Earth Day 2022: Spotlight on Climate Justice
By Pivot Energy April 22 2022
Happy Earth Day from the team at Pivot! This month, B Lab, the organization behind the B Corp movement, is celebrating Earth Day by challenging businesses to reflect, learn, and take action to further the cause of climate justice. As a longtime B Corp, we hope to inspire and encourage the broader business community to consider the role they can play in combating climate change and addressing matters of climate justice.
In this blog, we explore some of the steps we take this month, and every month, to help the planet and promote climate justice. Read on for more.
Climate Justice Explained
Let’s start with the basics—what is climate justice and why is it important?
B Lab offers a very helpful, practical explainer of this. Climate justice is a way of recognizing that climate change is not caused by and does not impact all of us equally. Climate change is caused primarily by those with the most economic power and privilege. Yet those least responsible for climate change, such as historically marginalized groups and developing countries, are most likely to suffer the negative impacts of climate change. These communities, often called “frontline communities,” are already facing the most severe climate impacts right now and will continue to face them in the future.
Climate justice seeks to center and highlight the voices, needs, and leadership of these communities in the fight against climate change. This is important because it enables our actions to target the hardest-hit communities, maximizing our impact.
Pivot’s Approach to Climate Justice
For Pivot Energy, climate justice is crucial to the way we approach everything from project offtakers to hiring practices. We think business can be a force for good, and work hard to do right by our team and all the communities in which we operate.
Developing and operating projects that improve solar access for frontline communities is important to us. A key part of how we accomplish this is by developing community solar gardens with a designated portion of power generation specifically set aside for income-qualified households. The community solar subscription programs for these income-qualified segments are designed to make affordable solar options more accessible for households who may otherwise face insurmountable obstacles when trying to go solar, such as high costs, credit score requirements, or home ownership requirements. One example of this is our ongoing efforts with Energy Outreach Colorado, a nonprofit dedicated to helping Coloradans struggling to afford their energy needs.
These households are the ones most hurt by rising electricity prices and often face disproportionate impacts associated with pollution from nearby fossil fuel activities. In fact, the American Lung Association reports that lower income, nonwhite households face higher risks from air pollution.
Our workforce efforts are also a key part of our climate justice strategy. We have long valued diverse perspectives and the lived experiences of those in frontline communities in our hiring practices and beyond, but have recently introduced even more rigorous goals, standards, and additional transparency on this front with our recent adoption of an ESG strategy.
Working to support a more diverse and inclusive workforce helps to not only offer good jobs to those from disadvantaged communities, but also ensures the perspectives of those from frontline communities are directly represented in the solar sector. Pivot works with multiple organizations on this front to bring educational opportunities to students from disadvantaged backgrounds, including efforts surrounding our longtime partnership with the Pueblo Hispanic Education Foundation.
The Role of Business in Fighting Climate Change
With a business model and mission focused on accelerating the clean energy transition through solar, Pivot’s business operations intrinsically help to fight climate change. However, we know there is always room to expand our impact, and we constantly strive to do more.
Unfortunately, the broader business and industrial sector has even more room to improve its environmental footprint, as it accounts for the vast majority of emissions. Businesses are starting to make these improvements though, recognizing that by taking action they can be key players in the fight against climate change.
Many of these businesses are turning to companies like Pivot to go solar and decarbonize their operations. We view this as a key way we can multiply our impact as an environmentally minded solar company. With each new client we take on, we have the opportunity to help a business improve its own environmental footprint. This can help address a key part of climate justice—the largest emitters doing their part to make the largest emissions reductions.
How You Can Get Involved
The B Lab Earth Month toolkit offers a great place to start if you’re contemplating your next move to help further climate justice in your own work. Starting an inquiry about your company going solar can also be a great place to get started. Contact the team at Pivot today to start a conversation.