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APC’S ENVIRONMENTAL, SOCIAL, & GOVERNANCE (ESG) OVERVIEW

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APC Environmental Responsibility

APC is committed to environmental leadership in all of its business activities. We are responsible for our waste footprint and making conscientious choices to protect our planet. It makes good business sense and it’s the right thing to do.

APC continually evaluates our operations and ongoing procedures to identify areas of waste. Then, we implement new practices and technologies to reduce our environmental impact. The four most significant environmental impacts resulting from our operations are:

  • Paper Waste
  • Natural Gas Usage (Scope 1)
  • Electricity Usage (Scope 2)
  • General Trash

 

APC will continually identify, evaluate and manage the environmental impact of our operations through our Environmental Management System (EMS). It is a vital element in the company’s efforts to achieve results consistent with environmental leadership. APC’s Environmental Management Policy provides the strategic framework for the company’s environmental management system and environmental affairs objectives.

A number of the goals of APC’s Environmental Management System are continually being met because they were environmentally selected capital investments that meet our environmental goals by the innate nature of the product and how they perform on an ongoing basis. The aspects that require continual attention are waste and energy use. As we purchase new products, it is important to purchase energy efficient devices where possible.

APC’s EMS is developed and owned by the Executive Management team, Troy Roberts (President & CEO) and Scott Roberts (COO).

Relevant environmental training is integral to the proper functioning of the EMS.

Environmental training is commensurate with employees’ job responsibilities. Accordingly, environmental training can range from general environmental awareness to more complex, professional training.

APC locations and/or business units identify environmental training needs and provide appropriate training for employees. Employees having environmental responsibilities in their jobs must be competent in their function (i.e., possess the ability, knowledge and any other necessary attribute to perform their job). A documented procedure is maintained to ensure these employees are aware of, understand and are trained for the following:

  • the importance of conformance to the environmental policy and procedures and with the requirements of the EMS;
  • the significant environmental aspects, and actual or potential impacts of their work activities and the environmental benefits of improved personal performance;
  • their roles and responsibilities in achieving conformance with the environmental policy and procedures and with the requirements of the EMS, including emergency preparedness and response requirements;
    their roles and responsibilities with respect to achieving environmental objectives and targets;
  • and potential consequences

APC has set targets for reducing the environmental impacts of its operation in each of the four impact areas defined above; Paper Waste, Natural Gas Usage, Electrical Usage, and General Trash.

1: Reduce Paper Waste

The following two efforts have allowed us to automate more than 80% of our paper-intensive processes:

  • Web-based distribution of ‘New Hire’ Documents: The documents for a new professional varies based on the client, state of employment, benefits selected, etc. There can easily be over 80 pages of documents associated with any given professional. In the past, all of these documents were handled in hard copy format. Realizing that there had to be a better way- We created a web application tool to distribute and maintain these documents electronically. So when we hire a new professional they no longer receive paper copies of the ‘new hire’ documents. Now, they view the documents online where they can complete and sign the documents electronically. Not only has this drastically reduced the amount of paper that we were using, it has reduced the number of file cabinets that we need, and freed space for people instead of document storage. Web based distribution also lowers green gas emissions as we are no longer utilizing courier services to deliver this paperwork to our professionals.
  • Document Image Processing: Document image processing has replaced many drawers filled with paper allowing each department to process transactions more quickly. APC also requests electronic faxes which facilitates easy distribution and reduces paper and copier needs.

 

Results of New Hire Documents Being E-Signed and Not Printed:

  • 2010: 95.0%
  • 2011: 98.0%
  • 2012: 98.4%
  • 2013: 98.3%
  • 2014: 98.0%
  • 2015: 98.0%

 

2: Reduce Energy Waste and Associated Natural Gas and Electricity

APC has taken an active role in selecting environmentally friendly products where possible for the construction and finish of our office building. Several items are highlighted here:

  • Tankless Water Heater– A tankless natural gas water heater will result in at least 40% energy savings over a traditional tank water heater since it runs only when being used.
  • Tinted Low-e Windows– These windows offer increased insulation from heat and cold over traditional windows. APC utilizes Low-E Performance Windows with a U-Value of 17. These save on our natural gas and electricity consumption for heating and cooling as well as make it more comfortable for individuals in the building.
  • HVAC Systems– We selected the most energy-efficient HVAC systems for our building. These systems will result in lower electricity consumption.
  • Carpet Tile– While it won’t directly reduce our energy consumption it did reduce the amount of energy required to make the tile when compared to traditional carpet tiles. We selected carpet tiles made of Eco Solution Q premium branded nylon. It requires 18% less energy to make than nylon and contains a minimum of 25% recycled content.
  • Programmable Thermostats– These thermostats automatically change the temperature of the building based on whether it is occupied or unoccupied and limits the amount of change in temperature.
  • Motion Detection Lighting– All of the lights in our facility are activated by motion and automatically shut off during times of inactivity.

 

The items highlighted above along with some others not mentioned will allow us to greatly reduce our energy consumption.

3: Reduce General Trash

Having to discard items is inevitable. We make every effort to reduce the amount of refuge that is sent to the landfill. APC has a third party trash removal service to ensure our trash is properly disposed. The following initiatives have allowed us to reduce the amount of trash we throw away every week.

  • Recycling– Our employees are able to recycle items such as paper, cardboard, aluminum and plastics. This has greatly reduced the amount of trash we are taking to the dumpster.
  • Water Cooler– In the past we provided bottled water for our employees. We realized that we were putting a lot of plastic bottles in the trash (this was prior to our recycling efforts). We installed a water cooler with built in filtration and no longer buy bottled water for our employees. This saves many cases of water bottles from the recycle / trash every week.
  • Donate, Recycle, Trash– We have an initiative for our employees to routinely go through their desks and determine if there is anything that they do not need any more. We prefer that they donate the item if it makes sense, recycle if possible, and as a last result throw away the item in an environmentally friendly manner.

APC employs a variety of mechanisms to monitor and measure the effective implementation of its EMS requirements, including periodic reviews.

Periodic Reviews

An evaluation of trash vs. recycle material is taken on a monthly basis. Violators of our recycle policy are encouraged to recycle more. Our goal is to reduce paper waste by 20% annually. APC promotes minimum printing of e-mails to help reduce our carbon footprint. Violators are counseled on the importance of reducing waste and minimizing the number of e-mails printed.

All employees are asked to shut down their computers at the end of the workday to further conserve energy. APC would like to see less than 5% of staff violations in a month. A review is taken at random on a monthly basis to look for violators and encourage energy conservation.

APC also conducts quarterly reviews on equipment such as programmable thermostats, automatic lighting sensors, to make sure they are in working order. APC expects issues to be less than 5% of items reviewed.

Violations are discussed in management meetings and reviewed publicly, if applicable, with APC staff.

To date, APC has not received any fines or violations for environmental issues.

Results: Percent of Computer Left on at End of Workday

  • 2010: 3.0%
  • 2011: 3.0%
  • 2012: 2.8%
  • 2013: 2.7%
  • 2014: 3.8%
  • 2015: 3.0%

APC is committed to environmental affairs leadership in all of its business activities. APC has had long-standing corporate policies of providing a safe and healthful work place, protecting the environment, and conserving energy and natural resources. They have served the environment and our business well over the years and provide the foundation for the following corporate policy objectives:

  • Provide a safe and healthful workplace and ensure that personnel are properly trained and have appropriate safety and emergency equipment.
  • Be an environmentally responsible neighbor in the communities where we operate, and act promptly and responsibly to correct incidents or conditions that endanger health, safety, or the environment. Report them to authorities promptly and inform affected parties as appropriate.
  • Conserve natural resources by reusing and recycling materials, purchasing recycled materials, and using recyclable packaging and other materials.
  • Ensure the responsible use of energy throughout our business, including conserving energy, and improving energy efficiency.
  • Meet or exceed all applicable government requirements and voluntary requirements to which APC subscribes. Set and adhere to stringent requirements of our own no matter where in the world the company does business.
  • Strive to continually improve APC’s Environmental management system and performance, and periodically issue progress reports to the general public.
  • Conduct audits and self-assessments of APC’s compliance with this policy, measure progress of APC’s environmental affairs performance.

 

Every employee and every contractor on APC premises is expected to follow this policy and to report any environmental, health, or safety concern to APC management. Managers are expected to take prompt action.

APC's Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventory

What Is APC’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory?
A greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory is an accounting of the amounts and sources of GHG emissions from the existence and operations of our business.

Why Conduct a GHG Inventory?
It is difficult to manage what you do not measure. A GHG inventory is a way to measure things you might want to manage in the future. Additionally, the completion of an inventory provides an essential foundation for understanding the following:

  • How much we indirectly and directly contribute to climate change relative to similar operations
  • Trends over time of energy use in the forms of electricity, natural gas, and fuel
  • Costs associated with energy, raw materials, waste disposal, and opportunities for savings through efficiency and waste prevention
  • Progress made over time as a result of efficiency and waste prevention initiatives.

Greenhouse Gas Emission Sources and Scopes

Depending on the level of detail required or wanted in a GHG inventory, a business or organization can include three levels or scopes consisting of direct and indirect sources of emissions.

Scope 1 emissions are direct emissions such as those from on-site combustion and fuel consumed in facility-owned fleets and equipment.

Scope 1 emissions can be subdivided into the following four categories:

  1. Stationary combustion to produce electricity, steam, heat or power using equipment in a fixed location.
  2. Mobile combustion of fuels in transportation sources (e.g., cars, trucks, marine vessels and planes) and emissions from non-road equipment used in construction, agriculture, and forestry.
  3. Physical and chemical processes other than fuel combustion (e.g., for the manufacturing of cement, aluminum, adipic acid, ammonia, etc.).
  4. Fugitive sources are unintentional releases from the production, processing, transmission, storage, and use of fuels and other substances that do not pass through a stack, chimney, vent, exhaust pipe or other functionally-equivalent opening (such as releases of sulfur hexafluoride from electrical equipment; hydrofluorocarbon releases during the use of refrigeration and air conditioning equipment; and methane leakage from natural gas transport). Source: Climate Registry

 

Scope 1 emissions should be calculated based on the purchased quantities of commercial fuels (such as natural gas, gasoline, and heating oil) multiplied by relevant published emissions factors. APC uses natural gas to heat its facilities.

To calculate GHG emissions, parameters must be set to define the locations and scopes included and the baseline year. Next, data must be collected from sources of scopes 1 and 2 emissions. Sources for data include utility bills, or for scope 3: travel logs, gas cards or employee credit cards. Data should reflect one year’s consumption levels. Once the necessary data is collected, three primary options for calculating GHG emissions are:

  1. Direct Monitoring – Direct monitoring involves monitoring exhaust stream contents in the form of continuous emissions monitoring (CEM) or periodic sampling. However, direct monitoring can prove expensive or be unavailable. APC does not perform direct monitoring.
  2. Emissions Factors – A common approach for calculating GHG emissions is through the application of documented emission factors. Emission factors are average emission rates that relate the quantity of a pollutant released to the atmosphere to a specific activity or source of pollution using units of available activity data (e.g., tons of fuel consumed, tons of product produced, vehicle miles traveled). In most cases, these factors are simply averages of all available data of an acceptable quality and are generally assumed to be representative of long-term averages. Some emission factors are more accurate than others, and some do not exist for certain activities.Uses the emission factor-based methodology, which estimates GHG emissions by multiplying a level of activity data by an emission factor. Activity data is a quantified measure of an activity, such as electricity consumption, and emission factors convert activity data into emission values.


Activity Data x Emission Factor = CO2 Emissions

For purchased electricity, monthly electric bills or electric meter readings should provide the necessary activity data. For leased space, particularly in office buildings, electricity costs are frequently included as part of rental payments and accurate electricity use data is often difficult to obtain, as monthly electric bills or electric meter readings may not be available. In this instance, it may be necessary to estimate electricity consumption.

The factors to use for APC’s main office supplier of electricity, Progress Energy, are:

Nitrogen Oxide =      153.1 lbs/MWh
Sulfur Dioxide =         777.4 lbs/MWh
Carbon Dioxide =    149,809.8 lbs/MWh

  • Begin with a base year. It can be the current year or can date back as far as data is available.
  • Baselines create a starting point to look for trends and a benchmark to measure future progress.
  • Decide what the physical, organizational, and operational boundaries are going to be. Consider also which specific gases should be included and in what unit they will be measured and reported.
  • Understand that not all data is perfect and assumptions must be made.
  • Even if your methods are imperfect, keeping the methodology consistent year after year will produce accurate trends.
  • Inventories should be verifiable, transparent, and consistent. All assumptions and methodologies should be documented to maintain consistency when personnel turnover occurs.
  • Set goals and targets for future reductions. Once the baseline inventory is complete, develop reasonable goals and a timeline for achieving them. Consider drafting an action plan including steps for how goals will be achieved and when. Remember to take small steps so that goals are likely to be achieved, but continue setting additional goals as your business or organization evolves.
  • If the business grows between emissions inventories, compare inventories based on greenhouse gas emissions per unit of services or per customer as two examples.
  • Track progress in reducing emissions. GHG emissions inventories are typically completed once a year. Be consistent with inventory timelines.
  • Understand that it could take a few years to normalize data for uncharacteristically cold winters or hot summers. Also, when tracking costs take into account rising prices when reporting savings.
  • Look for other reports within your industry sector to compare results.
  • Consider reporting publicly through a registry or on your website.

There are 0.9756 CCF per Therm. There are 12.0593 pounds CO2 per CCF of natural gas. We multiply 12.0593 by the number of CCF consumed annually to get pounds of CO2.

 201820192020
kWh141,818130,082126,355
Nitrogen Oxide = 0.00116 lbs/kWh164.5150.9146.6
Sulfur Dioxide = 0.00589 lbs/kWh835.3766.2744.2
Carbon Dioxide = 1.135 lbs/kWh160,963.40147,643.10143,412.90

 

 201520162017201820192020
Therms3,0932,6402,9333,4043,0673,175
GHG36,389.3031,059.7034,506.9040,048.2036,083.4037,354.00

NOTE: In 2009, the APC facility was located at 9201 Leesville Rd, Raleigh, NC 27613 and moved to 8200 Brownleigh Dr., Raleigh, NC 27617 in November 2009. New facility is 160% of previous space.

APC Social & Governance Responsibility

At APC, we have always set high standards for the way we conduct business – in areas from social and governance responsibility to sound business ethics, including compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

These Conduct Principles apply to all APC employees. However, they are not meant to describe the full scope of APC human resource policies or practices. More detailed statements of policies, procedures and practices are contained in documents such as the APC Business Ethics. Employees are required to comply with all APC policies, procedures and practices at all times and are responsible for consulting their management if they have any questions.

Our goal is to ensure full compliance with these principles by APC managers and employees.

APC will not use forced or involuntary labor of any type (e.g., forced, bonded, indentured or involuntary prison labor); employment is voluntary.

APC will not use child labor. The term “child” refers to any employed person under the age of 16, or under the age for completing compulsory education, or under the minimum age for employment in the country, whichever is greatest. We support the use of legitimate workplace apprenticeship, internship and other similar programs that comply with all laws and regulations applicable to such programs. APC verifies employment eligibility (including age) during the hiring process and the signing of the I9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form.

APC will, at a minimum, comply with all applicable wage and hour laws and regulations, including those relating to minimum wages, overtime hours, piece rates, nonexempt or exemption classification and other elements of compensation, and provide legally mandated benefits. The above items are reviewed by APC Human Resources for each employee upon hiring and when the pay rate changes are requested.

APC will not exceed maximum hours of work prescribed by law and will appropriately compensate overtime. Employees will not be required to work more than 60 hours per week, including overtime, except in extraordinary business circumstances with their consent or where the nature of the position requires such work, as for exempt employees and employees in executive, managerial or professional positions. In countries where the maximum work week is shorter, that standard shall apply. Employees should be allowed at least one day off per seven-day week.

APC will not discriminate in hiring, promotion, compensation of employees and employment practices on grounds of race, color, religion, age, nationality, social or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, pregnancy, political affiliation, disability or veteran status. APC will create a work environment free of discrimination or harassment based on race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age or veteran status.

APC will treat all employees with respect and dignity and will not use corporal punishment, threats of violence or other forms of physical coercion or harassment.

APC will respect the legal rights of its employees to join or to refrain from joining worker organizations, including labor organizations or trade unions. APC complies with legal requirements worldwide regarding employee and third-party involvement. APC respects the rights of employees to organize, and makes managers at all levels aware of those rights. The company’s long-standing belief is that the interests of APC and its employees are best served through a favorable, collaborative work environment with direct communication between employees and management. APC endeavors to establish such favorable employment conditions, to promote positive relationships between employees and managers, to facilitate employee communications, and to support employee development.

APC will provide its employees with a safe and healthy workplace in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. Consistent with these obligations, APC will have and will implement effective programs that encompass things such as life safety, incident investigation, chemical safety, ergonomics, and will provide safe standards of health and safety in any housing and transportation provided for our employees by the company. Any incidents are investigated by Human Resources. Overall safety is monitored by APC’s Chief Operations Officer.

Safety Meeting Minutes: Q1

Safety Meeting Minutes: Q2

Safety Meeting Minutes: Q3

Safety Meeting Minutes: Q4

Results: Number of Health & Safety Incidents

  • 2010: 0
  • 2011: 0
  • 2012: 0
  • 2013: 0
  • 2014: 1
  • 2015: 2
  • 2016: 2
  • 2017: 2
  • 2018: 1
  • 2019: 1

APC is committed to environmental protection. Employees are expected to report any environmental concern or violation of environmental law or APC requirements to their management. Managers are expected to take prompt action.

APC will comply with all applicable laws, regulations and other legal requirements in all locations where it conducts business.

APC expects its employees to conduct business in accordance with the highest ethical standards, and maintains Business Conduct Guidelines that employees are required to follow. APC strictly complies with all laws and regulations on bribery, corruption and prohibited business practices.

APC makes available to all employees open communications channels for suggestions and complaints to management. APC maintains channels for direct contact with the corporate office for employee complaints, including any form of harassment including sexual harassment.

APC will perform business audits to ensure adherence to our policies, practices and procedures. We will keep records in accordance with local laws and regulations.

APC is committed to protecting the privacy and confidentiality of information about its employees. APC recognizes that under the laws of some countries certain information about employees – such as information regarding racial or ethnic origin, political opinions or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, and health or sex life – should be considered “sensitive.” Whenever possible, such sensitive information should be processed in aggregate or anonymous form so that a particular individual is not identifiable. Where this is not feasible, APC will process the information only in accordance with applicable local law (and any designated safeguards provided therein); and with employee consent where required; or where necessary for the establishment, exercise or defense of legal claims.

APC provides programs for employees to encourage and enhance the positive impact of their community involvement.