The Octopus Energy Equality Foundation
In June 2020, in the wake of global protests against systemic racism, we committed £100,000 to combat racism and inequality in the energy industry.
Ever since we made that pledge, we've been working hard behind the scenes to use that money to create lasting change.
That work soon developed into our own stand-alone charity: The Octopus Energy Equality Foundation.
We hope to make a huge, industry-wide impact in the energy industry, which is one of the least diverse in the UK.
Our business is set to create thousands of green energy jobs (a drop in the ocean compared to the hundreds of thousands that’ll be created in the global energy transition). We want to ensure our industry is upheld by people that reflect the world we live in. And that everyone gets the chance to meaningfully pave their own way in our green energy future.
Our mission: Using our power for good
The future of energy is in focus now more than ever, and it is our responsibility to ensure nobody is excluded from playing their part to combat climate change.
- Supporting young black and ethnic minority people to overcome disadvantages and discrimination and help them move into ambitious careers as professionals in the Energy Industry.
- Black and minority ethnic focused charities have been systemically underfunded so we are building close partnerships and providing financial support to sustainable and community-driven charities that care about anti-racism and sustainability, locally and internationally.
So, who are OEEF?
The charity is run by Octopus staff who have dedicated their time to ensuring the charity is a success. Together, we have spent countless hours ensuring our ethos and approach best serve the wider community, and create the change we want to see in the Energy Industry and the UK.
As a company, we totally transformed our recruitment process in 2020, and set up our very own diversity internship programme to address the representation of Black, African and Caribbean people in the Energy and Tech industries. The first internship took place in 2021 and each year the internship has grown in its reach and impact (read all about it on our blog)
Now, with OEEF we want to apply our funding, experience and expertise to help build an inclusive, equitable and sustainable future for all.
The charity was finalised at the end of 2021 and we have been working hard behind the scenes to create a meaningful impact;
Our grant committee
We have set up our own Grant committee and made our very first donation of £18,938.80 to Solpowered - a brilliant project dedicated to helping marginalised communities in Zimbabwe build healthy and sustainable lives. They support low-income communities and healthcare facilities to access healthcare, food as well as green energy. Check out our blog to find out more about their work.
Fostering close partnerships with grass-roots organisations and charities that share our ethos has been one of our key focuses. Building a wide network of like-minded individuals and organisations is the key to creating a truly inclusive future that leaves no one behind. Currently, we are working with local UK charities to help build a community that looks after each other.
We’re still looking for amazing charities to support so please do get in touch if if you’re a charity or organisation that is as passionate about anti-racism and sustainability as we are.
Our 2022 & 2023 Future of Energy workshops
Over the past two years, we have hosted several 2 day workshops for students aged 16-19, to provide some insight and experience into the amazing careers available in the energy sector. The workshop explores the future of energy as well as practical job advice, a massive careers fair, and a state of the art Electric Vehicle showcase. All organised with the ultimate aim of encouraging new voices to enter the energy sector and help shape an equitable, diverse future of energy.
This summer, we partnered with local schools to bring young secondary school students from diverse backgrounds into our offices, to learn directly from the experts. Held over the course of a jam-packed afternoon, these career days are intended to provide students with invaluable insight into the wide variety of jobs available in green energy.
And much more...
We are constantly organising new events and finding ways to educate and inspire. Our ‘empowerment’ speaker series focuses on amplifying the voices of black and minority ethnic experts within energy, environmentalism and across many more sectors. Alongside regular talks and training, community centre visits, school talks and partnering with local organisations that do good for the black and minority ethnic community, our mission is to build an empowered community that holds a space for all.
This is just the beginning for us, and we are currently in the midst of planning many more events, workshops and meaningful charitable partnerships.
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