Sustainable environmental and social practices not only generate goodwill, but also contribute to positive financial returns.
Rockland Capital (“Rockland”) recognizes that there is more to investing than simply looking at pure financial risks and rewards. Sustainable environmental and social practices not only generate goodwill, but also contribute to positive financial returns. Rockland operates principally in North America, where there are relatively well-developed regulations dictating a high standard for environmental, operational, and safety practices with processes in place for enforcing those regulations. The culture at Rockland is to absolutely comply with these regulations at a minimum and to use commercially reasonable efforts to exceed regulatory standards when there are social or environmental benefits. Rockland seeks to be a positive force in the communities in which it operates.
Rockland is an investment adviser registered with U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Accordingly, a comprehensive compliance program with high standards for ethical conduct and governance is detailed in the Rockland Compliance Manual and Employee Handbook. A summary of related considerations taken when evaluating and managing investments is provided below.
Plant Safety Status, History, Development, and Community Impact
Environmental Regulatory Compliance
EHS Management at Rockland Power Plants
Requirements of Portfolio Companies which own/operate power plants are summarized in the Environmental, Health and Safety Policy for Rockland Power Plants (available upon request). Notably, Rockland has standardized on Gensuite EHS Management Software as a tool for administering power plant EHS compliance, auditing, and reporting. All O&M providers at Rockland power plants are required to use this software which allows Rockland asset managers to track and confirm compliance. As noted in the above-referenced policy, Rockland will provide financial incentives to its O&M providers rewarding proactive EHS performance through a bonus program with measurable goals.
Environmental Impact Opportunities
While Rockland makes investments in power plants which, by their very nature, produce air emissions, these investments are managed in a manner to generate high-risk adjusted returns and in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. A key strategy in Rockland’s investment approach is to find and execute on opportunities to remove economic and operational inefficiencies in the power production process to create value; generally, this results in less waste and fewer emissions. A few examples of how Rockland’s acquisition strategy removes inefficiencies, improves economics and creates value, while aligning with environmental improvements and social responsibility are provided below:
Natural gas-fired power plants, which dominate Rockland’s portfolio, are relatively benign in terms of hazardous waste. Unlike chemical plants or power plants utilizing coal or nuclear fuel, there are minimal hazardous wastes generated by natural gas-fired power plants. For example, air emissions such as nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide are limited by air quality standards and are controlled using mitigation technologies and process improvements. Furthermore, sulfur dioxide, mercury, and particulate matter emissions from natural gas plants are de minimis compared to emissions from coal-fired power plants.
Carbon Dioxide Emissions from Power Plants
Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are a natural byproduct of the production of power using fossil fuels. Natural gas plants produce less CO2 emissions than any other fossil fuel on a unit basis – generally 50% less CO2 is produced per MWH from a natural gas plant as compared to a coal plant. Government initiatives are expected to continue to encourage the development of new technology and to reduce CO2 emissions.
Rockland is also seeking opportunities to invest in renewable power resources such as wind, solar and hydro. In fact, Rockland has built both wind and solar projects producing good risk-adjusted returns. Rockland also seeks to invest in power production technologies that will complement and enable renewable initiatives such as energy storage and flexible gas-fired peaking facilities that provide the capacity and ramping response necessary to support the reliability of the power grid.
Rockland is committed to making sound, strategic investments that generate strong risk-adjusted returns with appreciable consideration to environmental and social impacts. Rockland holds steadfast to its commitment to high standards for environmental stewardship, operational excellence, and the safety practices in the power generation industry.