Contributing to local value creation
Our goal is to positively impact the communities in which we operate, both directly and indirectly. We strive to employ local labour, identify needs in the local communities for our community development programmes, and maintain open and transparent dialogue with relevant stakeholders.
Solar power plants impact local communities. Changes are usually positive, bringing social, economic and infrastructure improvements. But the possibility of unintended consequences cannot be overlooked. Potential impacts include physical and economic displacement, changes in vegetation and infrastructure and increased activity levels in the area. Impacts during construction such as traffic, noise, and dust are considered limited and effectively mitigated if and where nearby communities exist. We often operate in countries where legal frameworks and governing structures do not necessarily protect the communities we may impact to the same extent as in more mature economies. Solid interaction with our project neighbours and establishment of good relations is therefore essential.
In all our operating projects, we have localcommunity engagement and impact assessments. Ifdialogue with affected parties is not carried out in a timelyand integrated manner, misinterpretations and concernsin local communities might arise.Since our founding, we have gained considerable experiencein working with local communities in different countries.We follow the IFC’s Performance Standards when wedevelop our stakeholder engagement analyses and plansfor all projects.
We follow the IFC Performance Standards when we develop our stakeholder engagement analyses and plans for all projects.
International principles for stakeholder engagement
- A stakeholder analysis and stakeholder engagement plan is always carried out in accordance with the IFC Performance Standards and Equator Principles
- All projects have assigned a Community Liaison Officer (CLO) who is responsible for community engagement and maintaining good relations with the local communities
- We implement a grievance mechanism for all our projects, available locally at the project site and on our corporate website
Our achievements and results in 2018
In 2018, we entered several new communities to construct solar plants across eight countries. Our key efforts were focused around stakeholder and community engagement, local recruitment processes, handling grievances, and planning and implementing new development programmes. We generated approximately 6,000 jobs from our projects under construction, with the percentage of local employees averaging about 70–80%. We also worked to ensure that our stakeholder engagement plans and procedures are aligned with international standards across projects.
Local Job Creation
Without income generation, no community is stable or sustainable. Scatec Solar is strongly committed to contributing to job creation, and we employ local labour and suppliers as far as possible, regardless of whether this is a requirement. This practice contributes to reducing unemployment rates and provides knowledge and technical skills transfer to the communities where we are present.
Most of the jobs created through our projects originate during the construction phase, which usually lasts 6–14 months. Workers are provided with important technical skills and experience that make them more eligible for future jobs.
In 2018, we generated approximately 6,000 jobs from our projects under construction, with the percentage of local employees averaging about 70–80%.
We also try to hire locally for the permanent positions in the various stages of our value chain including engineers, plant managers, HSSE experts, civil and mechanical workers, security personnel, and community liaison officers , to mention a few.
Stakeholder engagement in local communities
There are various ways in which projects engage with local communities. To inform the communities about the project and about potential impacts, manage expectations, and to ensure local support and understanding of our projects, regular meetings with local leaders and representatives from local communities are held in all communities where we have a presence.
We usually experience a lot of engagement in local communities during the initial project phases of development and construction.
Topics and issues raised during local stakeholder meetings that are considered material are communicated to the management through biweekly progress reports, usually from project managers or other project team members.
- Employ local labour, enable knowledge transfer and create jobs in local communities
- Use local suppliers whenever feasible
- Plan for and contribute to local development initiatives
- Train and educate our people on how best to operate in a new, often foreign culture
- Develop a structured stakeholder engagement plan for all projects at an early stage to help us inform and communicate with affected parties
- Appoint a designated community liaison officer in our projects to facilitate understanding and communications in local communities
- Maintain an active dialogue during the project phases with the local communities and engage at several levels, from national governments to project partners