American Electric Power (Columbus, Ohio) has released its first-ever Corporate Responsibility Report in which it addresses issues that affect the company’s sustainability, including climate change, public policy strategy, environmental performance, energy security, reliability and growth, work force issues and stakeholder engagement.

“This report is a milestone because it discusses these important issues in a candid way for our shareholders and all of our other stakeholders,” said Michael G. Morris, AEP’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “In developing the report, we initiated a new level of dialogue with the many groups with whom we interact, including our investors, employees, representatives of the communities we serve, labor unions, and representatives of the environmental community. That dialogue helped us improve the report and better understand how our best intentions of operating in a responsible, sustainable way translate to our policies and day-to-day actions.”

Each section of AEP’s Corporate Responsibility Report provides an overview of how that topic affects the company’s long-term sustainability and how the company plans to address it. The report was written to standards established by the Global Reporting Initiative, a voluntary reporting framework used by organizations around the world as the basis for sustainability reporting..

“This report represents a new level of commitment by AEP to engage regularly with our stakeholders about the role our company plays in society and the impact that we have,” said Dennis Welch, AEP senior vice president, Environment, Safety & Health. “We believe that’s in the best interest of our shareholders, our employees, our customers and all the other facets of society that we affect.”

In the report, AEP reiterates its policy regarding climate change and identifies the steps it is taking to reduce the growth of future greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as the company builds new power plants to meet growing customer demand. Through its participation in the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) since 2003, AEP will have reduced GHG emissions by 46 million metric tons by 2010. However, GHG emissions will begin to increase after that date without further intervention as the company’s new power plants come on line.

To help reduce and offset that growth, AEP plans include demonstrating and deploying carbon capture technology on two existing pulverized coal plants, continuing efforts to improve the efficiency of its existing coal-fueled fleet and adding 1000 MW of wind generation capacity to its eastern generation portfolio through long-term purchase agreements. The company also plans additional investments in domestic greenhouse gas offsets, such as methane capture from livestock and landfills; increased investment in forestry offsets; and programs to offset GHG emissions from its 11,000-vehicle fleet and corporate aircraft.

“One of the keys to an effective sustainability policy is to recognize that these important issues can be addressed while still operating profitably and providing economical power for our customers. Our commitment to addressing our challenges in a sustainable way is supported by our Board of Directors, who reviewed, provided input and approved this report,” Morris said. “The future of our company is limited only by our vision of what we can accomplish. Based on our 100-year legacy of finding innovative ways to provide cleaner, more-reliable electricity for our customers, I have every confidence that our core values will guide us to new, more sustainable ways of generating, transmitting and delivering power that benefit all of our stakeholders.”