We are pleased to announce that María José Cortés has joined the Board of Advisors of the Dialogue’s weekly Energy Advisor.
María is the head of ESG for Atlas Renewable Energy, where she leads the environmental, social and governance aspects of Atlas’ business globally and the company’s sustainability approach, both at the corporate level and across its projects.
She is a faithful believer in two premises: that progress is not progress if it is not for everyone, equitably, and that the renewable energy industry can be a force for good.
María was responsible for creating the company’s ESG Department, positioning it as a benchmark in the renewable energy industry. Since then, she and her team have launched initiatives that have been recognized with multiple awards.
Under her management, Atlas’ ESG team has been recognized for its environmental activity to preserve and protect the howler monkey. This work has included the conservation of 300 hectares of secondary vegetation in an evergreen forest, the creation of biological corridors to connect forest patches that surround one of the company’s plants, and the conservation of the black howler monkey’s habitat in Mexico.
Her team’s vision also led to the creation of Atlas’ award-winning social program, “We are all part of the same energy.” The program aims to increase the participation of underrepresented groups by training and employing them in the region. Most recently, the program trained 1,000 women across Latin America and elevated female participation in the renewable energy industry from an average of 2 percent to 15 percent. This program was also implemented to increase the representation of Afro-descendants in Brazil, reaching over 76 percent of the total labor hired during the construction of one of the company’s plants in the country.
Before joining Atlas, María worked for Engie Mexico, leading and supervising compliance with IFC Performance Standards and Equator Principles for the company’s renewable generation portfolio and oil & gas assets.
In her previous role, she oversaw the design and implementation of both the stakeholder engagement and social impact investment strategies for an 854-kilometer natural gas pipeline owned by PEMEX Holding, part of Mexico’s state-run petroleum company.
María holds a sociology degree from the National Autonomous University of Mexico and a specialty in Latin American and Latino Studies from the University of California.
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