AES has established an Environmental Management System (EMS), a series of environmental standards based on industry best practices, which set environmental performance requirements for each AES business worldwide.
View AES’ environmental policy.
The EMS framework requires continuous environmental performance monitoring, environmental risk assessments and periodic integrated environmental, health and safety audits. The EMS framework helps AES ensure that businesses achieve environmental compliance, address significant environmental impacts and strive for continuous performance improvement. Key environmental metrics including air pollutant emissions, environmental non-conformance events and EMS performance parameters are reported to senior management on a set schedule.
Certification and Standards
Many AES businesses have elected to formally certify their Environmental Management System (EMS) to the ISO 14001 international standard. Approximately 50 percent of AES businesses with an EMS framework have formally certified, or are certifying, their programs. More than 75 percent of the AES workforce is located in businesses that operate, or may soon operate, under a certified ISO 14001 EMS.
Compliance with AES' EMS framework is verified internally under the AES integrated Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) audit program. Each audit finding is accompanied by a corrective action plan and an agreed-upon completion date.
For more information about AES' Environmental Risk Management and Metrics, please see Governance and Risk Management - Environmental Risk Management.
Environmental Solutions Highlights
AES businesses take every opportunity to identify and continuously improve beneficial uses for coal combustion byproducts (CCB), to recycle used oil and to engage in water conservation activities wherever practical.
AES beneficially reuses approximately 28 percent of the 4.3 million short tons of CCB it generates every year.
We recycle approximately 48 percent of the 1.2 million gallons of used oil generated every year.
AES fossil fuel facilities report sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions on a monthly basis.
Annual Emission Rates
The data below represents AES's CO2, SO2, NOx, and mercury emissions resulting from our major fuel combustion units on an equity adjusted basis. From 2008 through 2011 we realized a general downward trend in emissions. In 2012, while SO2 emissions continued to decrease, CO2 emissions increased due primarily to the addition of Dayton Power and Light (DPL) coal facilities to the AES generation portfolio. The addition of DP&L assets represent a 2,830 MW increase in coal generation capacity on an equity owned basis.
We have been able to reduce SO2 emissions by managing our fuel diversity and employing better emission controls and scrubbers. The annual quantities of NOx emissions have been more volatile and dependent on the dispatch by fuel type and NOx emission controls available.
AES' CO2 emissions from its thermal power generation plants have decreased during each of the last five years. This is the result of using a mix of fuels with lower carbon emissions potential, and improving average operating efficiency across our full fleet of thermal plants.
AES' overall drop in CO2 emissions is the result of economic and other factors, including an increased reliance on renewable energy in our generation mix, which increased to 16.6 percent in 2011, up from 13.6 percent in 2007.
We utilize new technologies in the areas of fuel and waste, and we have made investments in complementary innovative technologies to control emissions and minimize water consumption.