By Jan Fourie Executive Vice President: Sub-Saharan Africa Scatec
As the world grapples with the urgency of climate change, we’re seeing a dramatic global shift towards renewable energy. Scatec, a global player in the renewable energy industry, is part of the global push towards ambitious, science-based emissions reduction targets.
Scatec’s commitment to reducing absolute scope 1 GHG emissions by 95% by 2030 and achieving net zero emissions across the company’s value chain by 2040 is a testament to our dedication to environmental sustainability. This commitment isn’t merely a statement of intent. The company’s climate targets have received approval from the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), aligning Scatec’s efforts with the latest climate science from the IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change).
In South Africa, we’ve initiated numerous projects under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme (REIPPPP), contributing towards a more sustainable energy grid. As a major player in the renewables space, Scatec’s role extends beyond simply providing renewable energy solutions. We’re proud to be part of the global effort to mitigate the devastating impacts of climate change and drive the world towards a more sustainable, low-carbon future.
Our strategy integrates sustainability into all areas of our business and value chain, with dedicated sustainability resources, both at the project and corporate level, involved in all project phases for long term approach and impact.
Scatec contributes to the global transition to a low carbon society through its renewable energy generation. The new technology and installations necessary for this transformation also causes climate impacts through production and operation of components as well as land use changes from solar, wind and hydro projects.
We aim to limit the climate impacts in our value chain. We’ve made strides in integrating climate requirements into existing processes, as well as in identifying and analysing emission reduction activities across our existing project portfolio. This commitment is especially salient at our projects and plants in South Africa, where we are the leading solar player with 448 MW in operation. We are championing positive change for the entire industry, demonstrating that ambitious, science-based emissions reduction targets are not only feasible but also essential in our collective quest for a sustainable future.
Scatec’s approach to sustainability is comprehensive, extending beyond environmental considerations to include socio-economic aspects. By having an active presence through our projects for up to 25 years, a unique opportunity exists to positively impact our local neighbours within each phase of a project. By working closely with our host communities, we aim to create a lasting positive impact. In South Africa, we’ve contributed to job creation, skills development, and socio-economic growth.
Our role within these communities is not simply about compliance or adherence to regulations. Rather, we see ourselves as conscientious custodians, integral to the social fabric of these communities for decades to come. The fates of Scatec and our host communities are intertwined, and we believe that thriving, sustainable communities are crucial for the social development of our people and our success as a company.
Renewables must be deployed with respect for nature, social inclusion and in close cooperation with broader society. The impact of renewable power plants on biodiversity and local communities needs to be understood and minimised and economic development and job creation is essential for renewable deployment to gain support. We consider the social and economic impacts of our actions, alongside environmental considerations.
We are committed to being a trusted business partner, managing our social and environmental impact, and contributing to local value creation. Our stakeholder engagement is extensive, ranging from co-investors and partners to local communities, and we maintain an open channel for grievances to ensure that any concerns are addressed promptly and effectively. These measures form an integral part of our commitment to delivering competitive and sustainable renewable energy.
As the world gears up for COP28 later this year, we remain committed to discussing the overall climate crisis. Locally we’ve spearheaded conversations about the pivotal of role renewable energy, within the context of SA’s just energy transition, and its proposed tech-agnostic mixed energy landscape. This integration of sustainability is not limited to our own operations. It extends into our development and procurement processes, ensuring that every step we take is grounded in sustainability.
Our actions in South Africa reflect part of a global industry commitment. While there have been challenges – for example the recent controversies around newly released Interim Grid Capacity Allocation Rules (IGCAR) – our efforts to consolidate our strategies and engage key stakeholders aim to ensure the rapid connection of renewable energy projects to the grid.
In conclusion, as we move from pledges to implementation, we’ll continue to collaborate with various stakeholders and industry participants, in a concerted effort to bring about a sustainable, low-carbon future. Our work today is shaping the future of renewable energy, ensuring that we not only meet the demands of the present but also secure a sustainable, greener world for our children and successors.