When we Connect the World to the Sun, Every Day Becomes about Equality and Conservation

Published: 31 Jul 2020

On the heels of Nelson Mandela International Day (18 July) and with World Nature Conservation Day (28 July), the Sun Exchange team has thought much about the significance of these holidays and observances. They provide an important reminder to pause our busy lives and connect with and serve our fellow humans and the planet we live on.

However, we also know that to create lasting change and promote a sustainable and equitable future for all, we must go beyond a single day and adopt the spirit of days like Mandela Day and World Conservation Day into the core of our business, 24/7/365. This belief in the importance of serving and creating a positive impact on society and the environment drives us in the relentless pursuit of the Sun Exchange mission: to connect the world to the sun.

To date, the unique Sun Exchange crowdsourced approach to solar finance, and our incredible community of more than 18,000 individuals across more than 160 nations, have enabled 31 South African organisations to go solar. This includes schools, retirement homes, small and medium businesses, wildlife parks, nonprofits and other organisations that typically would not be able to afford a solar installation. By deploying solar power, these organisations have reduced energy costs by 20-30% and have been able to refocus those funds towards their core offerings including providing quality education for children, positive living environments for elderly residents and care for vulnerable wildlife.

Furthermore, by going solar, businesses and organisations not only positively impact the climate and environment by reducing their carbon emissions and reliance on fossil fuels, they also perpetuate those values by modeling sustainability for their communities. For example, we heard directly from several students who beamed with pride when Wynberg Boys High School took a step towards decarbonising their education by going solar through Sun Exchange.

Sun Exchange also promotes a much more equitable and inclusive energy and solar power landscape at an individual level, by enabling a growing global community of thousands of ordinary people from across the world to access the financial benefits of owning solar assets. Previously, these benefits were reserved only for accredited investors or mid-to-upper income homeowners who could afford to install solar panels on their homes. Now, through Sun Exchange, almost anyone with an internet connection and approximately $5.00 can own a solar cell, lease that cell out to a business or organisation looking to go solar, and earn a 20-year income stream from the electricity the cell generates.

Sun Exchange aims to make every day a Mandela Day and World Conservation Day by working tirelessly towards our vision of a future in which every individual and every organisation, everywhere in the world, can reap the social, economic and environmental benefits of sunshine. If you’d like to join us on the journey, you can participate in one of our solar crowdsales, or simply sign up to learn more.