Actions speak louder than words, so we’ve embraced guidelines and established processes that give us a practical path toward making a tangible difference. Guiding Leyline’s commitment is our Statement on Equity, published in the transformative summer of 2020.
Statement on Equity
We, the individuals who make up Leyline Renewable Capital, have found ourselves galvanized as millions of citizens have taken to the streets to protest the violent murders of countless Black men, women, and children at the hands of unjust systems of power – and to demand change that is long overdue. Some of us have participated in the protests. Yet it is clear to all of us that we benefit from the same unjust systems that we denounce. Renewable energy, as one example of structural inequality, is an industry in which Black people are grossly underrepresented. We’ve pursued careers in this critical, impactful field without being accountable for how little we include voices from communities of color in its development.
As a company, Leyline Renewable Capital has been watching, listening, and reflecting – and is now taking action so that we are part of the meaningful, decisive change that the protests are calling for. We can easily say Black Lives Matter. Today we join with our local, national, and global communities in the hard work of making that statement a reality in our society.
As a point of beginning, Leyline is identifying specific areas in education, finance, and employment where we can contribute to systemic change. We will work to open more doors in renewable energy to Black students and professionals and other people of color. We commit to reporting publicly on a quarterly basis on the progress of our contributions to the solution. We call on our peers in renewable energy to do the same. Most importantly, we adopt a posture of humble service, willingly offering our personal, intellectual, and capital resources, but also agreeing to be led in their use by the Black institutions, communities, and individuals we seek to serve.
We explicitly acknowledge we are operating within unjust systems of power and are implementing internal processes to remove the stain of systemic racism and prevent its influence moving forward. We seek opportunities to open doors for those who are routinely excluded from economic and social power, including the renewable energy revolution, such as Black students and professionals, as well as other people of color and gender-diverse individuals.
The Leyline Addressing Racism (LAR) working group, established in June 2020, identified the areas where we can best contribute to systemic change.
We work to introduce renewable energy as a viable career sector to people of color, who have been historically underrepresented the industry. By providing a general understanding of renewables as well as more in-depth instruction on the various aspects of the industry including engineering, finance, law, public policy and environmental science, we can reach, educate and inspire more students, ultimately increase the number of BIPOC candidates for future employment.
As a part of this effort, Leyline created the REEAL program— a 27-week rotational internship designed to give motivated and hardworking undergraduate students the opportunity to take their classroom learning into the real world. Our student ex/intern will gain valuable insight into and direct experience in the many facets of the renewable energy industry and Leyline’s financing for green energy projects. Our vision is to develop future professionals in renewable energy who have a broad and integrated understanding of this critical field and are inspired to lead its continued impact.
Leyline continuously reviews our hiring tools – from our job descriptions, and where we post openings to the ways we evaluate resumes and conduct interviews – to evaluate whether they may inadvertently exclude well-qualified, diverse applicants. For this reason, Leyline completed a full revision of its hiring policy, with a focus on integration of best JEDI practices.
Just as important, we are examining our own inherent biases and habits and learning how to recognize and reduce their effect by developing new employment behaviors that encourage candidates to share their diverse experiences. We seek employees and partners with a range of perspectives and backgrounds who will help our company thrive. As we incorporate more inclusive recruitment tools and establish a more open-minded hiring environment, we expect to see more BIPOC people connecting to job openings at Leyline.
To aid in these efforts, Leyline partners with Renewables Forward, an initiative and open resource to inspire greater diversity, equity and inclusion in the renewable and clean energy industry. And to hold us accountable to our promises, we created permanent Justice Equity Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) Manager and a Director of People and Culture positions within the company. Together, these two roles seek to create and implement policies that establish a thriving and inclusive company environment.
We seek opportunities for Leyline’s financial capital and development expertise to be a changemaker. Leyline partners with nonprofits and financing peers to invest in projects that promote equitable access to renewable energy. We will utilize our skills to simplify project financing, streamline the daunting development process, and overcome execution hurdles to help communities and nonprofits develop worthwhile projects in their neighborhoods.
In 2022, Leyline announced a deposit with M&F Bank, the only minority-owned bank and community development financial institution in North Carolina. The deposit made to M&F Bank’s Empower Share Class Fund, supports underserved communities through lending, investment in technology and financial literacy programs.
We hold ourselves accountable using the broadly accepted Environmental Social Governance (ESG) criteria, which serve as markers for tracking how well an organization makes progress across a range of environmental, social and governance categories. Investors use ESG criteria when weighing where to put their money.
Every quarter, along with reporting on our anti-racism work, we measure ourselves against several ESG targets including: