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Corporate social responsibility

At Lightsource BP we take our role as market leader seriously. We are convinced that sustainability and social responsibility go hand in hand with success in the long term. We strive to do business in a transparent manner and implement our projects according to clear guidelines and processes. We are constantly working to improve our relationship with local communities, government and companies in order to create solar farms that contribute to a sustainable future for everyone.

Code of Conduct & Core Values

Safe and ethical behavior is an essential part of our corporate identity – our Core Values and Code of Conduct reflect our priorities and commitments towards maintaining safe, responsible and effective business practices. Our Core Values are as follows:

  • Safety – Creating and maintaining a long term, continuously safe and healthy environment is our top priority.
  • Integrity – We are a company of uncompromising integrity and business ethics, achieving our goals and implementing our strategic initiatives by doing the right thing, in an honest, fair, and responsible way, every time.
  • Respect – We respect the law, support universal human rights, protect the environment and benefit the communities where we work. On an internal level, we respect each employee’s individuality and privacy, and do not tolerate discrimination of any kind.
  • Sustainability – As a renewable energy company, we are part of the climate change solution. We’re also working to reduce our own carbon emissions by a meaningful amount each year.
  • Drive – We are the solar brand our communities and customers have come to count on. Our solutions-driven mindset allows us to stay ahead of the game in an ever-changing global energy landscape.

Download our Code of Conduct to read more about how we are applying our Core Values to everything we do.

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Our third-party counterparties play an important part in our strategy, which integrates our ambition to be the world’s leading global solar brand with our aspiration to be a good corporate citizen.  We will develop and strengthen relationships with counterparties who are committed to and act in accordance with this code of conduct, with emphasis on:

  • Health, safety, security and the environment
  • Avoidance of bribery and corruption, financial crimes, conflicts of interest and anti-competitive conduct
  • Legal compliance including international trade law
  • Respect for human rights and avoidance of modern slavery
  • Protecting confidential information
  • Accurate books and records, and support to investigations
  • Providing a workplace that does not discriminate, offers grievance processes and freedom of association
  • A compliance culture an ethics and compliance programme and
  • A culture that encourages people to speak out without fear of retaliation.

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Local support

We strongly believe in joint development, and that local support for the development of our solar farms is very important. Throughout the lifetime of a solar farm, we want to involve the local community in the process and work with them – during development we make a point to listen to the suggestions and wishes of all stakeholders. We organise information evenings, to inform the local residents of our plans and enter into a dialogue wherever possible. As far as we are able, we take differing opinions into account when developing and applying for a permit. Even after the construction of a solar farm, we maintain contact with local interest groups and use their input to improve our plans for development and location for new sites.

Where possible, we organise open days and tours for interested residents and local groups to tell them more about solar energy and solar farms. We also offer schools the opportunity to come and take a look at local solar farms, and offer support and resources for teaching about the production of sustainable energy.

Local participation

We firmly believe that solar farms should be assets for the communities that host them, so where possible we provide opportunities for local participation in our projects. This often takes the shape of bonds, or financial participation in the form of a sustainability fund. We provide a one-off payment to the fund (usually around €1,000 per MWp), to support sustainable initiatives in the local community. During the planning participation process we involve the local community in determining the focus of the fund.

We have a great deal of information on making homes and buildings sustainable, and are very willing to provide this info to schools, businesses and other entities. Developing solar farms makes electricity more sustainable, but there are a lot of other ways to reduce electricity consumption, and we can provide local communities with plans to tap this potential. We arrange for independent advisors to advise them on energy saving, and this can all be paid for by the sustainability fund.

Collectively purchasing rooftop solar

At Lightsource BP, one of our main advantages is scale. We order thousands of panels per year for all our projects worldwide, and because of this we have a very good relationship with producers of solar panels and can negotiate competitive prices. As an extension of the sustainability analyses carried out, in the context of the sustainability fund, we can offer local residents who are considering installing solar panels on their own roofs the opportunity to jointly purchase solar panels. They can thus benefit from a considerable discount of up to around 20% of the normal retail price. Given the proximity of a number of companies, we can even make the necessary investments for them to purchase the panels if the roofs of the company buildings are large enough.

Landscape integration

One of our main prioities is thorough integration of the solar farm into the local landscape. As a result, our solar farms not only have minimal impact on the environment but often increase the ecological value of the land. The construction of our solar farms start with an exploration of the landscape, soil and environmental research to gain insight into the possibilities for responsible construction and layout of the solar farm. During construction we try to minimise any negative impact on the environment, and after construction the land restored to its original state as far as possible. Our planting plans for the site always includes local species, so that the solar farm blends in better with the surroundings and the landscape.

Solar farms have minimal negative impacts on the local environment, and may even boost biodiversity in the area. We sow our solar farms with a wildflower and grass seed mix made up of local species that provide food and habitat for insects and birds, and because up to 60% of the surface area in Lightsource BP’s solar farms is covered with solar panels, small and poultry can also be kept in the grassy areas between the panels.

Holland Solar Guidelines

As a member of Holland Solar, the industry association for the solar energy sector in the Netherlands, Lightsource BP has actively contributed to the development of Guidelines for developers of solar farms. These Guidelines stem from problems with the development of the first solar farms in the Netherlands and the aggressive market approach by a number of parties. A number of standard process steps are formulated in the code of conduct and guidelines are given for project development, information provision and the involvement of governments and local residents.

Holland Solar is currently working on creating broad support for the Guidelines by also involving other industry organisations, governments and environmental associations in the drafting of the Guidelines. The Guidelines are expected to be officially presented in the fall. Membership of Holland Solar provides signatories to the Guidelines with a quality certificate and a guarantee to their customers that they are doing business in a correct and transparent way.