Public Safety

APS is dedicated to ensuring the safety of the public. The cornerstone of this commitment is maintaining our assets in a safe condition. In addition, we have a number of programs that educate our customers and the general public about electrical safety and ensure the safety of contractors working on and around our facilities.

Through outreach to the news media and using social media, we raise awareness of topics such as safety around downed electrical wires, maintaining safe working distances around overhead lines and responding appropriately if unsafe electrical equipment conditions are found. APS also provides electrical safety programs to increase public awareness about electricity and electrical equipment. We reach thousands of Arizonans each year with our electrical safety trailer presentations as well as classroom and live demonstrations of the dangers of electricity. In 2017, our electrical safety presentations and electrical safety trailer reached more than 7,200 first responders, contractors, members of the public and municipal, state and county workers.

APS continues to partner with Arizona 811 (an excavation notification service) and participated in 26 damage-prevention seminars throughout the state in 2017. In addition, our Benjamin FranKlown program brings age-appropriate messages about electrical safety to more than 5,000 students across Arizona each year.

Other accomplishments for 2017 include the following:

  • We performed more than 270 public safety field investigations in 2017.
  • Serving on more than 30 safety committees with our community partners.
  • Reviewed and inspected more than 90 Right of Way/Easement encroachment issues.

Learn more about Public Safety.

Economic Development

For the past 25 years, the APS Economic Development department has worked with state, regional and community partners to attract, expand and grow business and industry in Arizona. In addition to supporting these partners and existing customers, the department also focuses on community and entrepreneurial support to further create a solid foundation for businesses to invest and grow in the state.

Our recruitment efforts target base industries, such as manufacturing and finance, as well as corporate headquarters and companies that offer competitive wages and benefits. Attracting companies in these sectors boosts the Arizona economy and helps grow our service territory.

In 2017, we worked with partners such as the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) and the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) to attract 21 new companies to the APS service territory, creating an estimated 4,300 new jobs and driving more than $660 million in capital investment. Collectively, these projects will add approximately 39.8 new megawatts of power to the APS system when they come online. Highlights for the year include UPS, Ball Corporation, Aldi and Chewy.com. In addition, the greater Phoenix metropolitan area is a finalist for potential new capital investments from companies in the automotive and paper industries, as well as a major data center.

Learn more about Economic Development.

Volunteer hours

Philanthropy and Volunteerism

APS is actively involved in the communities we serve. We partner with nonprofit organizations and community groups across the state to build a stronger, healthier Arizona. Our efforts include financial support, board service and volunteer assistance. In 2017, APS was ranked second on the Phoenix Business Journal list of Arizona’s largest corporate philanthropists.

APS donated more than $9.8 million to worthwhile causes in 2017, with $1.4 million invested in STEM education. This includes our corporate giving, which funds organizations that contribute to the vitality of Arizona, with an emphasis on civic and economic development, human services, environment, education, and arts and culture.

Giving back to our communities is an integral part of the APS culture, and our employees donate their time and talents to a wide range of charitable organizations and civic initiatives. APS was ranked second by the Phoenix Business Journal on its 2017 list of Arizona’s top corporate volunteer programs. In 2017, our employees volunteered 110,000 hours of time, a value of about $2.65 million to our nonprofit partners. Our employees also sit on the boards of some 300 Arizona nonprofit organizations. Employee engagement of this kind produces valuable human-capital development, as volunteerism increases loyalty, performance and job satisfaction while providing employees with professional development opportunities.

Other accomplishments for 2017 include the following:

  • Employees pledged more than $2.49 million in 2017 to our Community Services Fund that benefits local nonprofit agencies. The company matched that pledge with an additional $1.24 million (50 cents for every dollar donated).
  • APS and the Phoenix Suns have partnered to promote STEM education in Arizona schools by offering $50,000 in mini-grants for hands-on projects focused on STEM subjects.

Learn more about APS Community Involvement.

Sustainable Supply Chain

APS is a founding member of the Electric Utility Industry Sustainable Supply Chain Alliance (EUISSCA), a coalition of utilities that work together to advance sustainability best practices in utility supply chain activities and supplier networks. This alliance allows us to gain valuable insight from our peer utilities.

In 2017, EUISSCA members adopted a voluntary standard for repackaging unused materials and reducing waste at job sites. We implemented a test business case for this standard on a project to construct a 40-mile extra-high voltage transmission line between Sun Valley Substation and Morgan Substation. Materials from the job site that would typically be disposed in landfills were recycled. In the first year of this zero-waste initiative, APS recycled over 150,000 lbs. of steel and aluminum. The proceeds from recycled materials are invested back into our recycling program and the transmission construction project itself to pay for the incremental costs associated with recycling on the job site. In addition, a program introduced in 2017 eliminated styrofoam and single-use cups at all APS facilities. In 2018, an initiative is equipping service vehicles with portable recycling containers to eliminate the disposal of plastic water bottles by APS service crews.

A supplier scorecard introduced in 2017 will be used to evaluate supplier performance based on an annual EUISSCA supplier sustainability survey. APS is working with EUISSCA to develop a program to vet and certify contractors and suppliers for sustainability practices. This program will be designed to ensure all of our suppliers follow industry standards for sustainability in the services and products they provide to APS. Plans are to develop and fully institute the program by 2020.

Learn more about EUISSCA.

Supplier Safety and Security

Safety is a critical focus area for APS, and we expect our suppliers to meet or exceed our safety standards. Our objective is to ensure overall site safety so APS employees, contractors and the public are not harmed. We use a third-party vendor that scores contractors based on their previous safety performance. This enables APS to vet the contractors we work with based on a shared commitment to safety. In our first year of operations we have successfully engaged over 500 contractors to participate in this program.

In addition, all vendors are required to adhere to security and data privacy standards and follow industry best practices, as well as applicable regulations. By evaluating vendors’ internal controls and monitoring reputation and financial standing, we further protect sensitive information. Our data privacy and supply chain teams ensure the company is protected by requiring that contracts with new and existing partners account for cybersecurity. All vendors are required to have effective security practices and controls in place, and we work with these partners to ensure our customers are protected from potential third-party data loss.

Diverse Suppliers

APS regards supplier diversity as an integral and sustainable element of our business. The majority of our diverse suppliers are Arizona-based, which reinforces our economic development efforts in the state. A diverse roster of suppliers strengthens our business and provides an opportunity to gain innovative ideas from suppliers that reflect our customer base. Adding diverse suppliers to the APS sourcing mix increases competition and drives innovation as well as value.

The APS Supplier Diversity and Development (SDD) program exceeded $300 million in spend with diverse suppliers for the fourth consecutive year, exceeding $360 million in 2017. Since its inception in 1992, the SDD program has spent more than $3.2 billion with diverse businesses.

APS also takes a proactive approach to developing diverse suppliers. Our Diverse Supplier Training Program (DSTP) is a nine-month course that provides diverse business owners with the knowledge and skills to be successful working with the utility industry. We also launched a Supplier and Diverse Supplier of the Year Award program to recognize our top-performing suppliers.

Learn more about APS Supplier Diversity programs.

Other accomplishments for 2017 include the following:

  • APS was named the 2017 Corporate Advocate of the Year by the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development.
  • Over three years we have spent more than $ 676 million with Native American businesses and Tribal affiliations.
  • Recognized by the National Veteran-Owned Business Association as of of 2017 Best Corporations for Veteran’s Business Enterprises.

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