Since our earliest days, BlueWave has recognized an intrinsic link between environmental justice and social justice. Today, in the wake of the murder of another Black person by U.S. authorities, we would like to unequivocally reiterate our dedication to these causes. George Floyd was murdered, and we must be bold in acknowledging his death for what it was: a murder resulting from an enduring and insidiously racist system that has persisted for hundreds of years in our country. A murder that we have seen before and we will see again so long as we fail to take substantial and meaningful action to bring about racial justice.
We stand resolutely in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and Black communities who continue to face the violence of racial injustice and systemic racism. We march alongside the protestors condemning the oppression, white supremacy, and police brutality that disproportionately victimizes so many Black citizens. We lend our voices to the demand for justice for those whose lives have been taken because of the color of their skin—Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Sandra Bland, George Mann, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks, and too many more.
BlueWave understands that our fight for environmental justice is also very much a fight for social justice. We know that climate issues such as pollution, rising temperatures, severe weather events, and novel public health crises take a disproportionate toll on Black, brown, and indigenous people of color. It is imperative that as a business and as an industry we never forget that our fight to create a clean energy future cannot and will not be achieved unless we work to create a just future as well. As a B Corporation, this mission is part of our charter. As humans, it is our duty.
We are a small company, limited in the impact we can make. But we also know that to heal without justice is to acclimate to injustice. As Robert Kennedy so eloquently said in his Day of Affirmation Address at the University of Cape Town 54 years ago this month, “Each time a man stands up for an ideal or acts to improve the lot of others or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest wall of oppression and resistance.”
BlueWave strives to be one of those “sources of energy and daring” in all we do. That is why over the last few weeks our Social Impact Committee has created an action plan and taken the initial steps for us to do our part in helping to dismantle systemic racism and injustice. This plan establishes a three-pronged approach for taking action within our company, our communities, and our industry.
BlueWave's Anti-Racist Action Plan:
Our current team, including our senior leadership team, does not reflect the racial diversity of our society. We are committed to changing that and providing enhanced support for retention and career growth within our organization for BIPOC. Toward that end we are:
- Establishing an Anti-Racism Advisory Board to help set the course, guide us as we progress, and to hold us accountable for change.
- Taking immediate action to examine our hiring processes, pay equity, retention programs, professional training programs, and career trajectories to better recruit outstanding BIPOC and encourage, enable, and reward their success.
- Introducing cross-company anti-racist training and transformational resources to examine our own unconscious bias.
- Starting this Friday, June 19th, we are recognizing Juneteenth as an annual firm holiday and advocating for making that important day in our nation’s history, a national day of remembrance and celebration.
- Providing financial support to Black Lives Matter, Color of Change, and other organizations promoting racial justice.
- Matching all employee donations to the organizations of their choice.
Community Solar is a core element of our business and, for us, it is more than simply providing savings and the ability to engage in environmental action for our customers. It is about empowering entire communities to join forces to control their energy future. We are taking these initial actions to enhance this commitment to our communities:
- Bolstering our volunteerism, mentorship, and financial support of organizations within the communities we serve that specifically fight for racial and economic justice.
- Continuing to provide 3 days of PTO a year for employees to volunteer in a community we serve, with guidance for how and where these efforts can best support racial and economic justice.
- Encouraging our project investors to support innovative efforts designed to make solar energy accessible and affordable for low-income citizens and environmental justice communities.
- Tracking our supply chain to directly support BIPOC businesses–including everyone from those who provide our lunch supplies to the contractors who build our projects to those who manufacture our solar panels and energy storage equipment.
We are active members of the Northeast Clean Energy Council which at the beginning of this year identified the need for a more diverse clean energy workforce as a top priority. In addition to engaging in their action plan to assist our industry in becoming a model for diversity & inclusion, we are:
- Reviewing our own internal internship and mentorship programs as well as working with our peers to support similar programs that have the potential to provide greater opportunity for all races and genders to join our industry and become fellow warriors in the climate change battle.
For those of us who marched with others against systemic racism in the America of the 1960s, we cannot help but be deeply troubled that more than 50 years later, we still have not reached the vision of Dr. King’s immortal words, “Free at last, free at last; thank God Almighty free at last.” But, at the same time, we are heartened that a new generation has embraced the cause so fiercely and mobilized for action so quickly. BlueWave’s founders are very proud that so many of our colleagues represent the best of that next generation and that they have stepped forward with clear purpose and firm conviction so that BlueWave too can send out our “ripple of hope.”
The time is now.