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.
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...