AEP Sustainability - Stakeholders

Stakeholder Engagement

Listening to and engaging with customers, employees, investors, NGOs, communities, policymakers and other stakeholders is a priority for us. It allows us to hear perspectives we might not have considered, mitigate risks, identify opportunities for collaboration, build stronger relationships, and arrive at consensus or shared motivation for meaningful outcomes.

We engage with a variety of stakeholders on issues ranging from climate change, clean energy transition, energy efficiency, reliability and affordability, supply chain management and human capital management. New issues arose in 2020 in light of the global pandemic and racial, social and civil unrest. These issues especially focused on the environmental, social and governance (ESG) impacts, risks and management.

Climate change risk, governance and strategy and a Just Transition continue to be a main focus as we transition to a low-carbon future. We recognize that climate change remains a significant risk and opportunity for which we are preparing to ensure we can deliver the clean, safe electricity expected by our customers. We engage with different stakeholders, including Climate Action 100+, to understand their concerns and address their questions about our carbon emission reduction goals and climate scenario analysis work. Our executive management team and Lead Director are also involved in our engagement with Climate Action 100+. During the course of developing our Climate Impact Analysis Report, we shared our plans with Climate Action 100+ as part of our ongoing engagement. The group reviewed our outline and provided valuable feedback.

The path to a low-carbon energy future requires investments across our service territory and within our local neighborhoods. Developing and siting infrastructure, such as transmission facilities, is a complex, technical process that involves balancing disturbance to human, cultural and natural resources with a community’s need for reliable electricity. We have a team of specialists focused on transmission right-of-way acquisition, siting and community outreach dedicated to avoiding or minimizing impacts to people and the environment to the greatest extent possible.

In 2020, the Transmission Right-of-Way team logged more than 97,000 interactions with landowners and acquired nearly 3,000 easements, using condemnation on less than 1% of the acquisitions. In addition, the Project Outreach team hosted a total of 32 open houses, including eight in-person and 24 virtually. The COVID-19 pandemic led the Project Outreach team to shift from its in-person events to virtual public involvement strategies. Virtual events enabled two-way communications with landowners and key stakeholders during the pandemic. The team utilized virtual and digital public engagement tools to ensure the same project information was presented virtually as it would be with a traditional in-person open house. Open houses, whether traditional or virtual, serve as an excellent opportunity for landowners and members of the community to learn about the project need and benefits, timeline, right-of-way practices, construction process and view interactive maps.

We are committed to actively engaging with our stakeholders and appreciate two-way conversations that provide value to us and them. Below is a list of the stakeholders with whom we engage most frequently, the topics of interest and how we engage.

AEP’s Stakeholder Engagement Efforts

Issues We Engage On How We Engage
Employees
  • COVID-19 policies, procedures, benefits
  • Diversity, equity & inclusion
  • Safety & health
  • Culture
  • Training and development
  • Work/life balance
  • Future of Work
  • Incentive compensation and goal setting
  • Continuously educate and communicate with employees on emerging issues such as COVID-19, racism
  • Seize the Moment: Let’s Keep the Momentum Going” diversity, equity and inclusion action plan
  • Safety & health and diversity stand ups
  • Employees webcasts
  • Employee Resource Groups
  • Annual employee culture survey
  • Culture action plans
  • Performance review process
  • Employee development & training
  • Tuition reimbursement
  • Volunteerism/community engagement
  • Targeted development programs
  • Women’s Leadership Forum
Customers (Residential, Commercial & Industrial)
  • Carbon emissions
  • Renewables
  • Electrification
  • Energy solutions
  • Energy management
  • Site selection/property searches
  • COVID-19
  • Fleet electric transportation
  • Supply chain resilience
  • Customer Assistance
  • Small Business Assistance
  • Fleet
  • Public safety awareness
  • Advisory services for energy solutions & incentives
  • Property searches, screening, certification
  • Relocation and expansion support
  • EEI Customer Carbon & Energy Report
  • Host webinars
  • Newsletters
  • One-on-one outreach
  • Special team to support COVID-19 needs
  • Social media
  • Expanding digital channel engagement
  • Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) stakeholder process
Investors
  • Climate risk & governance
  • Just Transition
  • Diversity, equity & inclusion
  • Political engagement governance
  • Human capital management
  • Resilience
  • Cyber and physical security
  • Political engagement and lobbying activities
  • Supply chain resilience
  • Culture
  • Incentive compensation and goal setting
  • AEP’s Climate Impact Analysis Report (a TCFD Report)
  • 8-12 annual ESG investor-focused frameworks and surveys
  • Annual EEI ESG/Sustainability investor report
  • Ongoing engagement with institutional investors
  • Lead Director conducts governance outreach annually
  • Ongoing engagement with ESG-focused investors
  • Climate Action 100+; average 2 meetings per year
  • ESG Data Center (140+ most material metrics)
  • Institutional investment advisor reports and direct investor input are considered in setting incentive compensation goals
Suppliers
  • Supply chain management
  • Environmental management
  • Human rights management
  • Supplier diversity
  • Supply chain resilience
  • Safety and health
  • Developed a new Supplier Code of Conduct and Supplier FAQs
  • Respond to sustainability-related supplier surveys
  • Member of EcoVadis
  • Supplier Diversity Program
  • Supplier education
Communities
  • Hunger & housing
  • STEM education
  • Diversity, equity & inclusion
  • Public safety
  • COVID-19
  • Economic development
  • Infrastructure siting
  • Coal unit retirements
  • Just Transition
  • Energy affordability
  • Corporate giving
  • Employee volunteerism
  • COVID-19 grants
  • Economic development grants
  • Economic development training programs
  • Credits Count STEM program
  • Social & Racial Justice Grant
  • Public safety education
  • Landowners, property owners
Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)
  • Clean energy transition
  • Asset retirements
  • Carbon emissions
  • Distributed energy resources
  • Renewables
  • Electrification
  • Electric transportation
  • Energy efficiency
  • Outreach via email, phone calls, meetings
  • Regulatory proceedings (stakeholder forums tied to IRPs)
Policymakers /Regulators
  • Clean energy transition
  • Affordable electricity
  • Reliable electricity
  • Environmental performance
  • Energy management
  • Electrification
  • Electric vehicles
  • COVID-19 customer impacts
  • North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) compliance
  • Emergency response
  • Ratemaking
  • Education forums
  • Political engagement
  • Regulatory proceedings
  • Trade Associations
  • IRP stakeholder forums
  • Lobbying
  • EEI State Regulatory Affairs Executive Advisory Committee
Third-Party Research Organizations
  • ESG
  • One-on-one conversations
  • Webinars
  • Roundtables
  • ESG Ratings Working Group
  • EEI ESG/Sustainability Steering Committee
  • ESG Data Center
Financial Community (banks, credit agencies, insurance, etc.)
  • ESG
  • One-on-one conversations
  • Participate in webinars
  • ESG Data Center
  • Credit facility linked to ESG metrics