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The three reasons Solarcentury’s donation means something

Jamie McCloskey

With such high temperatures in the UK this week, it seems apt Solarcentury would make its biggest ever donation of £528,527 to SolarAid – as covered by the Guardian. Here are three reasons why we are celebrating today:

  1. Rising from the ashes

We have shared with you the difficult times SolarAid had when we catalysed the markets of Kenya and Tanzania in 2016. Like many charities, our future was in jeopardy. But, we had a strong, resilient set of supporters who stuck with us and allowed the team to work tirelessly. The work of reaching families with clean and affordable energy could continue.

The charity has continued to grow since and we have built a strong foundation of many supporters, people who believe in the mission, to make sure we are not reliant on any one source of income. With this robust standing, we can look ahead and look to leave no one in the dark by 2030.

You may have seen the two blogs in the last week on grants we have been awarded to test new models – one for e-wastethe other for microfinance. This is where we are now: testing, scaling and sharing innovative models in addition to the work you may know us for. Donations like this incredible one from Solarcentury allow us to do this.

Therefore, expect to see much more from us soon on new models we are launching and the progress we are making. We have you to thank for keeping us alive so let’s push on together and achieve what we have set out to do.

  1. The growth of Solarcentury

The UK’s solar sector has been in rapid decline since the slashing of government subsidies a number of years ago. While SolarAid has been rebuilding, so too has Solarcentury. Having just posted an 860% growth in profits over the last year, together with their future plans, the power and utility of solar energy is here to stay.

Solarcentury was founded by Jeremy Leggett in 1998 and it was then written into their constitution to fund the forming of a solar charity when they first made a profit and then donate 5% of their profit each year after that. This year was 2006 and SolarAid was born.

Although independent of each other, SolarAid and Solarcentury have remained partners ever since. Firstly, SolarAid has received £1.3 million over 12 years. Secondly, striving towards a shared vision of the world makes staff and organisation alike drive our mission forward together.

  1. An example to follow 

Business is aligning with social causes. This is not because the world is a nicer place. It is because companies see the value in adopting a cause that speaks to their purpose to achieve something together and improve core business.

CSR is fading. Solarcentury, along with companies such as Unilever, has shown why. It is time for more to do the same.

Long-term strategic partners are needed to leave no one in the dark by 2030. Our mission is bigger than us and there are organisations who have the skills, capacity and shared values to push it forward.

Thank you to Solarcentury for paving the way for others to follow.

SolarAid and Solarcentury staff celebrating.