DEIA & Community Benefits
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA)
The RTC supports our members, and sponsors, as well as policymakers and other decision-makers, on how to ensure that the renewable thermal transition is just, equitable, inclusive, and accessible. The RTC will advance a thermal energy transition guided by these values by learning from and partnering with a diverse group of stakeholders—including communities of color, environmental justice advocates, and the disability rights community. The RTC also works to incorporate DEIA across its internal practices to create a culture reflective of these values.
The RTC has adopted a Listen, Learn, Act, and Advocate framework that prioritizes:
- Listening to the expertise of key stakeholders, including workers in transition, environmental justice advocates and inclusion advocates.
- Learning about the impact of industrial practices on workers and disadvantaged communities, and how to increase and share the benefits of the renewable thermal transition.
- Acting to better incorporate diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility best practices into renewable thermal energy work.
- Advocating through policymaker education and engagement for a just and inclusive thermal transition, and working with experts and stakeholders to incorporate this important lens into policy.
What is the RTC doing?
Prioritizing Community Benefits
In October 2023, the RTC launched its Community Benefits Advisory Board (CBAB) to advance social, environmental, and economic co-benefits for workers and communities through the renewable thermal energy transition. The CBAB supports RTC members, sponsors, and staff with advice and guidance in building relationships with community and worker stakeholders.
CBAB members come from varied backgrounds—community-based organizations, academia, non-profit, public sector, philanthropy, and the private sector—and bring deep expertise and experience from the fields of clean energy, environmental and climate justice, labor and workforce development, racial and gender equity, and industrial decarbonization. The CBAB will work with RTC staff and engage in consultation with the soon-to-be-launched RTC Community Benefits Working Group.
CBAB members include:
- Trina Mallik, Vice President of Programs, Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC)
- Jerome Shabazz, Executive Director, Overbrook Environmental Education Center
- Eddie Guerra, Vice-President, Rizzo International
- Sacha-Rose Phillips, Program Officer, McKnight Foundation
- Alexa White, Co-founder, AYA Institute
- Thom Kay, Program Manager, BlueGreen Alliance
Selected materials and webinars
Justice40 Opportunity Assessment
The Biden Administration’s Justice40 initiative requires that 40% of the support and funding from many government programs go towards communities negatively impacted by environmental and social factors. This mapping analysis outlines how many and which RTC member facilities may be eligible for support from programs covered by Justice40. This assessment illuminated the opportunity for the RTC to help connect members with the policy supports available and simultaneously advance company sustainability goals, national emissions targets, and justice objectives.
Section 48C / Pilot Projects Workshop
In May 2023, the RTC hosted workshops to support RTC Members’ industrial decarbonization pilot projects, especially those which could receive funding from Section 48C federal tax credits. The workshops focused heavily on best practices for compiling community benefits plans and concept papers. They also outlined Sec. 48C project requirement and an RTC mapping analysis of energy communities, and involved curated, 1:1 networking between RTC members and sponsors.