CSR Strategy for renewable energy operator
Appointed by and reporting to the CEO, I provided CSR strategy advice and planning for Wind Energy Holdings, a fast-growth South Asian renewable energy operator on a international best practice in readiness for their IPO/private sale.
This wind energy operator had been operational for several years, and had established a successful business model with its two operational wind farms and five further projects in development. The business was approaching a new phase in the business as it ramped up to bring the new projects on stream and prepare either for an IPO, or for a private sale.
The organisation had made a number of social investment commitments to communities affected by the wind farm sites over the years. They had also been spending during the development phase of the projects on ad hoc sponsorship and hospitality initiatives. A CSR team was in place, but without clear focus or purpose, and with a number of overlapping roles. There were few guidelines for the team to follow and no clear strategy was in place to help frame or direct in particular the social investments, nor to align them with business goals.
Any future international or institutional investors would expect to see greater evidence of best practice and due diligence to protect this investment and ensure it was both open to scrutiny and could be linked back to real and long-term benefits for the communities affected by the wind farms. Local stakeholders were not given clarity on how the social investment was to be directed and as a result, piecemeal, reactive funding requests were often accepted in the absence of a cohesive strategy.
- Created a full set of CSR policies for the company;
- Delivered a series of strategy papers for the Board with advice on how to structure, allocate funding for, and administer their social and community investment programme;
- Articulated their broader CSR goals and strategy
- Conducted a detailed analysis of the existing funding commitments that had been made to the future wind farm projects;
- Travelled to Bangkok in January 2015 to run a workshop with the client’s 20 strong land development, CSR and PR teams to roll out the new strategy;
The Company was advised to establish a corporate Foundation through which all their social and community investments funds ($10m USD) should be channelled. My role in this has involved researching and approaching several eminent rural development experts, sustainable livelihood academics and land use advisers as potential Trustees for appointment, and writing a script for use for further approaches, along with a job description for the roles;
Guiding Principles and a draft of the recommended Priority Focus Areas for the community investment spend and as an initial guide for the Trustees to follow was also produced and signed off by the CEO/Board;
A set of documents for internal use including the Sponsorship and Donation Guidelines, Case Complaints procedures and the Fund Application Form for all Foundation requests, were also produced. The Head of CSR is now utilising these
I also advised CEO and Head of CSR on new CSR and PR team structure, including hierarchy, headcount, R&Rs & project priorities for the coming year.