This blog series highlights the inaugural group of companies that joined the REBA community through its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion membership.
Solar Stewards was born on the back of a church envelope during a Sunday mass. Pope Francis had just published Laudato si’, a global call to recognize the sanctity of our Earth. Growing increasingly tired of disparities witnessed within renewable deployment, I felt inspired to answer this call with innovation and resolution. As a life-long entrepreneur, I knew the business community had to play a key role.
Within this impactful letter, we as a global community are called not only to improve our relationship with the environment, but to explore the root cause of environmental injustices within our own humanity. These injustices are enabled by cognitive dissonance in the global corporate industry, whereby we have conveniently and carelessly dissociated the environment from the people, and put short-term gain above sustainable practices and profits. It is no longer enough to have a broad climate action goal which neglects the very populations most vulnerable to climate change. It is missing the mark to create complex deal structures and still fail to include under-resourced communities and businesses. It is a missed opportunity to overlook the value of including community engagement and branding within a carbon reduction strategy, and solely focus on metrics that do not engage a customer and consumer base.
Beyond a trend, there is now a movement to reframe renewable energy deployment to realize all of the value propositions Solar Stewards brings to renewable energy buyers. Our Social RECs™ are a tool for companies to recognize the value of both social and environmental impact, together, within new and existing renewable energy markets. When incorporating these social benefits, it’s important to follow three guidelines to ensure successful outcomes:
Focus your impact
Be intentional with the communities and initiatives important to your customers and your brand. Where does your customer base live, work, and play? What issues are important to your brand? Climate Stewards can tailor Social REC™ portfolios to directly connect with the social causes and clientele that resonate with business objectives.
Be more than a buyer
Our Climate Stewards are renewable energy buyers leveraging the visibility, community engagement, and tangible impact of a Solar Stewards program. As such, longer commitments to realize and report impact are customary, as true social and environmental impact is long-term. Solar Stewards delivers the opportunity for lasting benefits to community, to climate, and to your brand.
Choose Social RECs™
Social RECs™ accomplish a litany of goals from carbon reduction, to diversity equity and inclusion, to brand awareness and new market development. As the market recognizes this shift in buyer consciousness, we shall inevitably see social claims with no direct connection to communities or accountability. To avoid ‘socialwashing’ specify Social RECs™, which utilize decades of environmental, social, and racial justice frameworks. As a woman and minority owned small business, Solar Stewards understands first-hand both business and social impact.
Whether you are a CEO or a Pope, the message is clear: Climate action must focus on humanity.
Learn more about REBA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Membership here.