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Case study: How Scatec Solar fights corruption

Scatec Solar develops, builds, operates, and owns solar power plants that generate clean and reliable electricity across the globe, delivering competitive and sustainable solar energy. Scatec Solar seeks to be a trusted business partner and maintains a zero-tolerance principle for bribery and corruption  Tweet This!, continuously striving to maintain high ethical standards.

This case study is based on the 2018 Sustainability Report by Scatec Solar published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate what CSR/ ESG/ sustainability reporting done responsibly means. Essentially, it means: a) identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment, economy and society, and b) measuring, managing and changing.

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Scatec Solar aspires to build a culture that values honesty, integrity, and transparency, making sure that its own high standards of anti-corruption behaviour are clearly reflected in contracts with its partners. In order to fight corruption Scatec Solar took action to:

  • carry out corruption risk assessments
  • provide reporting channels
  • offer anti-corruption training

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2018 Sustainability Report Scatec Solar identified a range of material issues, such as human rights, security and emergency preparedness, community engagement, human capital development, contractor safety and monitoring. Among these, fighting corruption stands out as a key material issue for Scatec Solar.

Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards              

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:

“The reporting organization shall identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations and interests.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.

Key stakeholder groups Scatec Solar engages with:

Stakeholder Group
National governments and customers
Local governments and communities
Co-investors and partners
Employees
Financing partners
Suppliers
Shareholders
Norwegian government
Contractors
NGOs

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To identify and prioritise material topics Scatec Solar carried out a survey among internal stakeholders and interviews with a range of key external stakeholders who included project partners, shareholders, lenders, and experts in the sustainability field.

What actions were taken by Scatec Solar to fight corruption?

In its 2018 Sustainability Report Scatec Solar reports that it took the following actions for fighting corruption:

  • Carrying out corruption risk assessments
  • Scatec Solar undertakes thorough assessments of the potential host country, region, and partners before it decides to conduct its business and always performs due diligence of potential partners and suppliers through a screening process, to identify heightened risks or blacklisted individuals and organisations. This effort includes using renowned third-party international risk specialists to conduct background checks of business partners and individuals. In 2018, all operations, including projects and business partners of Scatec Solar, were assessed for risks related to corruption. Projects moving from opportunity, development, and structuring to the delivery and power-production phases, are assessed through Decision Gates. There are four Decisions Gates with clear criteria and requirements related to screening, compliance, and risks of corruption. During 2018, all projects passing Decision Gate 3 were screened for risks related to corruption: three projects in Ukraine, one project in Argentina, and three projects in South Africa.
  • Providing reporting channels
  • During 2018, Scatec Solar worked to make its internal reporting channels more accessible to employees. This work involved setting up a new platform on its Company intranet that compiles all reporting channels into one channel. Scatec Solar registered a total of four reported incidents through its whistleblower channel, of which three related to corruption and one related to discrimination. The investigation of the three concerns related to corruption did not result in any confirmed incidents of corruption. Scatec Solar’s whistleblower function is available to all employees, suppliers, partners, and clients through internal channels and the corporate website. The mechanism includes a hotline available 24/7 operated by a neutral third party and all whistleblowers have the option to be anonymous.
  • Offering anti-corruption training
  • Scatec Solar provides mandatory anti-corruption training for all employees, offered quarterly, which increases the availability of the course and encourages new and existing employees to update their knowledge, whenever necessary. Additionally, Scatec Solar organises specific anti-corruption and integrity due diligence training for particularly exposed business units, including its Supply Chain and Business Development units.

Which GRI Standards and corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been addressed?

The GRI Standards addressed in this case are:

1) Disclosure 205-1 Operations assessed for risks related to corruption

2) Disclosure 205-3 Confirmed incidents of corruption and actions taken

 

Disclosure 205-1 Operations assessed for risks related to corruption corresponds to:

  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
  • Business theme: Anti-corruption

 Disclosure 205-3 Confirmed incidents of corruption and actions taken corresponds to:

  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
  • Business theme: Anti-corruption

 

80% of the world’s 250 largest companies report in accordance with the GRI Standards

SustainCase was primarily created to demonstrate, through case studies, the importance of dealing with a company’s most important impacts in a structured way, with use of the GRI Standards. To show how today’s best-run companies are achieving economic, social and environmental success – and how you can too.

Research by well-recognised institutions is clearly proving that responsible companies can look to the future with optimism.



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References:

1) This case study is based on published information by Scatec Solar, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original, please revert to the original on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database at the link:

http://database.globalreporting.org/

2) https://www.globalreporting.org/standards/gri-standards-download-center/

Note to Scatec Solar: With each case study we send out an email requesting a comment on this case study. If you have not received such an email please contact us.

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