The Sustainability Charter
Wherever possible, we offer employment opportunities to local people usually in ancillary services such as constructing access roads, monitoring our plants, and maintaining our facilities and buffer zones.
We also opt for a short supply chain wherever our requirements can be met by local businesses which results in lower procurement costs, better integration in the local system, and a reduction in our impact on the environment. Most importantly it also allows us to distribute a bigger share of the economic value generated by our presence across the local area
Before construction of a new plant starts we hold a Contractors Open Day so local businesses can find out more about the services we require which can range from fencing to accommodation.
At most of our wind farms, for their whole lifetime, we support community projects which have a positive social, cultural or environmental impact on the area.
In the UK over the last 15 years we have supported hundreds of projects across many sectors, including education, culture, leisure, social impact, environmental protection, sustainable energy and infrastructure. We recognise that local people have a much better understanding of the needs of their area than we do, so our funding goes to local community benefit funds administered by local volunteers.
We are committed to sharing and spreading knowledge in the field of clean energy and sustainability across the various regions in which we operate. We collaborate closely with the academic and research world, sharing our experience of local sustainable development.
We work closely with some of the schools around our plants, hosting visits to our facilities and providing information about renewable energy. In the UK we work with the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) to deliver a programme introducing primary pupils to energy sustainability projects.
Our annual scholarships are awarded to young people from around our windfarms studying subjects related to renewable energy.
One of our main aims is to minimise our impact on the soil, subsoil, water, air and biodiversity of the places where we operate during all phases of the life cycle of our plants.
For the benefit of this, we keep ourselves constantly updated on best environmental protection practices, actively participating in the initiatives organized by international sectoral networks that deal with these issues, such as Wind Europe.
Some examples of specific actions include:
• planting trees in the wooded areas near our plants, choosing species of local origin to encourage the regeneration of native forests
• monitoring wildlife – in particular birdlife - to help protect it
• partial opening of the fences at our photovoltaic plant sites to allow wildlife to pass through
• agreements with local crofters to allow grazing around our wind farms
• monitoring the noise impact of our wind farms
The Sustainable Communities Portal