This semester in ENVS 295, we broke into groups to begin building partnerships with organizations in the local Portland area that emphasize the use of engagement. One of the many organizations we are collaborating with on a potential project is Green Empowerment. Green Empowerment is a global organization that collaborates with rural communities on sustainable projects surrounding renewable energy, clean water, sanitation, etc. These projects are a collaboration with the communities to ensure long-term economic and environmental sustainability. Green Empowerment envisions an equitable world where everyone has access to clean water, renewable energy, and a healthy environment to live in.
To help carry out these projects, there are many stakeholders involved in this process. A stakeholder can be defined as “any group of people organised, who share a common interest or stake in a particular issue or system”(Luyet et. al, 2012). It is very important to identify key stakeholders in any type of project because many can get overlooked, especially the underrepresented in society. Each stakeholder plays an important role in engagement, as each is able to participate.
A Framework to Implement Stakeholder Participation in Environmental Projects describes the process of stakeholder identification, which begins with brainstorming a list of possible stakeholders then passing on the list to one of the previously listed stakeholders. This is called the snowball technique and is balanced by using multiple entry points” (Luyet et. al, 2012). Stakeholder characterization’s role in the process is to identify the strengths or benefits each stakeholder will bring to the project. Stakeholders are also allowed varying degrees of involvement:
- Information: explanation of the project to the stakeholders
- Consultation: collection of stakeholder suggestions
- Collaboration: consider their input when making decisions to do with the project
- Co-decision: cooperation with stakeholders towards an agreement for solution and implementation
- Empowerment: delegation of decision-making over project development and implementation to the stakeholders (Luyet et. al, 2012).
Different people=Different types of stakeholders
It is key to have diverse stakeholders because they provide their unique sides in the conversation towards action. Public Opinion and the Environment: The Nine Types of Americans describes Americans’ environmental attitudes and reveals that the American public is not separated into two polarized pro- and anti- environment groups. This study identifies nine different types of Americans and each has different understandings on environmental issues.
The Hidden Tribes of America quiz uses specifically designed questions to identify people’s core beliefs and then groups them with people that share similar beliefs. This study identified seven groups of people with varying political views. Core values play a large role in someone’s actions or involvement as a stakeholder.
There are many different stakeholders involved with Green Empowerment. A few include; volunteers, the board of directors, beneficiaries, associate board, etc. One of the most important stakeholders are the communities Green Empowerment works with overseas (the beneficiaries). These communities are in developing countries and are often overlooked. Green Empowerment recognizes the people in these communities as essential stakeholders in the success of the project, as the community leaders will be given training and leadership on and over making the project sustainable. Green Empowerment works with regional stakeholders that work in the renewable energy fields in their partnership with the local communities.
Luyet, Vincent, Rodolphe Schaepfer, Marc B. Parlange, and Alexandre Buttler. 2012. “A Framework to Implement Stakeholder Participation in Environmental Projects.” Journal of Environmental Management.111: 213-219. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2012.06.026
Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. 2015 .”Public Opinion and the Environment: The Nine Types of Americans.”http://www.apnorc.org/projects/Pages/american-attitudes-about-global-warming-and-energy-policy.aspx
Hawkins, Stephen, Daniel Yudkin, Miriam Juan-Torres, and Tim Dixon. 2018. “The Hidden Tribes of America.” More in Common.Accessed April 13, 2020. https://hiddentribes.us/