Each year, Innergex provides thousands of dollars in college and university scholarships for students from the communities where it operates. Today, these scholarships are an integral component of a project’s impact and benefits agreement, a formal prerequisite to any development done in cooperation with First Nations. The Company considers these to be an excellent way of sharing the socio-economic benefits of its activities, which flows from its desire to behave responsibly and sustainably.
Of course, the socio-economic benefits of Innergex’s projects can take many forms: jobs created during construction, royalties paid to administrative organizations, support for community events, and so on. Generally, they tend to benefit the community as a whole. The special thing about scholarships, both for the Company and for community leaders, is that they benefit individual members of the community in a direct and permanent manner.
For young recipients, scholarships can open the door to higher education, a value-added job, and greater independence. They establish a very strong and direct connection between the project and the people involved.
“Scholarships and bursaries are a small but very important component of our impact and benefits agreements, because they really drill down the benefits to the individual level. They create opportunity for our youth and really make a difference in their lives.”
Curt Walker, Chief Administrative Officer of the Lil’wat Nation,
Note that education is one of the five sectors Innergex specifically targets in its donations and sponsorship policy, the others being the environment and sustainable development, the economic development of local communities and First Nations, community projects, and sports and health.