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Communication and our relationship with local communities
CLEAN, NON-POLLUTING ENERGY
Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
1 in 8 people still do not have access to electricity. In order to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all, it is necessary to increase the use of renewable energy from 25 % today to 38 % in 2025.
ACCIONA is positioning itself as a key player in addressing the growth in energy demand while curbing the progress of global warming and promoting the transition to a decarbonized energy model.
Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
The generation and use of energy is responsible for 74 % of total greenhouse gas emissions in the world. This activity is the largest contributor to global warming. Investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency and other low carbon technologies will continue to be essential to meet the new needs of humanity and to minimise their negative impact on the environment.
ACCIONA considers the fight against climate change and its related effects to be a strategic priority. The Company is working to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions in order to contribute to the progress of society and respond to the main challenges of sustainable development in the areas of infrastructure, water and energy, leading the transition to a low-carbon economy.
Whilst we acknowledge that no two projects are ever the same, it is important that as a company we develop a consistent approach to the communications platforms we adopt. The Community Engagement Committee (CEC) is one such platform. This is also known as a Community Reference Group (CRG).
The purpose of creating a CEC is to establish a forum to facilitate community views and feedback on project related activities, as well as provide regular opportunities for communication between ACCIONA staff and the community.
From an Australian perspective, ACCIONA has developed five wind farms. Cathedral Rocks Wind Farm was the first one, in operation since 2007, followed by Waubra in 2009, Gunning in 2011, Mt Gellibrand in operation since 2018 and the last one, Mortlake South (which is currently under construction and scheduled to begin operations in 2021).
The Australian CEC’s meets regularly and usually consists of landowners, neighbours, local businesses, local emergency services, local government authorities and interested community members to ensure the different interests of the local community are represented. The CEC enables ongoing and timely identification of community concerns, and even pre-emptive formulation of mitigation strategies and they provide a platform to share information with the rest of the community.
The committee can also assist in the resolution of issues that arise during the pre-construction and construction phases of the project. Additionally community members can raise any issues or concerns, as well as suggest how ACCIONA might resolve them. Furthermore, group meetings provide an opportunity to discuss upcoming construction activities.
For example, the Mortlake South Wind Farm CEC was established in 2012, when the project was still in the early development phase. Meetings have occurred regularly since this time, enabling an open forum for ACCIONA, the community and local government to discuss the project as it takes shape. Since the commencement of construction in 2019, the CEC has met over 15 times to discuss the project.
COMMUNITY SPONSORSHIP AND SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMS
Since commencing Australian operations in 2002, ACCIONA’s energy business has contributed more than $2.1 million to our communities through a combination of sponsorship, scholarship funding, and other community benefit initiatives including:
- Sponsorship and Small Grants
- Community Benefit Funds
- Neighbourhood Benefit Program
These funds involve ACCIONA acting collaboratively with the community to enhance pre-existing community initiatives and to expand the knowledge and understanding of renewable energy in the district.
To find out more about these programs, click here