ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) criteria are of increasing interest to companies, their investors and other stakeholders. With growing concern about the ethical status of quoted companies, these standards are the central factors that measure the ethical impact and sustainability of investment in a company.
Environmental – RCEC strives to minimize our impact to the environment by complying with the Energy Transition Act’s renewable portfolio standards. In 2021, RCEC’s energy sales to their members were comprised of 38.3% of generation created from renewable resources. Our current requirement is 10% so we’re well above this minimum. In 2025, this changes to 40% and RCEC intends to reach this standard earlier than required.
RCEC strives to comply with state and federal environmental, health and safety regulations is varying areas, including polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) management and spill prevention, control and countermeasure plans. RCEC has an Avian Protection Plan in place that confirms our commitment to work cooperatively towards the protection of migratory birds. This includes a commitment by RCEC to balance its goal of providing reliable electrical service in a cost-effective manner with the regulatory requirements protecting avian species, as well as the need to obtain and comply with all necessary permits, monitor incidents of avian mortality, and make reasonable efforts to construct and alter infrastructure to reduce the incidence of avian mortality.
Social – RCEC supports and helps to improve the communities we serve and live in. The seventh Cooperative Principle, “Concern for Community”, says cooperatives work for the sustainable development of their communities through policies supported by the membership. The most important thing RCEC does for the communities in which we serve is provide them with safe, reliable and affordable electricity. This is the foundation of our rural economies we serve and it helps our members remain operational. In addition, RCEC provides loan funds through a revolving program that began back in 1994. RCEC’s Board of Trustees recognized that without a strong, local economy, the cooperative would not be able to maintain steady growth and continue to be successful. The Board directed management to utilize the rural development program through the United States Department of Agriculture. These loans and grants are geared toward projects which are designed to benefit the entire community by improving community services or infrastructure and enhance economic development and job creation projects in rural areas.
To date, RCEC has worked to obtain funding to make 6 loans totaling $1,706,000.00. These loans assisted development and construction activities for a milk processing plant, a hospital, a peanut plant and a peanut butter plant.
RCEC and its Board of Trustees also believes in supporting our youth and has successfully given 756 students, $1,119,600 in the form of scholarships to further their education. These monies come from donations, unclaimed capital credits and CoBank (national cooperative bank) graciously contributes through their annual Sharing Success Program.
RCEC believes in energy conservation so much that they have entered into 120 energy conservation loans to their qualifying members, in the amount of $1,224,576.64 since this program began. These loans are available at 3% interest for up to $25,000.00 for a term of 120 months. They can be used for a variety of energy conservation measures but most commonly are requested for heat pumps, windows and doors.
Governance – RCEC is a cooperative; owned by the members we serve. RCEC has been member-owned and member-led for 82 years! RCEC is a democratic organization, controlled by our members (Board of Trustees), who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions. Members have equal voting rights (one member, one vote). Our mission statement, “to provide safe, reliable and affordable electrical service to the members we serve” drives our cooperative decisions.
RCEC’s management and board participate in strategic planning in which goals are created to ensure the sustainability of the organization. Within this planning session, the cooperative’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are discussed and goals are created to improve our organization as a whole.