SRP is dedicated to creating a sustainable future that begins now. We are working toward that future by setting goals for tomorrow and beyond.
There are a number of ways sustainable development has been defined and one of the first definitions can be found in the U.S. National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 . The concept was further refined in Our Common Future, or the Brundtland Report , which includes one of the more frequently quoted definitions.
However, it is generally agreed that sustainability includes three pillars: environmental, economic and social. When organizations are developing sustainable plans the three pillars are used as a framework while also considering how current and future needs can be balanced.
On a daily basis, being sustainable is carried out by the choices made by organizations, such as SRP, and the community those organizations serve.
Our plans for the future
For over one hundred years, SRP has worked to ensure a sustainable future for the communities we serve. In 2004, SRP's Board of Directors approved the Sustainable Portfolio which set a target for meeting retail energy requirements from sustainable sources. We are on track to meet our goal of 20% by 2020, and have an even more ambitious plan that looks ahead to 2035.
That plan, the 2035 Sustainability Goals, was approved by the SRP Board in October 2017. The plan goals include: reducing our carbon footprint, ensuring water resiliency, modernizing the energy grid, promoting a sustainable supply chain and reducing waste, and engaging with our communities.
What we're doing today
Each day SRP works to make decisions to operate as sustainably as possible. To do this, we have worked with communities members to identify the following areas to focus on:
- Proactively addressing our customers’ and communities’ priorities,
- Strengthening our management of natural resources, and
- Maintaining our strong commitment to fiscal responsibility, while responding to a rapidly changing industry.
Customer and community programs
Reducing is often associated with objects, but the idea can also be applied to energy and water use. What we save today is then available for the future. This is why SRP provides customers with a variety of programs and resources that allow them to be a part of our sustainability efforts, which in turn reduce your costs. From rebates to our Shade Tree Program, not only will you save, you'll also be helping conserve our natural resources.
The opportunity to be a part of these efforts doesn't stop there. The following customer programs extend that support to the community:
- Trees for Change: For as little as $3 a month, you can help revitalize our forests and protect the water you drink. In partnership with the National Forest Foundation, SRP uses 100% of customer contributions for forest projects and matches every dollar up to $200,000 per year.
- Solar for Nonprofits: Supports our efforts to build solar projects for Valley nonprofits. The program has completed 49 solar panel installations to date.
From its founding in 1903, SRP has worked to manage Arizona's natural resources and our commitment to proactively managing them continues. By working collaboratively both internally and externally, our team of engineers and scientists continues to develop environmentally friendly management practices. These include:
- Water management: Planning for the future by storing water, water quality monitoring, and canal and dam maintenance. SRP pioneered environmentally friendly management practices that also reduce operation costs with the White Amur Fish Program that began in 1989.
- Improving forest health: Working with external partners and developing customer programs that support healthy forests, which are one factor in ensuring good water and air quality.
- Water conservation: Partnering with municipalities across the Phoenix area on water conservation and providing programs for customers. This includes the Water Conservation Expo, which is one of the largest one-day distribution of smart irrigation controllers in the nation. Since the first expo in 2008, over 6,000 smart irrigation controllers have been distributed equating to an estimated 122 million gallons of water saved.
- Air quality: working with the community, customers and employees on efforts that contribute to improving air quality.
Operating sustainably through innovation
Our employees are dedicated to sustainability and are always on the lookout for new ways to both improve operations while also reducing, reusing or recycling materials used on a daily basis. A few ways they have embraced the three R's include the following:
- Investment Recovery Services reuses or recycles the revolving inventory of used computers, fleet vehicles, equipment, generation materials, transmission and distribution surplus, and other miscellaneous items and parts.
- Using the renovation of our headquarters in Phoenix as an opportunity to build an eco-friendly building targeting LEED Gold certification.
- Employees even take this attitude home with them by commuting to work in electric vehicles (EVs). In 2017 employees who use workplace charging avoided more than 250,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions and saved 25,000 gallons of gasoline.
We also have a legacy of research and development. Our team of engineers and scientists works closely with an extensive network of organizations and Arizona universities.