Lightsource bp recognized by US solar industry for DEIJ commitment
- Lightsource bp’s US team earns silver level in SEIA DEIJ certification program
- Key factors for the award included focus on community, social impacts and internal practices
Lightsource bp has achieved silver level through the Diversity Equity Inclusion and Justice (DEIJ) Certification Program from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). Earning this recognition demonstrates Lightsource bp’s commitment to creating an equitable, positive social impact for internal team members and external stakeholders alike.
The online program, launched in October 2021, was designed by Diversity Certified Professionals and uses evidence-based approaches to improve diversity practices within companies. The program guides participants through a broad range of modules on diversity topics, requiring them to complete activities that help create a more inclusive work environment, serve the communities they work in, and attract, hire, promote, and retain diverse talent. Companies earn levels of certification by completing each series of modules.
Lightsource bp is among 52 of SEIA’s 1000+ member companies enrolled in the DEIJ program. It is the seventh member company to earn the silver certification level to date.
Emilie Wangerman, Interim COO, Lightsource bp US: “Advancing DEIJ across the solar industry is essential to ensuring a just energy transition. The work our team has done internally and externally to achieve this recognition is making a positive, equitable impact for our people and the communities we join.”
Lightsource bp’s community-first approach drove much of the company’s progress on external DEIJ advancement this year. Team members work closely with neighbors and community members to maximize the positive social impacts of their solar projects for diverse populations. The company earned credit towards Silver-level certification by providing education, soliciting and implementing community feedback, supporting community organizations and promoting solar jobs for underserved populations, including veterans.
In total, the Lightsource bp team has hosted more than 45 community events in 2023 to date, including job fairs, educational opportunities, focus groups and family-oriented celebrations, reaching more than 3,000 stakeholders across America. In 2022, Lightsource bp in the US donated a total of $620,000 to organizations that serve diverse groups of community members on-the-ground.
Principal Katherine Harshman, Minnequa Elementary School in Pueblo, CO: “The Minnequa Care and Share food pantry sponsored by Lightsource bp continues to be a huge resource for our families. Having the capacity to have an in-house food pantry has allowed families to never worry about food on the table or transportation to a food bank.”
Lightsource bp is also a major proponent of efforts to promote environmental justice at the industry-level. The company has a comprehensive human rights policy and has signed onto SEIA’s Solar Industry Forced Labor Prevention Pledge. Additionally, Lightsource bp was the first US solar developer to commit to recycling all solar panels used at their projects, ensuring that zero panels wind up in community landfills.
Internally, Lightsource bp focused on improvements to workplace flexibility, parental leave policies and employee resource groups (ERGs). Following positive feedback on the team’s women’s affinity group, formed in 2020, Lightsource bp is launching a new ERG for veterans in the near-term. Lightsource bp has also rolled out an updated family leave policy, which increases paid time off for new and bereaved parents, as a commitment under the program.
Aaron Chavez, Head of Human Resources, Lightsource bp Americas: “SEIA’s guidance has encouraged us to expand on the resources we offer our team members to create a more diverse and inclusive space. These initiatives are key to ensuring our people feel comfortable bringing their whole selves to work.”
Lightsource bp announced that it had achieved the bronze level of certification through the SEIA program in 2022 and intends to continue working towards the gold and platinum levels.
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