Three companies, ECOHZ, Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management (WOCAN), and ACWA Power have partnered to give companies a tool to both mitigate climate change and empower women.
ECOHZ provides global renewable energy solutions, WOCAN is an international membership network working towards gender equality, and ACWA Power develops, owns and operates a global portfolio of power generation and desalinated water production plants. This collaboration initially utilizes projects in Morocco and South Africa.
“We work to change corporations’ energy behaviour, so it is very exciting for us to also give companies the opportunity to empower women at the same time,” says Tom Lindberg, Managing Director at ECOHZ.
ACWA Power’s Noor complex in Morocco is the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant project in the world, and their Bokpoort solar power plant in South Africa is one of the most efficient power plants in the world. These two projects generate and dispatch a significant amount of renewable energy to the grid, documented with International Renewable Energy Certificates (I-RECs). ACWA Power is undertaking a CSR project to develop the community and empower women at the remote sites of these two power projects. If a corporate sources renewable energy from these power plants and would like to support women, they can purchase I-RECs with W+ units.
“Our long-term commitment to the countries where our power plants are located extends beyond supplying electricity to the grid. When we invest in developing a power plant, quite often at remote locations, we actively collaborate with the host community to generate employment opportunity and economic activity and improve their quality of life on an enduring basis for the long term. We’re pleased to be partnering with WOCAN and to specifically contribute to female empowerment through our CSR work arising from our investment in the renewable energy sector,” says Paddy Padmanathan, President and CEO of ACWA Power.
I-REC is recognised by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Scope 2 Guidance as a tracking instrument to document and report electricity consumption from renewable energy sources.
WOCAN created the W+TM Standard (W+), which is a set of project design and implementation requirements to measure women’s empowerment. It is the only standard that provides a quantifiable measurement of progress towards SDG 5 – Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
W+ is being used by ACWA to ensure that the CSR project associated with Noor Power Plant increases income and improve livelihoods of the local female population, and the Bokpoort Power Plant’s CSR project contributes to clean water, solar lighting, adult education, food security, and apprenticeships & jobs for local women.
“Engaging and empowering women in project communities will create better project outcomes and improve lives. WOCAN is excited to collaborate with ACWA Power and ECOHZ and enable credible, measurable social co-benefits in renewable energy projects,” says Jeannette Gurung, Executive Director of WOCAN.
In summary, when a company purchases one MWh of electricity with W+ from either one of ACWA Power’s projects they are purchasing renewable energy for their operations in that region while also empowering local women.
The project in Morocco aims to increase the income and employability of communities through agriculture, livestock & handicraft activities, the creation of cooperatives and to improve access to basic services such as education. Photo: WOCAN
ECOHZ offers global renewable energy solutions to businesses, organisations and electricity providers – providing renewable electricity, from a wide range of sources, regions and qualities. Renewable electricity is documented by Guarantees of Origin in Europe, RECs in North America and International RECs (I-RECs) in a growing number of countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. ECOHZ also provides an innovative additionality solution – GO² – combining renewable energy purchases with the financing and building of new renewable power generation. Companies choosing documented renewable energy can reduce their carbon footprint and improve their sustainability ratings. ECOHZ is among the leading independent suppliers in Europe and has offices in Norway and Switzerland. ECOHZ endeavors to play an active role in the current energy transition through its vision of “changing energy behaviour”. www.ecohz.com
About Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management (WOCAN)
WOCAN is a 15 year-old women-led, international membership-based non-governmental organization with over 1250 women and men professional members in 113 countries. Since 2004, WOCAN has provided expertise for technical assistance for building capacities for gender integration and leadership within over 100 organizations, including UN agencies, research organizations, government agencies and women’s grassroots organizations.
We have also delivered organizational assessments and evaluation; research; advocacy and thought leadership and coordination of events. WOCAN has managed projects, large and small, for UN, international donor agencies and multi-lateral development banks, and partnered with commercial organizations managing large projects.
WOCAN created the W+ ™ Standard (www.wplus.org) to measure women’s empowerment; since 2014, it has been applied to projects in Nepal, Indonesia, Guatemala, Cambodia, Morocco, South Africa and Vietnam. In 2016, WOCAN received UNFCCC’s Momentum for Change Women for Results award for the W+ Standard. www.wocan.org
About ACWA Power
ACWA Power is a developer, investor and operator of a portfolio of power generation and desalinated water production plants currently with presence in 10 countries including in the Middle East and North Africa, Southern Africa and South East Asia regions. ACWA Power’s portfolio, with an investment value in excess of USD 30 billion, can generate 27+ GW of power and produce 3 million m3 /day of desalinated water to be mostly delivered on a bulk basis to state utilities and industrial majors on long term off-take contracts under Public-Private-Partnership, Concession and Utility Services Outsourcing models.
ACWA Power is owned by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Public Pensions Agency, the International Finance Corporation (a member of the World Bank Group), and seven Saudi conglomerates
ACWA Power pursues a mission to reliably deliver electricity and desalinated water with the most effective cost , thereby contributing to the social and economic development of the communities and countries it invests in and serves.
ACWA Power strives to achieve success by adhering to the values of Safety, People and Performance in operating its business. www.acwapower.com