Thomas Neyhart working to make positive impact on EDI Council
Thomas Neyhart, CEO of PosiGen, a leading solar energy and efficiency solutions company, has joined the Board of Directors of the Energy Diversity and Inclusion Council (EDI Council). The EDI Council is a rising promoter of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the energy industry. It helps energy companies drive real, meaningful change by helping them with diversity- and growth-focused recruitment, training, and coaching.
The DEI landscape in the energy sector has undergone a series of dramatic changes over the last few years. More and more energy companies are coming to terms with the fact that DEI initiatives in innovation and recruitment can be a source of competitive advantage in today’s fiercely competitive global energy marketplace. The sector as a whole is one of the least diverse industries of all. By creating more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforces, energy companies can drive better results that are not only good for the industry but the environment as well.
The cumulative impacts of these initiatives cannot be understated. The United States consumes more oil than any other nation at 1.85 billion barrels per day, but this consumption comes at a cost. There have been over two dozen oil spills in the United States over the past 25 years. Furthermore, the carbon footprint of the average person in the United States is 16 tons per year – about four times the global average of four tons per year. To meet the UN’s sustainability goal of avoiding a 2-degree rise in global temperatures by 2050, the average global carbon footprint needs to drop to two tons per year.
It is no wonder, then, that the energy sector is looking for ways to tighten ship and lower carbon emissions. Improving margins, competitiveness, and inclusion are also important industry goals. The recent addition of Thomas Neyhart to the EDI Council is a clear step in the right direction.
Thomas Neyhart founded PosiGen in 2011 with a mission and vision of making a difference in the communities it serves – particularly disadvantaged and marginalized communities. It does this by providing target communities with access to clean, renewable solar power, hassle-free installations, and flexible payment options. High-efficiency energy fixes that can deliver hundreds of dollars of savings per family per year are also provided.
PosiGen’s business model ensures that its client families in low-to-moderate income households have access to affordable solar power that can help them save money, improve the homes they live in, and land competitive gainful employment. PosiGen also strives to provide its client base with access to career advancement opportunities while supporting local growth and having a positive impact on the environment.
Diversity is one of PosiGen’s strongest values. The company always works with members of the communities it serves, and over 65% of PosiGen’s employees are women or people of color. As for the oil and gas industry in the United States, it directly employs or supports over nine million workers and is responsible for 7% of GDP. If companies in the energy sector can commit to bringing about more diversity, equity, and inclusion, they can strategically shift priorities to hiring and retaining top talent. By doing so, they can enjoy the tangible benefits of tapping into the diverse strengths of people from different backgrounds. They can also drive the innovation, growth, and efficiency improvements needed to make the most of market changes while boosting profitability in the process.
The benefits of making these strategic shifts are not unfounded. Fluctuations in oil prices, regulatory issues, and geopolitical instability have created many mission-critical challenges for businesses of all sizes operating in today’s fragmented global marketplace. However, these issues are compounded by an aging workforce, a widening skills gap, and global talent shortages.
Furthermore, a 2019 survey by Ernst & Young found that 99% of respondents agreed that this is a time of monumental change in the industry. Over 90% also agreed that diversity impacts economic performance. The takeaway here is that energy companies will continue to miss out on important opportunities for innovation and growth if they fail to include DEI initiatives as a boardroom-level priority.
With the above in mind, the pivoting of the oil, gas, and energy sectors toward creating more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforces is welcome. The EDI Council’s appointment of Thomas Neyhart to its Board of Directors is a strong signal that organizations operating in the energy space are ready to make the changes needed to ensure that they remain competitive and can retain the talent needed to succeed in the years to come.
As stated by Dennis Kennedy, the Founder of the EDI Council, DEI is not something you fix; rather, it is a path. We need to work together to create viable initiatives that can lead to real change in the energy sector. Thomas Neyhart brings a great deal of relevant experience to the EDI Council and can help the Council leverage PosiGen’s vast expertise in hiring, training, and working with workers from diverse backgrounds so that tomorrow’s energy workforce is better trained and equipped to face the challenges of tomorrow.
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