The rise of renewables brings great promise for our ability to tackle climate change. The scaling of the industry is absolutely vital to our future. To scale to its full potential, renewable energy companies will need to pay full attention to the environmental and societal impacts throughout their value-chains. These impacts - many of which are only just coming to light - include land degradation, effects upon biodiversity, responsible waste management from production and product use and disposal, respect for human rights including land rights, indigenous peoples rights, and worker’s rights(1). Other critical actors in the renewable energy system - investors, procurers and policy-makers - will need to encourage and support such efforts too so that renewables can play their part in securing an ecologically-safe and socially-just world for current and future generations. The industry needs to rise to the challenge of identifying, committing to and operationalising a set of norms that will shape sustainable, resilient business models which unequivocally enable a just transition to a low carbon future in a systemic way.

The Net Positive Renewable Energy initiative engages the renewables sector and the system to meet this challenge in the Asia-Pacific region where there is the fastest growth in renewable energy generation and where the above-mentioned impacts are emerging. Through a futures-led process, the initiative brings together the relevant actors in the system to collectively inquire into and establish an understanding of:

  • The current state of environmental, societal and governance (ESG) due diligence in select renewable energy technologies such as large-scale solar, wind and mid-sized hydropower;
  • The barriers in the current system that prevent effective ESG integration into business models and governance, and the implications of inaction over time; and
  • The opportunities for systems-change - including mindsets and behavioural changes - that will enable the sector to be a net positive force in achieving a sustainable future.

Between 2020 and 2022, we will conduct three inquiries in Asia with the aim of articulating a new set of environmental and societal norms for the sector to operate to, along with a time-bound action plan that identifies unilateral and collective interventions by participants that will catalyse a shift in the system. The first will take place in India in 2020 in partnership with the World Resources Institute India and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).

Inquiry participants

Each national inquiry will involve a select number of senior representatives of renewable energy companies, investment firms/ entities and major procurers of renewable energy in the core inquiry group. There will also be representation from other key actors in the system, specifically public policymakers and civil society. These participants will be selected through a rigorous research process to ensure that we have the right experience and expertise to bring together a mix of individuals to deliver thought leadership on this emerging issue. As an inquiry participant, you will be involved in understanding the landscape and shaping the visionary principles by joining workshops and decision-making meetings. Contact us if you are an investor or buyer of renewable energy in Asia with an interest in the initiative.

Knowledge Partners

Are you already looking into the impacts of scaling renewable energy in Asia? We are inviting organisations with insights to contribute to understanding the landscape in the research phase and beyond. Contributions can be simply through providing reports and resources or can be more collaborative through the joining of research sensemaking sessions.

Funding Partners

We are inviting organisations with a strong interest in accelerating the renewable energy transition in an ecologically safe and socially just way to financially support the NPRE initiative. This support will be dedicated to researching and diagnosing the system, designing and implementing the futures-led process, facilitating the collaboration amongst the participants and communicating the findings and thought-leadership generated by the inquiries.

For more information or to register your interest, get in touch with Saksham Nijhawan at [email protected]

Who’s involved