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 trust-based, long-term relationships with the communities where we conduct operations. Beginning with pre-development community engagement, we take time to learn about a community’s needs and strive to arrive at a design that best reflects community feedback, needs, preference and knowledge. We believe in building durable relationships through dialogue, listening and an iterative approach to project design and keeping our commitments to host communities.
Innergex is among the first independent renewable energy producers in Canada to recognize the value of partnering with Indigenous communities (see Indigenous Partnerships section) and local governments to share in the wealth generated through clean, local energy generation. Such partnerships offer a long-term revenue source that is injected back into rural economies to build further capacity, create jobs and oftentimes act as a driver for socio-economic development. 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 and its residents can be significant 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
- A diversified stream of revenue for landowners
- Contracting opportunities for Indigenous and locally-owned businesses
- Building capacity for future development projects
- Climate change mitigation and adaptation
Sponsorships and Donations
One of our Values, Get Involved, drives our commitment to be a good neighbour and a responsible corporate citizen by supporting the causes and efforts that have a broader impact in communities. Our sponsorships and donations have and will continue to have a meaningful impact in communities. More than ever we remain committed to the values that have helped us share the benefits renewable energy facilities generate. Innergex is specifically focused on supporting initiatives and groups that promote:
- Environment and Sustainability
- Community and Culture
- Health and Research
- Sports and Recreation
- Education and Engagement
Our sponsorship, donation and voluntary contributions
supported 224 organizations
that have shared over $3 million
Some of the organizations we are proud to have supported in 2021 include:
|The Canadian Red Cross Society||Regroupement des jeunes chambres de commerce du Québec
|École des Jolis-vents (Quebec, Canada)|
|Seymour Community Development Corporation (Texas, US)||Ramadilla Neighborhood Council
|Uhiwai O Haleakal ā
|Maui Cultural Lands (Hawaii, US)||Parc et Mer Mont-Louis (Quebec, Canada)||Pemberton & District Chamber of Commerce (British Columbia, Canada)|
(British Columbia, Canada)
|Powell River Salmon Society (British Columbia, Canada)||Fédération française de cardiologie
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. In 2021 several employees participated raising funds for different organizations.
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.
Community Engagement Approach
Every community that hosts an Innergex project is unique and we aim to adapt to each location’s particular needs. We begin by identifying key partners and stakeholders. Our community engagement process begins at the earliest stages of a project’s development and continues throughout operations. Our engagement process is designed to listen and address community concerns, to share information, 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. We have mechanisms in place to collect, record, and address community concerns as we seek to:
- Provide transparent information on the project and its potential benefits including during the pre-development, permitting, construction and operation phases;
- Establish an open line of communication with community members and groups, Non-Governmental Organizations (“NGOs”), and other stakeholders; and
- Listen to the views, concerns and interests of community members and cooperatively develop solutions that address the issues raised.
We accomplish this by:
- Introducing our team members and showcasing Innergex experience;
- Establishing a dedicated project website and email address;
- Respecting local customs;
- Holding one-on-one meetings;
- Creating and maintaining open lines of communication to ensure community feedback is incorporated into the project development process when feasible;
- Following through on our commitments to the community throughout development, construction and operation;
- Presenting to interested groups or at community events; and
- Hosting public open houses and information sessions both in-person and virtually.
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 adjusts them to maximize effectiveness and relevance with stakeholders.
Our community support has taken different approaches throughout our more than 30 years generating renewable energy, 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 shore of Hudson’s Bay, Quebec, Canada.
- Building Capacity: As part of the Amazon Solar Farm Ohio – Hillcrest, 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 has created 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; six 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 of one-on-one and small group in-person interviews with our team members.
- 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 and Mesgi’g Ugju’s’n facilities in Quebec.
Memberships and affiliations
Getting involved and having a voice are important to Innergex. We are active in the jurisdictions in which we conduct business through memberships and affiliations in organizations that address environmental issues, regional economic development, global citizenship, human rights, diversity and inclusion, and science-based research. They include:
BC Chamber of Commerce (BCCC)
Business Council of British Columbia (BCBC)
Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (CHFCA)
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 Employers’ Council (CPQ)
Quebec Finance and Investment Circle (CFPQ)
Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce (SCC)
Waterpower Canada (WPC)
Advanced Power Alliance (APA)
American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE)
American Clean Power Association (ACP)
California Hydrogen Business Council (CHBC)
Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technology (CEERT)
Clean Tech Alliance
Colorado Solar and Storage Association (COSSA)
Green Energy Ohio (GEO)
Interwest Energy Alliance
Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Coalition (MAREC)
Oregon Business for Climate
Renewable Northwest (RNW)
Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA)
Texas Solar Power Association (TSPA)
Utility Scale Solar Energy Coalition of Ohio (USSEC)
Syndicat des énergies renouvelables
France Énergie Éolienne
Association of Small and Medium Hydroelectric Companies (APEMEC)
Chilean Renewable Energy and Storage Association (ACERA)
Chilean Canadian Chamber of Commerce