NextEnergy Solar Fund has a combined installed power capacity of 865MW. Image: NESF.

NextEnergy Solar Fund (NESF) has today published its first independent sustainability report, detailing its environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives and approach to biodiversity.

With a combined installed power capacity of 865MW which includes 100 operating solar assets, the specialist solar and energy storage impact fund’s sustainability report provides insight into the sustainability journey at NESF. The aim of the report is to show the company’s ESG performance over the financial year 2021/22 and detail how NESF will build its future sustainability strategy.

In the report, NESF said it will take a 360° approach to sustainability, building its strategy around the three core pillars of NESFs Sustainability Framework: climate change, biodiversity and human rights.

The report states that NESF will implement a “bottom-up approach” to its framework. This will be done by measuring its “impact on the three pillars by cross-referring the 17 UN SDGs and their respective targets”. Case studies are shared in the report to show how NESF currently fulfils its Sustainability Framework, alongside details as to how the strategy will develop. 

The Solar Stewardship Initiative – co-launched last month by Solar Energy UK – is also discussed in the report, exploring how the industry-wide project will use supply chain due diligence and Code of Conduct for Suppliers with the aim of developing transparency in the manufacturing process of solar products. This follows the UK’s Foreign Affairs Committee ban on the import of solar panels from Xinjiang Province, China due to forced labour allegations.

Chairman of NextEnergy Solar Fund Kevin Lyon said the report “is part of our progressive environmental, social and governance strategy to increase transparency and drive forward our ambitious best practice reporting to exceed stakeholder and market expectations”.

NESF has also recently established an ESG committee to contribute to the fund’s sustainability agenda and states that the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals will act as reference points for NESF’s ESG goals.

This report follows NEFC’s recent acquisition of a “strategic portfolio” of battery storage development projects late last month.