Spectra Energy Uses EPASS to Drive Time/Cost Savings on EPA Mandatory Reporting Rule Compliance

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Courtesy of IHS

Spectra Energy, a FORTUNE 500 company, is one of North America's premier pipeline and midstream companies. Based in Houston, Texas, the company’s operations include more than 22,000 miles of natural gas, natural gas liquids, and crude oil pipelines, approximately 305 billion cubic feet of natural gas storage, as well as natural gas gathering and processing, and local distribution operations with more than 1.4 million customers. Spectra Energy has served North American communities for more than a century. Its long-standing commitment to sustainable operations has been recognized by a host of independent organizations. Spectra Energy has been listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index (five consecutive years), the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (three years), the Carbon Disclosure Project 2012 CDP Global 500, and has been listed on the S&P 500 Carbon Disclosure Leadership indexes for five consecutive years. In addition Spectra Energy has been named to the Ethisphere Institute’s World’s Most Ethical Companies list in 2012 and 2013.

“Our commitment to sustainability is inextricably tied to our goal of being a supplier of choice… We have clear metrics that guide our efforts and measure our progress [and]… we track and report our progress in an open and transparent manner,” said Gregory Ebel, Spectra Energy president and CEO. To deliver on these commitments, the company relies on its Environmental Performance and Safety System (EPASS). It standardizes processes for collecting and managing an array of environmental, health and safety (EHS) data, and then shares key aspects of that information both inside and outside of the company. EPASS also supports methodologies for calculating and reporting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that are consistent with accepted industry guidelines from the Global Reporting Initiative and World Resources Institute. Spectra Energy’s Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) department ensures that the company is in compliance with a multitude of complex government regulations, as well as voluntary sustainability reporting to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI).

“Our EHS team is responsible for monitoring new rules and regulations as they are finalized – or earlier, if possible – and making sure we understand their specific requirements,” said Kimberly Jackson, Spectra Energy’s director of EHS, U.S. Operations. “Then we have to decide how we are going to comply – what kinds of data are needed, how does it need to be aggregated or analyzed, and how should it be submitted to the regulator.” When EPASS was launched in 2008, Spectra Energy selected IHS Essential Suite as its enterprise software foundation. The IHS solution has proven highly effective in addressing EHS compliance requirements because its unified platform supports Spectra Energy’s vision of providing a single authoritative source for collecting, calculating and communicating EHS data. IHS helps Spectra Energy establish and maintain “one version of the truth,” Jackson said.

The Challenge

  • Efficiently collect, calculate and process greenhouse gas (GHG) data for compliance with new EPA Mandatory Reporting Rule
  • Eliminate potential data integrity risks due to manual data entry.
  • Develop efficient, cost-effective work process for new regulatory and sustainability reporting

The Solution

  • IHS Energy & Carbon Solution with IHS Essential Suite

The Results

  • Optimized the use of air and GHG emissions data already being successfully managed in enterprise EHS information system, EPASS
  • Automated submission of EPA MRR reporting saved $100,000+ annually in contractor costs compared to manual processes
  • Reduced time to prepare and submit MRR reports from 32 hours/site for manual entry to about 90 minutes per site via EPASS
  • Reinforced company’s strategic commitment to providing “one version of the truth”

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