Today solar advocacy group SEIA has a new online learning center for members including a online program to help energy companies take a series of actionable steps towards diversity, equality, inclusion and justice (DEIJ).
The DEIJ Best Practices Certification Program provides training and support for companies to analyze their DEIJ practices and implement workplace solutions that enhance diversity. Participating companies collect points for the activities they complete and can earn Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum certification.
SEIA members also have access archived webinar content through the new learning center.
“As we reach our goals in the Solar+ decade, we will have countless opportunities to hire people from different backgrounds,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, SEIA president and CEO. “As a trade association for one of the fastest growing industries in America, we have long recognized the importance of incorporating DEIJ priorities into all aspects of our work. This program will enable companies to take tangible steps at DEIJ and ensure that the new opportunities we create are available to all Americans.”
The program encourages broad participation and rewards companies that are serious about creating a more inclusive work environment, serving their communities and attracting, hiring, promoting and retaining diverse talent.
“SEIA’s DEIJ Best Practices Certification Program is a groundbreaking initiative that demonstrates the solar industry’s commitment to driving lasting change,” said Laura Stern, co-CEO of Nautilus Solar Energy and chair of the working group behind the program. “It’s an essential tool to guide committed companies from intent to action.”
Designed by Diversity Certified Professionals, the program uses an evidence-based approach to improve diversity practices within companies. The program is also designed so that all companies, regardless of size, geographic footprint or resources, can achieve the highest levels of certification.
“SEIA continues to anchor the industry in the right direction,” said Maribelle Bostic, senior director of diversity, equality and inclusion at SunPower. “Creating a diverse solar workforce and supply chain is not a nice thing to have, it’s a necessity, but many organizations don’t have the resources or programs to show where to start. The DEIJ certification program provides a roadmap for any company, large or small, on their DEIJ journey and is an important step in ensuring everyone has a role in a more diverse future.”
Dozens of renewable energy companies have beta-tested the certification program and many organizations, including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy (WRISE), American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE), and Black Owned Solar Services (BOSS), contributed to the program.
In June 2020, SEIA and its members launched a board-level task force, the DEIJ Leadership Council to encourage the development of DEIJ-oriented policies and programs for the solar industry. This new program is part of the Council’s work, which also includes a supplier diversity database for the solar industry and a set of policy principles on environmental justice and justice.
“The solar industry is booming and leading organizations in this industry understand the importance of fostering a culture of inclusiveness and creating a more diverse workforce to meet this growth,” said Markus Achord, Head of Diversity , Inclusion & Belonging at Sunrun. “SEIA’s certification program provides the tools and best practices needed to help organizations evolve their efforts. Tailoring the program to meet each company’s goals and align with where they are on their DEIJ journey makes it a truly unique opportunity for any company to participate.”
News item from SEIA