Sustainability Reporting Initiative
People > Community
The communities that host our facilities play an important role in our mission to build a better world with renewable energy. Since our inception in 1990, we have been guided by our commitment to supporting groups, initiatives and organizations that share our vision. Building long-term relationships and being a good neighbour are important parts of our business cycle. We are proud of the trust we have earned with the communities we collaborate with, and welcome the opportunity to make a positive impact with grassroots organizations where we serve.
A Good Neighbour
Being a good neighbour is important to Innergex and we take great pride in our track record of nurturing strong, long-term relationships with the communities where we conduct operations. Beginning with extensive pre-development consultations and community outreach, we take time to learn about a community’s needs and often work with them to ensure a design that best suits a mutually beneficial conclusion. We believe in strong relationships built on bilateral communication and mutual understanding and achieve these relationships through our commitment to leading with integrity, getting involved and following our passion.
From conceptualization to commissioning and throughout operation, working with our host communities and sharing the benefits that arise from a renewable energy project is a core element of our sustainable development strategy.
Innergex is among the first independent renewable energy producers in Canada to understand the value of partnering with municipal governments to share in the wealth generated through clean, local energy generation. Such partnerships offer a long-term source of revenue that is injected back into rural economies to build further capacity, create jobs and add value to local economies. Our first such project, the Viger-Denonville community wind farm in Quebec, has been in operation since 2013 and will continue to share the value generated by the facility with the Regional County Municipality of Rivière-du-Loup throughout the duration of the 20-year power purchase agreement.
The positive impacts of a renewable energy project on a community can be vast and long-term. Some of the benefits include:
- A source of revenues
- Investments in community infrastructure projects
- Skills training and job creation
- Directing sustainable land resource development
- Promoting healthy communities
- Promotion of Indigenous rights and territory
- Contracting opportunities for Indigenous-owned businesses
- Building capacity for future development projects
- Fighting climate change
Sponsorships and Donations
Part of being a good neighbour means supporting the causes and efforts that have a broader impact in communities. Our sponsorships and donations have and will continue to generate benefits in communities and more than ever we remain committed to the values that have helped us grow our giving through our facilities. We are committed to supporting the following sectors:
- Environment and Sustainability
- Community and Culture
- Health and Research
- Sports and Recreation
- Education and Engagement
Over $2.7 million in funding
sponsorships, donations and voluntary contributions
Some of the organizations we are proud to have supported in 2020 include:
|Regroupement des jeunes chambres de commerce du Québec
|Club des petits déjeuners
|Vancouver Food Bank
(British Columbia, Canada)
|Uhiwai O Haleakal ā
|Cœur + AVC/Heart & Stroke Foundation Canada||Comunidades Que Se Cuidan
(British Columbia, Canada)
|San Diego Food Bank
|Fédération française de cardiologie
Time for Solidarity Campaign
Many individuals and community organizations faced serious challenges in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. At Innergex, we strive to conduct our daily activities with our corporate values in mind, and this made one of the seven values, Get Involved, even more important in 2020. Contributing to the wellbeing of people in need became a focus for us. Our collective efforts resulted in Innergex donating more than $227,000 and our employees contributing an additional $37,225 to COVID-19 relief efforts through this campaign.
Supporting Employee Initiatives
Innergex is proud to help make a difference in the causes important to our employees. In 2020, we launched our Employee Matching Donation program which matches funds raised by employees up to $500 per community initiative. Several employees participated raising funds for different organizations.
As part of this initiative, a team of employees raised funds for Breakfast Club of Canada (Le Club des petits déjeuners) a not-for-profit that aims to ensure that all students have reliable access to nutritious food in a safe and supportive environment, in order to positively impact health and learning. With the support of their colleagues and the Corporation they raised a total of $14,000 for the organization.
Innergex’s investments in developing renewable energy projects bring hundreds of new job opportunities and generates value in supply chains which benefit local, provincial and state economies.
During the early development phase, we conduct our due diligence to ensure a successful project outcome. Our team works with local independent third-party contractors on various essential services necessary for advancing the project including but not limited to project design, engineering, environmental assessments and monitoring, and legal services. During the construction phase, a priority is given to employing workers, as well as procure the parts, materials, and components, as locally as possible. Depending on the size of the project, there can be several hundred workers at the height of the construction phase who also make a positive economic impact in the local area.
Upon commissioning, a team of specialized experts operate the facility throughout its lifecycle and it continues to rely on an extended supply chain to provide services such as environmental monitoring, road maintenance and other specialized technical services. At Innergex, we strive to hire local wherever feasible to maximize economic opportunities for the regions that host our projects.
Every community that hosts one of Innergex’s projects is unique and Innergex aims to adapt to each location’s particular needs. We begin by identifying key stakeholders. Our engagement process aims to share information with local communities, understand local values, and discover areas of mutual interest. It provides an opportunity to work through an iterative process to identify opportunities and concerns and take measures to address them in a cooperative way where commercially reasonable by developing mechanisms to address community concerns over the life cycle of the facility. We seek to:
- Provide transparent information on the proposal and its potential benefits and concerns for the community;
- Establish an open line of communication with community members and groups; and
- Listen to the views, concerns and interests of community members and cooperatively develop solutions that address the issues raised.
We accomplish this is by:
- Establishing a project website and email address;
- Holding one-on-one meetings;
- Presenting at community groups events; and
- Hosting public open houses and information sessions.
Creating lasting bonds of trust between people is at the core of our business strategy and we are proud of the numerous long-term relationships we have built over the decades. Innergex regularly assesses its outreach strategies with the assistance of local partners and residents and periodically adjusts them to maximize effectiveness and relevance with stakeholders.
Our support begins even before we start construction and continues throughout operations. Our community support has taken different approaches including through:
- Legacy Projects: Constructing a permanent bridge in the community of Inukjuak that will provide residents year-round access to new hunting and berry picking grounds on the south shore of the Inukjuak River at our Innavik project on the east side of Hudson’s Bay.
- Building Capacity: As part of the Hillcrest Solar Energy Project in Ohio, Innergex has concluded Education Cooperation and Financial Funding Agreements with Southern State Community College, which will enable site visits for students in technical programs and will create an education fund seeded with $60,000 at commercial operation date and $6,000 per annum thereafter.
- Engaging Communities: Since 2018, our outreach in Hawaii for projects in development has held three in-person public open houses/community information sessions; five virtual public open houses/community information sessions (due to pandemic restrictions); dozens of presentations and meetings with community associations, residents’ groups, NGOs, and local and state government agencies and departments; and dozens one-on-one and small group in-person interviews.
- Catalyzing Growth: A social development fund was established to support projects of an economic, cultural, touristic, heritage, sports or educational nature at our Viger-Denonville facility in Quebec in the RCM of Rivière-du-Loup.
Memberships and affiliations
Being involved and having a voice are important to Innergex. Innergex is active in the jurisdictions in which it conducts business through memberships and affiliations in organizations that address environmental issues, regional economic development, global citizenship, and science-based research. They include:
BC Chamber of Commerce (BCCC)
Business Council of British Columbia (BCBC)
Canadian Renewable Energy Association (CanREA)
Catalyst Business Alliance
Chamber of Commerce of Baie-des-Chaleurs
Chamber of Commerce of Rivière-du-Loup
Chamber of Commerce of Sept-Îles (CCSI)
Chaudière River Basin Committee (COBARIC)
Environment’s Council of Chaudière-Appalaches (CRECA)
First Nations Power Authority (FNPA)
Ontario Waterpower Association (OWA)
Quebec Association for the Production of Renewable Energy (AQPER)
Quebec Finance and Investment Circle (CFPQ)
Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce (SCC)
Waterpower Canada (WPC)
American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE)
American Wind Energy Association (AWEA)
Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technology (CEERT)
Clean Tech Alliance
Interwest Energy Alliance
Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Coalition (MAREC)
Oregon Business for Climate
Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA)
Texas Solar Power Association (TSPA)
Syndicat des énergies renouvelables
France énergie éolienne
Association of Small and Medium Hydroelectric Companies