For the people at Innergex, sustainability isn’t just about what the company does – producing electricity from renewable energy sources – but about how it does it. It’s about producing electricity to meet today’s needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. From an environmental perspective, developing sustainably means harnessing the water, wind or sun in a way that avoids, minimizes, mitigates or compensates for any impact on the surrounding ecosystem… and possibly leaves the planet better off in the end. Ultimately, it’s about acting responsibly.
For more than 20 years, Innergex has earned a reputation for upholding the highest environmental standards. It has continuously striven to improve its assessment, monitoring, commitment-tracking, compliance and reporting practices, and in so doing has developed innovative best practices that eventually make their way into new regulations. It has made environmental sustainability the backbone of its development strategy, in the same way as it has made social acceptability the cornerstone.
In an industry that has some of the most stringent environmental regulations, it is difficult to go beyond the call of duty. Innergex remains keenly aware that its reputation depends in part on having well-designed and well-operated facilities, so compliance is a key focus of its environmental practices.
However, the company sets itself apart by integrating environmental considerations into the earliest stages of the development process. Engineering and environmental objectives are simultaneously integrated into the design of new projects in order to protect environmental values such as wildlife and wildlife habitat, fish and fish habitat, erosion protection, vegetation, as well as heritage (including archaeological and traditional use), health and social-value components. So when the project development team estimates the permitting and construction schedules, models long-term average electricity production levels, or calculates a budget, environmental factors are always part of the process. In turn, this has enabled the company to strike a balance between engineering functionality, economic returns, social acceptability and environmental considerations, from project design onwards.
Innergex’s achievements on the environmental front are the work of a team of dedicated environmental experts consisting of biologists, environmental engineers and specialists in key areas such as habitat reconstruction and environmental permitting and monitoring: people who care about doing things right. “These people decide to work at Innergex because they genuinely care for the environment, and they firmly believe that renewable energy is the best way forward for our planet. Honouring the environment is integral to us, and we are fortunate to have a knowledgeable and committed team through which Innergex maintains the highest environmental standards year after year”, says Matt Kennedy, Vice-President – Environment, Western Region.