We believe that as we lead the shift towards renewable energy, we should also do our business in a way that creates shared value for both us and the countries and communities we operate in.
A systematic approach to community engagement
Many forms of energy generation come into direct contact with people’s lives. Solar, wind, and hydro are all land-intensive forms of power generation, and there will likely be an increase in the number of local communities being directly affected by our activities. We are determined to be innovative to find solutions to the challenges of local social and economic development where we operate.
Through active engagement with local communities, we work to find ways that our activities also create value for the communities and countries we are in. When starting new construction projects, we work to implement initiatives that benefit local communities.
When entering new areas or during the pre-construction phase, we engage with relevant stakeholders to better understand what matters to them, what is expected from us, and how we can find good solutions to common challenges. Awareness programs are an important tool for us to inform communities about the benefits of renewable energy programs, and other types of community investment allow us to extend our impact beyond providing clean energy.
Working with community development
Statkraft assesses and manages its impacts in line with international frameworks such as the principles of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and for new projects the International Finance Corporation’s Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability provide useful guidance.
We integrate this international guidance into our processes, and when constructing for example a new hydro power plant, we:
- follow the mitigation hierarchy. This means avoid, minimise, mitigate, or compensate negative impact from our activities, including wherever possible exploring viable alternatives for technical design and/or location.
- promote long-term community development in our areas of influence. This will contribute positively to the long-term sustainability of our investments by generating synergies with our host countries and communities.
- systematically engage with, and establish constructive and responsive relationships with, our key stakeholders.
Our approach to create shared value
Photo: Hans Fredrik Asbjørnsen
We systematically consult with local stakeholders like local authorities, community representatives, civil society organisations and representatives of indigenous peoples. This happens during the life cycle of our projects. Through dialogue and collaboration, we work to find solutions to prevent, reduce and manage any negative effects. An important target of any project development is ensuring that any loss of land, production or access to resources is compensated in a sustainable way.
The Rucatayo run-of-river power plant.
Our social development programmes are designed to minimise and mitigate the social impacts of our operations while bringing benefits from our activities to the local communities. We work with a wide range of community and social development initiatives in the different countries where we operate. Our programmes focus on agriculture, improved market access, supporting relevant health campaigns, educational support and skills and leadership training.
AlbaniaPhoto: Eduard Pagria
Use and management of water resources
By using a common resource as water for power generation, we strive for a responsible water management practice. In the development and operation of our hydropower plants, we engage with communities to promote better use of water resources and water regulation structures. In Turkey for example, we coordinated with local communities to improve efficiency in irrigation schemes downstream of the Kargi dam and have helped farmers upstream with new agriculture initiatives including beekeeping.
Himachal Pradesh, IndiaPhoto: Alf Berg
Promoting local providers
We strive to promote work places in the communities where we operate. Our business activities demand goods and services during the construction and operation phases. We promote and encourage the use of local providers as a mean to generate positive interlinkages with local economies.