Sustainability is a company-wide commitment at APS. Sustainability is not isolated within a specific group or functional area; rather, sustainability is embedded within each business unit. One of the ways we ensure our business units remain focused on sustainable business practices is through our business planning process. In our business planning process, we identify our corporate and business unit metrics that align with our company values, business goals and associated corporate initiatives. To assure we stay aligned, APS maintains an inventory of sustainability best practices and metrics for the electric utility industry and meets regularly with the business units to consider which sustainability best practices and related metrics are appropriate and can be incorporated into their business plans.
Periodic meetings are held with the business units to determine the effectiveness of our sustainability practices. In 2015, sustainability metrics were designated with a unique logo within each business unit’s 2016 business plan for the first time. This will greatly enhance the awareness and promotion of sustainability actions throughout our company.
Sustainability drives business value by identifying important actions across all business units and ensuring those actions are implemented in the most efficient and effective manner possible, resulting in improved processes and reduced costs. For example, in 2013, we launched the Enterprise Process Improvement (EPI) initiative to establish a more comprehensive, controlled and structured documentation of policies, processes and procedures to standardize and document knowledge transfer from the retiring workforce to the new generation of APS employees. With an aging workforce, employees with many years of training and practical experience will soon be retiring and core job knowledge must be transferred. It is critically important that less experienced employees are equipped with the knowledge they need to lead this company to a successful future. This initiative is also about defining how we will govern and perform our work and establishing a framework to continually evaluate and improve how our business works.
This initiative has been executed by delegates from each business area who were selected by executives. Our EPI team has worked with each of the delegates to develop plans to identify where the company lacks documentation, has outdated documentation or fails to store documents for knowledge sharing and retention. In 2015, this initiative improved 97 processes and saved the company an estimated 1,547 hours and approximately $1.12 million. Since 2013, APS has invested $4.08 million in process improvements to enable our business to function in the most efficient way possible.