Drax Foundation gives more than $4.6 million to boost communities 

Latest round of donations will provide more than $960,000 committed to Canadian organizations.

Drax has released an annual report for its Drax Foundation and Community Fund that shows more than $4.6 million has been donated to support communities across Drax’s global operations. The renewable energy company focused on funding organizations that help underrepresented groups, advance gender equality, and support indigenous communities.  

Organizations that have benefitted from Drax’s funding include those that improve STEM education, access to green spaces, and energy efficiency efforts in schools.  

In Canada, the Drax Foundation and Community Fund provided more than $960,000 to organizations in 2023, including STEM workshops and mentoring partnerships with the Society for Canadian Women in Science and Technology (SCWIST) as part of its work to invest in girls and indigenous communities as future STEM leaders. Through this work over 470 women have participated in 57 STEM workshops and 24 women have participated in mentoring partnerships.  

“STEM skills are life skills, and with access to STEM knowledge, the youth of today can shape their own futures and chart a logical path in a rapidly changing world,” said JeAnn Watson, Director of SCWIST.

A three-year partnership with Science World to increase the educational opportunities for students in the most remote school districts and Frist Nations communities. So far, 1,976 children have participated in the programme covering 16 schools in four communities.  

The University of British Columbia’s (UBC) Faculty of Forestry received $81,500 in grant funding supporting 316 children from underserved communities with access to bursaries. The programme called Wild & Immersive encourages children and young people to care for the environment through nature-based experiences.  

“It’s important that we give back to the communities in which we operate and I’m very proud of the work the Drax Foundation has done in its first year,” said Will Gardiner, Drax CEO. “The engagement with our communities and partners has had a positive impact for a lot of people.”

Some additional highlights in 2023 from the Drax Foundation report include: 

  • Providing just over a quarter of its grants for STEM projects, funding education and training for 70,300 children and 637 adults globally.  
  • Providing money to help 20,860 people to access community green spaces and to restore or protect 1,230 hectares of land. 
  • Providing money for local foodbanks, community sports teams, resources for local schools and improved community buildings.  
  • In addition, Drax Group’s Communities in Crisis Fund supported seven disaster relief projects around the world.  

“We are passionate about supporting diverse organizations, to deliver STEM education for those who may not have traditionally had access,” said Gardiner. “And by improving green spaces and energy efficiency in schools, we’re making communities more sustainable. I look forward to seeing the continued support we provide to our communities through the Drax Foundation in the future.” 

To learn more about the Drax Foundation and Drax’s community efforts, visit www.drax.com/community. 

Read the full Drax Foundation Annual Review here: https://www.drax.com/wp-content/uploads/2024/03/Drax-Foundation-Annual-Review_2023.pdf 

Contact Information: 

Megan Hopgood  
Communications Specialist, Canada
[email protected]

About Drax 

Drax Group’s purpose is to enable a zero carbon, lower cost energy future and in 2019 announced a world-leading ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) technology.  

Drax’s around 3,000 employees operate across three principal areas of activity – electricity generation, electricity sales to business customers and compressed wood pellet production and supply to third parties. For more information visit http://www.drax.com/us 

Power generation:

Drax owns and operates a portfolio of renewable electricity generation assets in England and Scotland. The assets include the UK’s largest power station, based at Selby, North Yorkshire, which supplies five percent of the country’s electricity needs.   

Having converted Drax Power Station to use sustainable biomass instead of coal, it has become the UK’s biggest renewable power generator and the largest decarbonization project in Europe.  

It is also where Drax is piloting the groundbreaking negative emissions technology BECCS within its CCUS (Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage) Incubation Area.  

Its pumped storage, hydro, and energy from waste assets in Scotland include Cruachan Power Station – a flexible pumped storage facility within the hollowed-out mountain Ben Cruachan.   

The Group also aims to build on its BECCS innovation at Drax Power Station with a target to deliver four million tons of negative CO2 emissions each year from new-build BECCS outside of the UK by 2030 and is currently developing models for North American and European markets. 

Pellet production and supply:

The Group has 18 operational pellet plants and developments with nameplate production capacity of around five million tons a year. 

Drax is targeting eight million tons of production capacity by 2030, which will require the development of over three million tons of new biomass pellet production capacity. The pellets are produced using materials sourced from sustainably managed working forests and are supplied to third party customers in Europe and Asia for the generation of renewable power.  

Drax’s pellet plants supply biomass used at its own power station in North Yorkshire, England to generate flexible, renewable power for the UK’s homes and businesses, and also to customers in Europe and Asia.