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Over 50 Solar & Storage Companies Take Action on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Justice

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America’s solar and storage industry is quickly transforming our energy system, creating new opportunities in every corner of the country. This rapid growth cannot be haphazard if we want to ensure equitable growth as part of this transition.

Prioritizing diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) programming is the path forward to helping the solar and storage industry achieve its goals. It’s how we spread wealth, deliver upward mobility, and ensure that the workplace support systems we put in place are fully embraced and elevated in tandem with our industry’s growth. It’s also how we attract and retain the top talent we need to become the dominant energy source in our economy.

This is true at the organization level as well. A company’s workforce is its most powerful asset. As companies seek to increase profit and reduce turnover, well-executed diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts are great for business and great for our industry.

This is why the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) created the DEIJ Certification Program. We created it to encourage our members and partners to take smart, measurable steps on DEIJ issues.

As the program enters its third year, it’s important to reflect on how these programs are working and what kind of impact they’re having on the companies that participate.

To date, 52 organizations, including dozens of solar companies, have enrolled in the DEIJ certification program, taking measurable actions on DEIJ.

Every participant has completed an inclusion assessment and 88% have a written DEIJ communications plan. In addition, every participant is utilizing a mentorship program, and nearly three-quarters of program participants require unconscious bias training for their hiring managers. In addition, all 52 organizations report that they are working directly with the frontline communities impacted by energy development and have either created a process or are working on a process to collect feedback from impacted communities.

Each number represents a real-world action a company or organization is taking on DEIJ, marking important progress for our industry. Inclusion assessments, feedback processes, and mentorship programs are valuable, tangible progress. They help boost retention and generate a more inclusive culture. As these programs expand, participating companies will see the benefits and become more competitive when they’re trying to hire top talent.

These actions are happening in every part of our industry. Developers, manufacturers, financiers, and service providers are all participating in the program, driving progress across the industry.

This year, RES Group became the first company to achieve the highest level of certification, Platinum. Since RES Group achieved its Bronze certification in 2021, the company has expanded its affinity networks, revised its bereavement policy to include non-traditional family members, and amended its approach to the people-oriented metrics they track.

In addition, Encore Renewable Energy and OneEnergy Renewables achieved Gold and dozens more have completed the Silver and Bronze certification. SEIA is also participating in the program to ensure the organization is ‘walking the walk’ when it comes to DEIJ. We’re proud to report that we’ve expanded our human resources offerings over the last year and achieved Gold certification.

We also opened the program to non-members and expanded our module offerings to better meet the needs of our industry. This includes new modules on mentorship, LGTBQ+ inclusion in the workplace, creating inclusive spaces, and strategies for attracting, hiring, and retaining military veterans and spouses.

We want to thank all of our program partners and our colleagues at the Human Rights Campaign and SHRM for providing feedback and education to support the DEIJ Certification Program this year. We also want to thank Longroad Energy, Freedom Forever, and McCarthy for sharing their experiences during our webinar series.

Congratulations to everyone on their accomplishments this year. We’re making incredible progress, and together, we can create the most inclusive and equitable workforce in America.

The success of the solar and storage industry depends on it.

We look forward to partnering with you on your diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice journey.

Abigail Ross Hopper is the president and CEO and Erika Symmonds is the vice president of equity and workforce development at the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

Certified Companies of SEIA’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice Certification Program

Platinum

  • RES Group

Gold

  • Solar Energy Industries Association
  • Encore Renewable Energy
  • One Energy Renewables

Silver

  • Longroad Energy
  • ForeFront Power
  • Enstall
  • SOLV Energy
  • Lightsource bp
  • Pivot Energy
  • Ranger Power

Bronze

  • Arevon Energy
  • New Energy Equity
  • Nextracker
  • Sunpower
  • Solas Energy Consulting
  • Midwest Renewable Energy
  • SGC Power
  • Nautilus Solar
  • Primergy Solar
  • New Energy Equity
  • Pure Power Engineering
  • Ulteig
  • Epcon Partners
  • Sungage Financial
  • Namaste Solar
  • Hemlock Semiconductor
  • American Solar and Roofing
  • Enphase Energy
  • Solariant Capital
  • Dimension Renewable Energy

Learn more in SEIA’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice Certification Program Annual Report 2023.

By Abigail Ross Hopper and Erika Symmonds, Courtesy of  SEIA.


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