Business View Magazine September 2018

152 153 and finance, and the company has developed standing relationships with many of the largest, strongest, contractors in North America.Working with its partners, Plenary also looks to bring in local labor wherever possible. On a big project, it’s not unusual to have 1,000-plus people onsite during peak construction periods; that’s a mas- sive, local employment initiative. Giving back is also important. Over the last five years, Plenary has donated more than $1 million to the North American communities in which it operates, supporting some exceptional causes, including local hospitals and health facilities, at- risk youth, mental health initiatives, library foun- dations and arts councils, veteran and military family associations, community food banks, local schools, fire relief and community safety groups. The company also believes investment in environmentally-sustainable infrastructure solu- tions is not only responsible, it is smart. As well as being socially responsible by reducing carbon emissions, energy-efficient infrastructure saves governments and operators money by reducing total energy and lifecycle costs. Budden reports, “Many of our projects are LEED© Gold or even Platinum Certified by the Green Building Council and we are typically very focused on energy out- puts, often guaranteeing them to set, aggressive, levels.We’ve also issued “green bonds” on certain projects, where our financing has been recog- PLENARY GROUP NORTH AMERICA nized to meet set environmental criteria.” He adds, “Looking ahead, we certainly plan to stay at the forefront of delivering infrastructure in Canada, where it’s a more mature market. At the same time, we’re seeing a lot of growth op- portunities in the U.S. and believe we’re partic- ularly well positioned for these. Many American states and municipalities are doing this for the first time, and in many cases they are exploring slightly different models – that works well for us. We have no real tick-the-box institutional re- quirements and, where there is a committed and realistic project sponsor, we appreciate the op- portunity to be dynamic and flexible.” The P3 sector is seeing more new deal types, beyond simple building or roads infrastructure - it might be broadband, or wireless, or have a real estate component. Plenary, for example, has projects that involve not only efficient P3 deliv- ery of the core public infrastructure but also an offsetting of this cost through acquisition and development of ancillary real estate. And there are different types of procurements as well, especially in the U.S., where projects may not necessarily follow the more standard short-listing and fully priced RFP, with a selection and a clos- ing soon after. Instead, projects may result from an ENA (exclusive negotiating agreement) or a PDA (project development agreement), where the core project concepts are defined but the devel-