EHS software provider demonstrates seamless scalability as electricity supplier evolves business operations
Toronto, ON, March 14, 2023 – Leading global enterprise EHS (Environment, Health, and Safety) software provider Cority and American Electric Power (AEP), one of the largest electricity suppliers in the United States, just marked 20 years of partnership. Reflecting on how much the market and company has evolved, AEP credits the reliability, scalability, and flexibility of the provider’s solution as the reason behind its extended working relationship with Cority.
“We are thrilled to celebrate this incredible milestone with AEP,” said Simona Barcau, vice president of customer success at Cority. “Twenty years is a long time for an organization to stay loyal to a software provider. This relationship serves as a testimony to Cority’s commitment to meeting our customers where they are today and growing with them as their needs, related regulations, and processes evolve.”
In 2003, AEP began using Cority’s EHS software to streamline its reporting processes, centralize compliance data, and gain visibility into the status of vital regulatory activities. A primarily coal-fueled power generator, AEP is subject to numerous regulations and requirements including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Toxic Release Inventory (TRI), Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reporting, Title V of the Clean Air Act and, more recently, Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) regulations. The company was able to automate task management and data collection, integrate Cority into their technology ecosystem, continuously process millions of data points to calculate emissions, and deliver formatted, comprehensive reports to submit to regulatory agencies as well as internal stakeholders to monitor performance.
“We use Cority to manage 70,000 to 100,000 tasks yearly,” said Jason Swallow, Environmental Management Systems Supervisor at American Electric Power in 2021 “If these processes weren’t done this way, we’d have to spend about $800,000 developing a custom solution or have people spending hundreds of hours a year doing manual data entry. We put a lot of thought into how we collect that data. We don’t want it to just sit there on a piece of paper; we want to use it to make better decisions in real time.”
Setting ambitious goals for reduction in carbon emissions and a transition to cleaner energy, AEP has shifted its business model from an emphasis on coal-fired generation to the transmission and distribution of electricity through more renewable sources such as wind and solar. Included in the electricity provider’s 31,000 megawatts of generating capacity is 7,100 megawatts of renewable energy. By 2030, AEP plans to grow its renewable generation portfolio by 50 percent. According to AEP, it is on track to reach an 80 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from 2000 levels by 2030 and has committed to achieving net zero by 2050.
“Investors want to see that you are doing things the right way and that you’re moving in the right direction. Cority really has become a core part of the business, helping us to realize changes demanded by our stakeholders. Our business model could not have evolved as rapidly and efficiently as it has without Cority,” Swallow said.
The transition to cleaner energy has led to AEP expanding Cority’s footprint to include transmission and distribution sites beyond its initial coal generation operations. While there are fewer regulatory requirements for service centers and substations, there are a lot more of these facilities distributed across the country. There still exists a logistical challenge around the scale of data that needs to be collected and monitored.
Today, AEP’s network of power plants, substations, and service centers is expansive as is the data required to ensure that they remain in compliance. Much of the data is gathered through automatic input; however, on-site data collection is still necessary. AEP leverages non-environmental professionals out in the field to enter data through intuitive, simple, digital forms and then feeds that data to its regional environmental coordinators through real-time dashboards. They can monitor the aggregated data to ensure timely completion of tasks, uncover opportunities for remediation, and any inconsistencies in the data.
Swallow added, “Cority has been a constant and reliable partner during our various transitions, including the departure of key AEP team members and significant changes in our operations. Despite these changes, our requirements for scalable data collection and analysis have remained the same. Cority has consistently supported us in streamlining data collection, integrating data from multiple sources, and visualizing that data to improve performance.”
Additionally, Cority’s Software as a Service (SaaS) based model enabled AEP to experience seamless software updates as their needs, their processes, and the solutions they used advanced and changed over time.
A recognized leader in Verdantix’s Green Quadrant for EHS Software published earlier this year, Cority was recommended by the analyst firm for organizations “wishing to future-proof their EHS ecosystems,” further validating the company’s commitment to scalable solutions for its customers.