Central Arizona Project (CAP) is Arizona’s single largest resource for renewable water supplies, serving more than 80% of the state’s population. The 336-mile long canal system of aqueducts, tunnels, pumping plants, and pipelines stretches from Lake Havasu to Tucson and brings 1.5 million acre-feet of water from the Colorado River to Central and Southern Arizona every year. CAP enhances the state’s economy and quality of life and ensures sustainable growth for current and future populations of Arizonans.
A complex spreadsheet system that led to missed deadlines
The Environmental department at Central Arizona Project (CAP) strives to ensure compliance, prevent pollution, reduce waste, minimize consumption of resources, and educate, train and motivate employees to work in an environmentally responsible way. The team consists of an Environmental Supervisor, Compliance Specialist, Environmental Programs Specialist and Hazardous Waste Technician.
CAP’s environmental program includes compliance with various regulations and efforts to reduce, reuse and recycle. The Environmental Team is responsible for oversight of hazardous and non-hazardous waste accumulation and disposal, remediation of any material spills and illegal disposal sites, and overseeing and implementing air, water, and waste environmental permits and programs.
At any given time, CAP has upwards of 50 active containers to manage across the 336-mile canal, consisting of hazardous and
universal waste, bio waste, used oil, non-hazardous waste, e-waste, wire, metals, green waste, and recycled materials.
CAP’s Environmental department was using Excel spreadsheets and email to track its waste generation, container movement, storage, and disposal across the organization, which was becoming increasingly complex to manage. CAP also relied on spreadsheets to track permit dates, which was ineffective and occasionally led to CAP missing important deadlines.
A combination of missed deadlines, inability to monitor compliance program requirements, and lack of visibility into corrective action follow through ultimately prompted Aaron to seek out a new way to streamline CAP’s environmental and waste management programs.
A streamlined waste management program supported by a trusted partner
In 2012 Aaron realized continuing to use spreadsheets and email chains to manage Central Arizona Project’s environmental programs was not sustainable and began investigating software solutions that could help.
After evaluating multiple software vendors, CAP chose Cority even though at the time of the organization’s selection process, Cority’s Environmental Management solution was still in development. Aaron’s colleagues in other departments had been using Cority since 2004 to standardize processes and improve the organization’s Occupational Health, Industrial Hygiene, and Safety programs. Given the existing long-term partnership, Aaron knew he could count on Cority to help elevate CAP’s environmental programs and assure his department’s success.
49% decrease in Opportunities to Correct, significant time savings on reporting, and 835 tons of waste diverted from landfill
Central Arizona Project now uses Cority to manage the entire cradle-to-grave waste management process from logging and barcoding to shipping and tracking all waste streams in real-time. By moving from spreadsheets and emails to a unified true SaaS platform, CAP has a much more efficient and streamlined process for managing waste along the entire canal. Now when it’s time to prepare waste for disposal, the team runs a quick report in Cority and then submits the type and quantity of waste to the waste disposal company. As the waste is being picked up by the disposal vendor, a team member uses myCority on a mobile device to mark the waste record as disposed, fill in the shipped date, take a picture of the waste manifest, and attach the manifest to the waste. Leveraging the Cority Advanced Dashboard, Aaron and team can see and track in real-time what waste is ready to be shipped and keep up with compliance timeframes.
“We haven’t missed any dates since moving to Cority,” Aaron said. “We have a big screen TV in our office with a Cority dashboard, and it lets us know at a glance everything we need to get done. It tracks our upcoming permit dates, compliance events, how much waste is going to be shipped, and other key info that helps us manage our day and ensure we’re on top of everything.”
– Aaron Welch
Environmental Supervisor at CAP
CAP’s revamped program has led to significant time savings for the Environmental department. A report on the types and quantities of waste shipped to each vendor that used to take weeks to prepare can now be completed within an hour. And real-time visibility into the end-to-end waste tracking and disposal process has contributed to incredible results – 835 tons (that’s 1.67 million pounds!) diverted from the landfill in 2018.
Using Cority has also helped CAP reduce environmental and safety risks, ensure better regulatory compliance, and foster a culture of accountability. Employees are now more engaged, ensuring compliance deadlines are met and corrective actions completed in a timely manner.
Before using Cority, CAP averaged 53 opportunities to correct a year and they’ve since decreased that by 49%. Once an opportunity to correct is documented in Cority, an email is automatically sent to the assigned employee that outlines how they can fix or improve the issue to mitigate negative environmental impact.
An Award-Winning Waste Management Program
Central Arizona Project received the 2019 Environmental Leader Top Project of the Year Award for its waste management program, which recognizes the most innovative and successful projects in the energy, environmental and sustainability industry. For spearheading the initiative, Aaron Welch was personally named to the 2019 Environment + Energy Leader 100 list, which recognizes the industry’s top innovators in the environmental and energy management space.