Investing in a sustainable Bermuda
If I have learnt anything over the past several decades of working with people and communities to build Algonquin Power & Utilities Corporation, it is that “doing the right thing” is non-negotiable when it comes to how a company such as ours operates.
We provide essential services to more than 800,000 customers across multiples states, provinces and countries — customers who count on us, every day, to keep the water flowing, the lights on, and their homes heated or cooled.
I also know that beyond the “doing”, it is essential that we measure our efforts and openly communicate our results. Since we announced the agreement for Algonquin to purchase Ascendant Group Limited and, indirectly, Bermuda Electric Light Company Limited — and continue to work to obtain the various approvals required for the transaction to complete — we have been working hard to understand what is most important to Bermudians when it comes to their electricity provider, and how we can support the island in evolving to a more sustainable energy model.
Sustainability is at the core of how we think and operate, and we are very excited to bring that to Bermuda.
One way we plan to support our commitment to a more sustainable Bermuda is through investing $5 million in the to-be-established Sustainable Bermuda Foundation.
We look forward to working with the Minister of Home Affairs, the Department of Energy and Belco on the most effective way to deploy these funds to help Bermuda advance its renewable energy, conservation and sustainability objectives.
The mission and objectives of the foundation will be guided by its stakeholders and will include initiatives such as a study on the future of sustainable energy in Bermuda, equal-opportunity access to renewables to ensure access to those who may not be otherwise able to afford such an investment, school education programmes focused on conservation and renewables, and more.
Algonquin looks forward to working collaboratively with the foundation's stakeholders to deploy the funds in a way that enables the delivery of the most high-impact renewable energy and sustainability initiatives for the people of Bermuda.
We want to ensure this investment has the maximum impact and greatest return on investment to ensure a sustainable-energy future for the island. And there is nothing more impactful than local knowledge and expertise to achieve this goal.
When we invest in communities, we do so with a long-term outlook. Having met some of the great people of Bermuda and the team at Ascendant Group, it is clear we can achieve a mutually beneficial relationship by working together and learning from each other.
Reporting on relevant environmental, social and governance metrics provides a way to demonstrate how we are making positive change. Sustainability is, and always has been, the foundation of our growth strategy and a guiding principle governing how we plan, evaluate and conduct our business.
Our commitment to sustainability has been recognised by the Corporate Knights 2020 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World rankings in which we were ranked No 10 overall.
We were the highest-ranking electric utilities company — an achievement that reflects the passion and dedication of all our employees and something of which they can be proud.
I encourage everyone to learn more about our commitments to sustainability by reading our comprehensive 2019 Sustainability Report, “Shaping our Common Future”, which may be found on our website at www.algonquinpower.com and outlines everything we have achieved and plan to achieve in the coming years.
Bermuda is a unique and dynamic country and we are excited by the possibility of becoming part of your future.
• Ian Robertson is the chief executive of Algonquin Power & Utilities Corporation