At Clearway Energy Group, we take sustainability very seriously—so much so that we recently published our inaugural sustainability report, which covers our first full year of operations as a company. Reporting as a newly formed company was an ambitious step, and it established a baseline that helped us identify areas in which we can improve. Perhaps more importantly, it also ensured that our origin story is rooted in a foundation of sustainability.
Generating clean energy from renewable resources is an important part of building toward a sustainable future, but we recognize that it isn’t enough. That’s why Clearway seeks to lead the industry in several aspects of sustainable performance, from ensuring that our operations are sensitive to the natural environment, to finding ways to invest in the communities that are home to our facilities and operating staff, to ensuring that our employees are safe, engaged, and fulfilled.
As the Director of our Environmental team, protecting and conserving natural resources is a particular focus of mine, and I was pleased to be able to share Clearway’s strong environmental performance with our stakeholders in our sustainability report. Our development, construction, and operations procedures are designed to minimize our environmental impacts, and where these impacts cannot be avoided, we seek to mitigate them so that we make the community and environment better.
I am especially proud of our efforts to protect biodiversity. While many of our facilities are in areas that are not especially sensitive, some are in areas with species that deserve special attention. We employ state-of-the-art technology and industry-leading practices to ensure that sensitive species are protected and areas are restored appropriately.
In considering our environmental and social impact, we also look beyond Clearway’s generation facilities and evaluate other aspects of our business, such as our supply chain. As part of our qualification process, Clearway’s vendors and suppliers are required to meet our Supplier Code of Conduct, which includes requirements regarding labor practices, human rights, the environment, safety, and conflict minerals.
We’ve also committed to finding ways to improve standards across the clean energy sector as a whole. We are active in more than a dozen industry working groups and trade associations, some of which we helped found, and collaborate with our industry colleagues to develop best practices that will benefit the entire renewable energy industry.
This commitment to helping foster industry best practices is a driving force behind our participation in working groups within the Energy Storage Association that are focused on the safety and sustainability of batteries. In addition to producing resources and guidelines, we’ve also played a role in ESA’s Corporate Responsibility Initiative (CRI) and the related CRI Task Force, which works to establish best practices regarding potential operational hazards, end-of-life and recycling, and responsible supply chain practices.
There’s no question that 2020 has brought unprecedented challenges, testing the resilience of our country, our communities, and our company. The safety and health of our team and our partners are always among our core operating principles, and that focus is more pronounced today amid the coronavirus pandemic. I’m proud that we were swift in our response to enhance onsite safety requirements, transition office staff to remote work, and even launch an online wellness platform with resources on everything from physical fitness to mental and emotional health to financial planning.
We’ve also doubled down on our efforts to engage with and support the communities where we live and operate our projects. Across the country, our employees stepped up to identify dozens of opportunities for us to provide direct relief, resulting in donations totaling almost $500,000 to more than 40 organizations in our communities.
Finally, sustainability guides us to look not only at our external impacts, but also at the culture and workplace we foster within our organization. That includes creating an inclusive company and industry in which our colleagues feel seen, respected, and valued. The action we take today to recruit, retain, and support team members with diverse identities, backgrounds, and life experiences will determine our long-term success.
As we chart our course forward through the remainder of 2020 and beyond, our commitment to sustainability will play an important role in guiding our actions and decisions. Our 2019 report helped us identify our strengths and highlighted areas where we can improve. We will look forward to expanding our findings and achievements in our next report.