AEP’s standardized disclosure process sets the expectations, roles and responsibilities for people across the company who provide the data, which is collated using Smartsheet. Recently, the team set up the ESG Data Center, a part of the website that hosts more than 250 ESG metrics. “It’s incredible how much data flows through our group,” Nessing said.
The sustainability team owns certain policies and is responsible for data collection and storytelling. It works within an extensive ESG governance framework:
- The Corporate ESG Committee – the issue-spotter group uses Datamaran to monitor the ESG landscape.
- The Enterprise Sustainability Council has an accountability function for the organization.
- The ESG Subcommittee focuses on the sustainable finance framework.
- The Risk Executive Committee receives reports on how climate change and ESG are managed.
External groups such as the American Clean Power Association also help AEP manage and navigate some of the issues globally.
“We’re building a risk mindset and an audit mindset,” Nessing said. “We want people to come into this space prepared for the auditor to knock on their door, because it’s that important.”
“People are really engaged. They come to the table to share information and learn. And when they hear something from a different part of the business, it’s like an aha moment – they make the connections. That’s what we want them to do, because that’s where the risk mitigation comes into play.”