Safari Energy has joined the expanding Renewables Forward initiative, strengthening our uncompromising focus on diversity and inclusion and our investment in the communities we serve.
Renewables Forward Launches Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Human Resources Playbook
- Industrywide initiative gains momentum by publishing new Diversity Equity, and Inclusion playbook outlining actionable steps and best practices, and adds 16 new member companies
WASHINGTON, D.C.— January, 14, 2021— Renewables Forward, a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiative of leading U.S. renewable and clean energy companies, today announced the release of a new diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) playbook. The group has doubled in membership to 28 with the addition of 16 new member companies and organizations: 3Degrees, Act Power Services, Amicus Solar Cooperative, Amicus O&M Cooperative, Edison Energy, Empower Energies, Energy Storage Association, Infrastructure Finance Advisors, Leyline, MD Strategic, OneEnergy Renewables, Plante Moran, Safari Energy, Sphere Solar, SunCommon, and Sun Tribe.
Renewables Forward’s DEI playbook extends beyond general concepts and focuses on clear, tangible steps that renewable and clean energy companies can take to tackle diversity and inclusion within their organizations and across the solar and clean energy industry. In the wake of 2020’s heightened awareness regarding systemic racism, there is urgency to improve diversity within clean energy and technology ranks. The “how to” guide provides easy-to-follow, tactical suggestions renewable and clean energy companies can immediately implement to become part of the solution. Among other things, the playbook includes steps for unconscious bias training, inclusive recruiting practices, and enhancements to performance reviews and promotional processes.
Liz Weir, Chief Operating Officer for Sol Systems, said, “Through Renewables Forward, member organizations have transformed the turmoil of 2020 into optimism and results. This HR playbook represents the strength of a united front and the dedication of our member companies to move beyond general discussion of DEI issues and drive actual, tangible change in our solar businesses.”
Renewables Forward launched in October around four principles:
- Assess diversity and inclusion in our industry to raise awareness around inequality and benchmark progress toward a more diverse and inclusive industry.
- Develop and share corporate practices and policies for a consistent drive toward increasing diversity and inclusion within our companies and the industry.
- Create a more diverse and inclusive pipeline of candidates in the renewable energy industry.
- Invest in the under-resourced and minority communities in which we work.
“The HR Playbook is a result of HR professionals across the clean energy industry coming together to share their experience and to create a resource to help companies drive change in diversity, equity and inclusion regardless of where they are in their journey. Our intent is to curate the multiple sources of guidance available into tangible specific actions companies can take,” said Heather Houston, Former VP, People at Mosaic.
The founding members of Renewables Forward are Capital Dynamics, Cypress Creek Renewables, EDF Renewables, Generate Capital, Mosaic, Nautilus Solar Energy, New Columbia Solar, Nextracker, Sol Systems and Volt Energy, as well as the Solar Energy Industries Association and The Solar Foundation. Renewable energy companies and organizations can learn more about joining the initiative at www.renewablesforward.com.
About Renewables Forward
Renewables Forward is a diversity and inclusion initiative created by CEOs and executives from leading solar and renewable energy companies and industry organizations. The goals of the open and collaborative partnership are to assess and improve diversity and inclusion in the industry, develop and share corporate practices and policies, create a more diverse and inclusive pipeline of candidates, and invest in the under-resourced and minority communities in which we work. For more information, go to www.renewablesforward.com
ADDITIONAL QUOTES FROM NEW MEMBER COMPANIES:
Steve McDougal, CEO, 3Degrees: “3Degrees is joining together with industry peers in Renewables Forward in their work to build an inclusive renewable energy industry, because meaningful climate action must address anti-racism and equity. We have an urgent responsibility to recognize the characteristics of white supremacy culture and help dismantle it. That will require a constant, unyielding devotion to racial justice, inside and outside of our business. Renewables Forward is focused on identifying actionable steps, sharing best practices, and discussing lessons learned to make that commitment a reality.”
Kyle Cooper, CEO, ACT Power Services: “ACT Power Services’ vision of creating the next generation of O&M provider requires the type of innovation that can only be achieved by creating a corporate culture that celebrates and elevates a diverse workforce. ACT’s local presence during the operational phase of a project’s lifecycle provides us a unique advantage through access to diverse communities and talent pools that have not historically been as readily accessible to the renewables industry. We are excited about the Renewables Forward initiative and are thrilled to be able to participate in leading our industry towards a more diverse future. The tools, best practices, and networking that will be gained through participation in Renewables Forward will enable ACT Power Services to execute our mission and to achieve our vision of creating the next generation of O&M provider.”
Amanda Bybee, CEO, Amicus O&M Cooperative: “The solar industry is now focusing on its lack of diversity, both in employing more black, indigenous people of color and in deploying more solar into communities of color. The Amicus Cooperatives are committed to this work within our companies and also in the broader industry, and we are eager to engage with Renewables Forward to make meaningful progress through collective action.”
Oded J. Rhone, CEO of Edison Energy: “At Edison Energy, we are not only taking action aimed at promoting diversity and inclusion within our organization, but also reevaluating how we advocate for social justice and drive meaningful change through our business practices and the partnerships we forge. As the burden of climate change is disproportionally felt by communities of color and low-income communities that currently have limited access to the benefits of the clean energy transition, we are committed to partnering across the renewable energy industry, and the energy industry as a whole, to address these inequalities.”
John Clapp, CEO, Empower Energies: “Empower Energies is pleased to join with our industry colleagues in Renewables Forward. This group compliments our other actions and collaborative efforts toward raising awareness and breaking down barriers for greater equity and inclusion in the renewables industry and the business community as a whole.”
Kelly Speakes-Backman, CEO, Energy Storage Association: “ESA is proud to join the Renewables Forward initiative and supports the clean energy industry as it addresses issues of diversity, inclusion, equity and justice. Initiatives like this encourage all of us to seek real solutions to the challenges we face in creating a more representative industry.”
Erik Lensch, CEO, Leyline: “Leyline is honored to join the Renewables Forward Initiative. By actively collaborating with other organizations in the field, we will foster a more diverse and inclusive renewable energy industry. Creating change will take many persistent and focused steps over a long time, but we believe our industry can make a significant impact through learning, persistence, and collective action.”
Tobin Booth, CEO, OneEnergy: “The Renewables Forward team is setting the table for the largest energy transition in modern history. Solar energy affords us the opportunity to supply long-term infrastructure jobs across a diverse group of people and skillsets.”
Ali Hijazi, Principal, Plante Moran: “With the renewable energy industry at the forefront of so many global change initiatives, we’re excited to join these leading companies to advance diversity and inclusion efforts aimed at achieving tangible, measurable results.”
Richard A. Ashby, Manager Partner, Infrastructure Finance Advisors, LLC: “We are delighted to work with the Renewables Forward initiative to address the current dismal levels of minority participation in and benefit from the clean energy transition. We applaud the commitment of the member companies to effecting substantive change and look forward to playing a leadership role in this worthy and necessary endeavor.”
David Heyman, CEO, Safari Energy: “At Safari Energy, it’s our differences that make us stronger, and we believe through our commitment to the Renewables Forward initiative, we will strengthen the principles of equal opportunity in the solar industry. The tragic death of George Floyd enraged and deeply saddened many of us, but the ensuing discussions ignited our determination to actively foster a diverse and inclusive community, and we are thankful for the positive outlet that this initiative has provided.”
Edwin Wanji, Founder, Sphere Solar: “We are a minority-owned company committed to a clean energy future. Our team specializes in solar energy, battery storage, and electric vehicle charging station installation services – join the movement.”
Duane Peterson, Co-President, SunCommon: “I got into the clean energy business to reverse the climate crisis, but I’ve come to see for whom and with whom that’s done really matters. I am excited to work with Renewables Forward as my business and our industry accelerates inclusion and impact for folks who’ve been left out for too long.”
Danny Van Clief, CEO of Sun Tribe Development: “Three of the top five fastest-growing occupations in this country are in renewable energy, so as leaders we must ensure that these family-supporting jobs are accessible to all workers across this country. Our projects can do more than just power millions of homes and businesses; if we’re thoughtful and inclusive about how we grow this industry, the work we do can power economic opportunity for millions of Americans.”
Devin Welch, CEO of Sun Tribe Solar: “Every day, we’re putting solar on-site in the heart of our communities – on schools, businesses, and local government buildings – but our progress won’t be complete until our entire industry is a reflection of those same neighborhoods. The chance to change how we power all of the places we call home is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but it comes with a responsibility: to ensure that the best and brightest minds are engaged in this work by building diverse teams that draw from every possible talent pool.”