Report, presenting information about the company's financial, environmental and social performance together for the first time. The report and other supporting data and materials are available on AEP's new sustainability website, http://www.aepsustainability.com/.
"We are proud to be one of the first companies in the nation to develop an integrated report that recognizes the strong connection between our financial performance and our environmental and social responsibilities," said Michael G. Morris, AEP's chairman, president and chief executive officer. "Our decision to combine our annual report to shareholders with our corporate sustainability report reflects our commitment to hold ourselves accountable for our actions and results, and it demonstrates our efforts to be transparent and to consider the environmental and social impact of everything we do."
AEP's Corporate Accountability Report outlines the issues that affect the company's long-term sustainability, including financial performance; energy security, reliability and growth; public policy; environmental performance; global climate change; work force issues; and stakeholder engagement. The report was prepared according to principles established by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), a voluntary framework used by organizations worldwide to measure and report their economic, environmental and social performance. It also was reviewed by GRI to ensure AEP reported on all core performance indicators. The report achieved GRI's Application Level A, which reflects the high level of transparency in the report. AEP also reports on additional performance indicators in GRI's Electric Utility Sector Supplement.
The report details several initiatives the company implemented in 2009, including:
- Energy efficiency targets – AEP identified energy efficiency and demand reduction goals for parts of the company's service territory. AEP has significantly increased investments in energy efficiency programs over the past several years, from $13 million in 2008 to a projected $110 million in 2010 and a planned $218 million in 2012. AEP also announced the creation of an Energy Efficiency Advisory Council including experts from manufacturing, trade groups, home builders, government, nongovernment agencies and others to generate new ideas and solutions, identify opportunities for collaboration and help drive the national conversation on energy efficiency and conservation.
- Coal supplier survey – AEP began evaluating the mining practices and the environmental, safety and health performance of its coal suppliers. The company intends to conduct an annual survey of suppliers and identify practices that can be shared among coal companies to improve the overall performance of suppliers.
- Coal stakeholder meeting – AEP brought together coal suppliers, environmental groups, regulators, community leaders and academics to discuss coal issues, including mountaintop removal mining practices, and the environmental, safety and health performance of coal suppliers. The company intends to continue holding similar meetings.
The report also identifies the steps AEP is taking to reduce and offset its greenhouse gas emissions, including demonstrating carbon capture and storage technology, making power plants more efficient, offsetting emissions through forestry programs and increasing renewable generation. AEP supports a federal energy policy and an economywide cap-and-trade system that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, keep the cost of electricity reasonable for customers and foster international participation to address climate change.
AEP committed to add 2,000 megawatts (MW) of renewable resources between 2007 and the end of 2011, with regulatory approval. Through 2009, the company had secured 1,013 MW of renewable energy through power purchase agreements, including 10 MW of solar power. AEP's integrated resource plan contains a 10 percent renewable energy target by 2020.
"As the global economy rebounds, our challenge will be to continue making electricity that has less environmental impact while ensuring that it remains reliable, safe and reasonably priced. New technologies that transform the way we generate, transmit and deliver electricity will make that possible," Morris said. "At AEP, we will continue to work with regulators, policymakers and other stakeholders to develop the energy policies and new regulatory structures that will support technological advancements and drive economic recovery while protecting customers and the environment."
American Electric Power is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5 million customers in 11 states. AEP ranks among the nation's largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP also owns the nation's largest electricity transmission system, a nearly 39,000-mile network that includes more 765-kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP's transmission system directly or indirectly serves about 10 percent of the electricity demand in the Eastern Interconnection, the interconnected transmission system that covers 38 eastern and central U.S. states and eastern Canada, and approximately 11 percent of the electricity demand in ERCOT, the transmission system that covers much of Texas. AEP's utility units operate as AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east Texas). AEP's headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio.
SOURCE American Electric Power