We apply good practices in our operations, with the goal of having a positive impact in the communities where we develop and operate power plants. To do so, we put in place initiatives to address key issues of importance in these communities.
An important aspect of Statkraft’s work to lead the energy transition is that Statkraft’s business must create value for both the company and the countries and communities Statkraft is operating in. The foundation for positive community impact is that Statkraft complies with the laws and regulations in the countries where it operates, and takes guidance from relevant international standards and principles.
Many forms of energy generation come into direct contact with people’s lives. Solar, wind, and hydro are all land-intensive forms of power generation, and there will likely be an increase in the number of local communities being directly affected by associated activities. Statkraft is determined to find innovative solutions to the challenges of local social and economic development.
By actively engaging with local communities, Statkraft works to find ways that the company's activities can also create value for communities and countries. When initiating new construction projects, Statkraft engages with local stakeholders such as local authorities, community representatives, civil society organisations, and representatives of indigenous peoples to better understand what matters to them, what is expected from Statkraft, and how Statkraft can provide solutions to common challenges. Further, Statkraft conducts awareness programs to inform communities about the benefits of renewable energy programs, and likewise participates in other types of community investment.
For example, in India Statkraft has opened a Public Information Centre at the Tidong hydropower site, and subsequently held several consultation meetings about cropcompensation. An important target of any project development is therefore ensuring that any loss of land, production, or access to resources is compensated in a sustainable way.
Statkraft assesses and manages its impacts in line with international frameworks such as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and for new projects the International Finance Corporation’s Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability. Statkraft integrates this international guidance into the company’s processes in the following ways:
- Statkraft follows the mitigation hierarchy. This means avoid, minimise, mitigate, or compensate for negative impact from our activities, including wherever possible exploring viable alternatives for technical design and/or location.
- Statkraft promotes long-term community development in our areas of influence. This will contribute positively to the long-term sustainability of our investments by generating synergies with our host countries and communities.
- Statkraft systematically engages with, and establishes constructive and responsive relationships with, our key stakeholders.
Following our goal to positively impact local communities Statkraft has implemented social development programmes which are designed to minimise and mitigate the adverse impacts of the company’s operations while bringing benefits from our activities to local communities. Statkraft works with a wide range of community and social development initiatives in our countries of operation. In Chile for example, Statkraft has partnered with the INACAP Technical Training Centre and Technological University of Chile to train 40 local people in basic infrastructure maintenance. The program focuses on agriculture, improved market access, supporting relevant health campaigns, educational support and skills and leadership training.
Preventing and addressing local environmental impact
To mitigate climate change, there is a need to replace fossil energy sources with renewable energy. This means utilising natural resources, and inevitably impacting the environment.
The fundamental question is whether these impacts are acceptable given the positive benefits of renewable energy. In Statkraft’s markets, national authorities aim to balance environmental impact and utilisation of natural resources through concessions for renewable energy, and Statkraft accordingly integrates the concession requirements in its operations.
By using water for power generation, Statkraft plays an important role in managing this common resource and always seeks to establish responsible water management practices. During the development and operation of Statkraft’s hydropower plants, Statkraft engages with local communities to promote better use of water resources and water regulation structures.
In the past, Statkraft has successfully coordinated local communities to improve water efficiency. In Turkey for example, Statkraft coordinated with local communities to improve efficiency in irrigation schemes downstream of the Kargi dam and also helped farmers upstream develop new agriculture initiatives like beekeeping. In Peru, Statkraft is helping to strengthen livelihoods in rural areas by ensuring access to water and improving field irrigation systems.