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ESG - A Toptana Technologies Core Value

ESG - A Toptana Technologies Core Value

Environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) work has become an increasingly important initiative for businesses in recent years, but these are inherent cultural values to the Quinault Indian Nation (QIN) and therefore, Toptana Technologies.


Quick Take:

  • Environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) work has become an increasingly important initiative for businesses in recent years, but these are inherent cultural values to the Quinault Indian Nation (QIN) and for our newest company, Toptana Technologies.
  • As a company owned by a sovereign nation, Toptana is uniquely positioned to protect the environment and create opportunities for social mobility in ways that private entities can’t – while still meeting the business objectives of providing a connectivity solution that is desperately needed in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Through the growth of Toptana, the Quinault Indian Nation will bring further attention to sustainable business practices.

Many indigenous nations have long been taking action to preserve the environment and combat climate change. The Quinaults have long been known as environmental stewards through their voice on this important topic. The Quinault Indian Nation was one of the first sovereign nations to formally legislate its own environmental policy and sustainability goals, setting an example for others to do the same. Today, governments and corporations worldwide increasingly understand the urgency of climate action, implementing regulations and laws to reduce environmental impact and improve social issues and governance.

Over the years, QIN has launched and operated a number of business ventures in order to provide economic opportunities, create a self-sustaining economy, and further the development of its lands, all without exploiting precious resources. Now, with the founding of Toptana Technologies, we plan to lead the way further towards achieving sustainable business practices — broadly referred to today as ESG initiatives.

The Importance of ESG for Toptana Technologies  

The QIN way of doing business has always been doing good for people and the planet, making ESG an inherently core value of both QIN and Toptana. The responsibility to protect the environment and make a positive social impact is sacred to members of the QIN community. Sustainability, diversity and inclusion, quality assurance, operating structure, community commitment, health, and safety are prioritized to ensure QIN takes care of its people, its partners, and the planet. This mindset is at the foundation of what Toptana will do and how it will operate.

Environmental Commitment

Toptana is headquartered on the border of the Quinault Indian Nation’s reservation – a terrain made up of magnificent forests, swift-flowing rivers teeming with salmon, gleaming, trout-filled lakes, and 27+ unbroken miles of Pacific coastline. The Nation’s boundaries enclose approximately 210,000 acres of some of the richest, most productive conifer forest lands in the United States. Quinault people and Quinault land are inherently tied to each other, and we are proud to have called this area home for thousands of years. 

Seattle and Sound

Despite the environment’s obvious beauty, climate change has impacted the area in ways that the Quinault community has experienced firsthand — an increasing number of wildfires and droughts, rising temperatures, and animal endangerment (such as the Olympic Marmot, among others). QIN land has also decreased in size due to rising sea levels, forcing villages to relocate to higher ground. Roads have been washed away and landslides have majorly impacted transportation routes in and out of Taholah, the main town on the reservation.

Despite our environment’s obvious beauty, climate change has impacted the area in ways that our Quinault community has experienced firsthand in recent decades — an increasing number of wildfires and droughts, rising temperatures, and animal endangerment (such as the Olympic Marmot, among other species). QIN land has also decreased in size due to rising sea levels, forcing our village and its people to relocate and rebuild our entire community on higher ground. Roads have been washed away and landslides have majorly impacted transportation routes in and out of Taholah, which has been the center of QIN territory for centuries.

QIN has a symbiotic relationship with the land, with a solemn obligation to respect and protect it in return for what it has provided them with for generations. QIN’s grave concerns about the future of our land and way of life make us extremely conservative about projects that could further impact the environment. Because of this, QIN has previously turned down opportunities for advancement that were not strictly aligned with our values of protecting resources for generations to come.

“The whole goal of this work is the preservation of this land. You can’t think in 20 years, you can’t think in 50 years. We have to think longer than that if we are going to preserve this land for our children.” - Pearl Capoeman-Baller, former Quinault Indian Nation President 

Being owned by an indigenous nation, QIN’s priority is to have as little impact on the environment as possible. This mentality has carried throughout the entire Toptana development process.  Toptana’s team has worked with industry experts to explore the impact of its cable landing station and backhaul network on forests, fisheries, and other natural resources in the area. Through extensive marine life and cultural studies over the course of several years, Toptana validated the minimal impact the CLS/backhaul network will have not just for the next few decades but seven generations from now. It was only once these strict, third-party studies were complete that QIN leadership was willing to undertake this initiative.

In addition to the environmental impact, Toptana’s goal is to respect the centuries of history our sacred grounds hold and prioritize protecting QIN cultural sites. To that end, Toptana has taken every possible precaution to survey the proposed development to ensure historical resources are preserved and protected. 

One key element of providing a sustainable environmental and economic venture is for it to support the people in the QIN community and others like it. With the creation of Toptana, QIN will further advocate for other rural and indigenous communities and help them develop high-speed broadband solutions that embrace the best industry practices in the most environmentally conscious way. In this way, Toptana will offer these communities modern amenities that will improve quality of life without sacrificing the environmental values that are an integral part of their identities, just as they are to our own.

Social Responsibility Commitment

Toptana’s mission is to connect the digitally under-connected and provide access to unlimited opportunities through global internet connectivity and technologies. Bringing high-speed broadband and connectivity to underserved and unserved people helps bridge the digital divide by providing access to telehealth, workforce development, education, and many other essential services – creating opportunities that would otherwise not be available and contributing to inclusivity and diversity across more industries. 

Toptana aims to support other indigenous people in building sustainable economies to support long-term growth. Our vision is to lead by example but also provide advisory counsel and mentorship so other indigenous people can pursue their own opportunities and business ventures. Toptana also remains committed to not interfering with other tribes’ sacred spaces. In order to do so, Toptana’s team consulted with neighboring tribes – who also have cultural interests in the land – to ensure the preservation and protection of other tribes’ cultural heritage.  

The founding of Toptana is also an opportunity to bring a more diverse perspective to the technology industry. Diversity will strengthen the industry by including additional wisdom, ideas, and perspectives in conversations around development and future growth. Likewise, Toptana can also offer the growing telecoms industry an additional resource: talent. Toptana has detailed plans to create opportunities for expanded STEAM education and local career development, equipping more people with the skills needed to fill in-demand jobs, such as data center technicians and software engineers, as the technology market expands.

Corporate Governance Commitment

As a company owned by an indigenous nation, Toptana leverages its sovereignty to ensure outcomes focused on the greater good. Sovereignty can influence regulatory and other legislative practices that benefit both businesses and the planet – a strategic competitive advantage businesses and government entities both lack. This greatly increases the likelihood of success for a complex project. And, with Toptana leadership’s unique relationships with all levels of government – federal, state and local – Toptana is uniquely poised to navigate complicated government relations and create efficient new pathways for companies in ways never before possible. 

Toptana’s team knows that broadband connectivity and technology are key components of a self-sustaining economy – a conduit and catalyst for economic and social development. But it must be implemented responsibly, with close community cooperation. From local and state tax benefits to grants and permitting, Toptana is partnering with our customers to understand their needs and create meaningful change around closing the digital divide.

At the very heart of Toptana’s mission is the belief that we are meant to steward the land on which our ancestors walked and to use our sovereignty for the greater good of humanity. To that end, Toptana’s vision is not just to make an impact on our world today, but create a world where all people can thrive and prosper centuries from now. 

Toptana is part of the tribe’s ongoing evolution – another way in which the Quinault Nation will live symbiotically with the land, as they have for generations – by owning and conserving the land and its waters while improving social mobility and contributing to the advancement of technology. Toptana is a vision for the future, rooted in the values of our past.

"For us, there has never been a conflict between the fiduciary responsibility of our businesses and the principles of ESG. Our goals have always been to lay plans that will create a better, sustainable, and more prosperous future for our employees, our customers, and our community. It's the way we've done business for generations and look forward to bringing those values to Toptana and the greater ICT industry." -Daniel Ebling, Acting CFO, Toptana Technologies

Final Thoughts

  • ESG is a core cultural value for QIN and Toptana and a top priority factored into all strategic decisions and operations
  • Being owned by a sovereign nation gives Toptana distinct advantages from an ESG perspective, with a culture and structure designed to benefit the company, its customers, its partners, and its communities 
  • Toptana’s ESG practices strive to set a positive example for our world today and ultimately, create an environment where both people and planet can thrive for centuries to come
Looking to learn more about ESG and Toptana Technologies? Get in touch


About Toptana Technologies 

Toptana is driven by a vision of a truly connected world. We’re an indigenous-owned internet infrastructure and technology company focused on bringing connectivity to unserved and underserved communities. Our mission is to connect the digitally disconnected so that all people can fully participate in the digital economy. 

Our Washington State cable landing station offers subsea transpacific connectivity from the U.S. to Asia-Pacific markets. The backhaul network offers terrestrial connectivity along the I-5 corridor to Seattle, WA and Hillsboro, OR. We offer businesses the opportunity to get their traffic where it needs to go, while protecting our precious resources and improving the lives of those in need.