Eating dinner by solar light

The Sustainable Development Goals

What are the Sustainable Development Goals?

Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, the United Nations created the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which calls on all nations to work in partnership to address some of the world’s most pressing issues including poverty, hunger and climate change. At the heart of the agenda lies the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which promote prosperity while protecting the planet. The SDGs recognise that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with economic and social growth while tackling climate change.

How is SolarAid Contributing?

13-year-old Aliya Ali (right) and her friends rents a torch from Solar Money offices in Dzindebvu Village, Kasungu Central Malawi on Thursday 29 April 2021

While SolarAid is actively working to accelerate the achievement of SDG7, “access to affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy for all,” our work positively impacts 12 of the 17 goals.

We are an international charity founded to combat poverty and climate change. Through our social enterprise, SunnyMoney, we provide access to solar lights in Malawi and Zambia to help catalyse solar markets with renewable light.

Solar lights are safe, clean and affordable. It is a small, but smart innovation which gives off hours of light in the evening so families can earn, learn and feel safe after dark. A solar lamp replaces dangerous, harmful, and polluting alternatives such as candles and kerosene while decreasing CO2 emissions by 1.1 tonnes.

SolarAid is Positively Affecting…

The 12 SDGs SolarAid is currently working towards.

SDG 1 – No Poverty
One solar light saves a family, on average, 10% of their income. Plus, our Trade-not-aid model creates jobs.

SDG 2 – Zero hunger
The number one thing families report spending their savings on is food. As most of our customers are farmers, they also spend savings on boosting farm production.

SDG 3 – Good health and well-being
Burning kerosene and candles inside has negative health impacts. Indoor air pollution now kills more people globally than HIV and malaria combined. 54% of our customers report improved health after switching to solar light.

SDG 4 – Quality Education
On average, in households with a solar light, children do an extra hour of study each night. Many teachers have told us that when children have access to solar lights, their attendance, motivation and results improve.

SDG 5  – Gender Equality
A SolarAid study in Kenya found that half of head teachers interviewed felt that school attendance of girls who had access to solar lights was better, and that girls’ motivation and performance had improved. Plus, a number of our sales agents are women.

SDG 7 – Affordable and clean energy
We are reaching the poorest, most remote communities to provide access to affordable, reliable and sustainable solar lights – no one else is reaching these communities.

SDG 8 – Decent work and economic growth
Solar lights can extend business hours when darkness falls. They also provide business opportunities, some customers have started phone-charging business using solar products.

SDG 9 – Industry innovation and infrastructure
Access to electricity promotes industry and innovation. We work to catalyse solar markets – we played a key role in catalysing the first two Africa solar markets in Kenya and Tanzania.

SDG 10 – Reduced inequalities
Solar reduces inequality by providing light and power where there was none before. We serve families who can not afford grid-based power.

SDG 12 – Responsible consumption and production
Solar is inherently more sustainable than fossil fuels. We decouple economic growth from natural resource use – empowering communities with renewable technology.

SDG 13 – Climate Action
Each solar light averts over 1 tonne of CO₂ emissions, making a significant cumulative impact on mitigating climate change.

SDG 17 – Partnerships for the goals
We work in collaboration with many other organisations to maximise our shared impact on the SDGs.

Calculate Your Impact

A donation of would result in...

0000 solar lights, help SolarAid reach 0000 people, save families 0000, give children 0000 hours of extra study time, decrease CO2 emissions by 0000 and allow 0000 people to live healthier lives.

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Our Impact

A solar light truly changes everything from greater economic opportunities to higher education and better well-being.

Our Programmes

From supporting entrepreneurs to powering healthcare and lighting up schools, we are working to ensure access to clean energy for all.