ELSA is the Earning Local Support Academy, a project by AstonECO Management. The transition towards renewable energy is a pressing agenda globally and nationally, and Ireland stands at a pivotal juncture in its journey towards energy security and decarbonization. Despite the positive strides, communities at the grassroots level often find themselves at odds with developers, feeling that their concerns and aspirations are being sidelined. The ELSA project is working to address this.
The AA1000SES is a widely recognized and respected framework developed by an international and diverse team of sustainability experts to guide organisations in effectively engaging with their stakeholders in the context of sustainability, corporate social responsibility, stakeholder relations and community development.
A summary of the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Meaningful Stakeholder Engagement in the Extractive Sector
The OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Meaningful Stakeholder Engagement in the Extractive Sector is a set of guidelines developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to assist companies in effectively engaging with their stakeholders, which is vital for responsible and sustainable operations in the extractive sector.
How to improve stakeholder engagement: Reviewing OECD guidelines to enhance community relations for wind energy developers and other extractive industries
The OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Meaningful Stakeholder Engagement in the Extractive Sector provides recommendations to mining, oil, and gas enterprises on how to effectively engage with stakeholders in a transparent and accountable manner. The guidance was developed with input from various stakeholders and is supported by 46 adhering governments.
How to practice sustainable engagement and development for a brighter future: Reviewing the benefits of the Stakeholder Engagement Standard AA1000
Developed by a team of sustainability experts, the AA1000 Stakeholder Engagement Standard (2015) aims to provide organisations with a comprehensive framework for sustainable engagement and accountability. This influential standard guides organisations in effectively involving stakeholders and taking responsibility for their actions.
At the core of the Earning Local Support Academy (ELSA) are a new mindset, a new set of skills and the opportunity to create a successful, inclusive and sustainable future for everybody. ELSA does that through a process called Smart Engagement which delivers Smart Projects: projects that are financially successful, technically sound, environmentally compatible and socially supported. Projects that are wanted by all stakeholders.
Renewable energy is quickly becoming part of our lives and the landscape we live in. This means many lives are directly being impacted by renewable energy developments and more and more will be in the future. In a growing number of cases these developments get rejected by the host communities, by the people who will have to live with the development. The reason for this is often miscommunication and a lack of proper engagement. ELSA will provide the tools and support to build a bridge between the developer and the members of the host community.
Many developers see early community engagement as a risk mitigation tool to prevent opposition later, so as to protect their larger investment. However, the process required to earn local support, when conducted properly, offers much more than just ‘pain management’. It offers a range of benefits for both the community and the developer.
Community development is often seen as a ‘soft term’. On the Loop Head peninsula it is not. It is part of the core business to ensure a great place to be today; and a wonderful place to be also for the next generation. In 2020, with the news being dominated by Covid, the Loop Head communities came together to address a simple question...
LEAP International Class Report 1: A leap towards energy sustainability for communities on the Loop Head Peninsula
This report was compiled from research during February 2020 by the post graduate students of the International Class of the Flensburg University’s energy & development programme with help from partners within the Loop Head Energy Action Partnership (LEAP).
This report was compiled in 2021 by the post graduate students of the International Class of the Flensburg University’s energy & development programme with help from partners within the Loop Head Energy Action Partnership (LEAP).
LEAP International Class Report 3: Towards Sustainable Energy: A Roadmap for Residential Buildings at Loop Head
This report was compiled from research during January & February 2022 by the post graduate students of the International Class of the Flensburg University’s energy & development programme with help from partners within the Loop Head Energy Action Partnership (LEAP).
Leading on from the creation of the Loop Head Energy Action Partnership (LEAP) in early 2020 by local development organisations on the Loop, Flensburg University and AstonECO Management, a programme for LEAP is now nearly underway for 2021.
Without the right mindset, stakeholder engagement doesn’t work... Experienced project developers know that at the outset, project development is somewhat like an iceberg. A lot of the information we need is very much hidden under water. And the bit in sight at the top can often be misleading and therefor unstable. A strong foundation, which includes a Social Licence, needs to be built.
I have had a lecture in trust recently from a group of near-neighbours to an energy project. They knew I believed in both the project and the need to earn a Social Licence to operate. The project needed to be designed as a win-win for both the developer and the local community. We had built a decent level of trust together. But after a period away, the community used the term “trust” in a very different context...
Celebrating 10 years and 20 projects of successful outcomes through smart stakeholder engagement in over 10 countries
AstonECO turns 10! This celebration includes a big “THANK YOU!” to many people over the past decade. Raising the bar and daring to develop joined-up-thinking projects, while designing out associated risks and addressing sustainability challenges. In doing so, projects gained their Social License to operate.