DC Greens: Building Impact Through a Sustainable and Resilient Food System
Community Impact |
By Anna-Liisa Eklund
The Well at Oxon Run, DC Greens’ urban farm located in Southeast DC
“Advancing health equity by building a just and resilient food system,” is the powerful mission statement which drives DC Greens, one of Sol Systems’ newest community partners. DC Greens is a Black-led, multiracial organization actively making healthy and local food accessible to underserved DC communities.
Sol Systems is partnering with DC Greens as a part of the Sol Profit Share initiative. Sol’s Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (“SREC”) aggregation customers can select a Sol Profit Share contract which provides customers with a guaranteed, fixed payment per SREC, plus, additional profit when SREC prices rise. In conjunction, Sol Systems also donates five percent (5%) of its net Sol Profit Share profits to non-profit organizations working to support renewable energy access and sustainability. With the 2022 profits from the Sol Profit Share initiative, Sol Systems funds support DC Greens as they continue serving Washington, DC communities through urban farming and food education initiatives.
At “The Well at Oxon Run,” DC Greens’ farm in Southeast DC, the team cultivates crops, hosts nutrition education seminars, and fosters local engagement through volunteer opportunities. The Well’s farm staff utilize sustainable farming practices, including companion planting, rainwater capture, and natural pest management, indicative of DC Greens’ commitment to local environmental stewardship. The crops grown at The Well are packaged into produce boxes and distributed to community members, an initiative strengthened by DC Greens’ collaboration with Capital Area Food Bank. Additionally, the team spearheads a Produce Prescription program to enable doctors to prescribe fresh fruit and vegetables to patients experiencing diet-related, chronic illnesses. The program has supported over 1,400 adults and 900 children on Medicaid to access healthy food through participating grocery stores – reflecting DC Greens’ efforts to advance health and wellbeing through nutrition.
Squash, beans, and corn grown using the “Three Sisters,” companion planting method
Through the 2022 Sol Profit Share funding, DC Greens will purchase a growing season’s worth of compost, soil, and woodchips to ensure The Well can remain a productive hub for crop cultivation. Already, both DC Greens and Sol Systems use services from Veteran Compost, a locally run, veteran-owned business. Sol Systems sends food waste from our DC office to Veteran Compost’s processing facilities, and DC Greens purchases compost to enrich the growing soil; this transformation of waste to fresh food between the three organizations will continue in future years.
Overall, Sol Systems is looking forward to continuing to engage DC Greens and their farming operations at The Well. Sol’s SREC Profit Share customers have helped make the community partnership opportunity possible, advancing Sol Systems’ ambition to create impact through infrastructure and local collaboration. To learn more about how DC Greens is supporting a sustainable and resilient food system in the Washington DC area, please visit their website at: dcgreens.org.
The Well’s “Donor Wall,” highlighting their strong network of community support
Infrastructure + Impact Spotlight: Q&A with Lynn Heller of Climate Access Fund
Community Impact |
By Adaora Ifebigh
Lynn Heller is a social entrepreneur with extensive experience in the nonprofit sector. Prior to launching the Climate Access Fund, Lynn served as Vice President of the Abell Foundation, where she oversaw the foundation’s operations and managed the Foundation’s environmental grants portfolio. Lynn has worked as a nonprofit strategic planning and management consultant and has launched political and economic development programs in Baltimore, California, and Indonesia. Lynn is Board Chair of the Maryland League of Conservation Voters, a past member of the Maryland Climate Change Commission, and a founding member of the Baltimore Sustainability Commission.
I hope you enjoy learning more about expanding low-income community solar through partnerships, innovative financing, and advocacy in the summary of our conversation below.
Lynn Heller - Credit: Climate Access Fund
For those who might not know, what is the Climate Access Fund?
The Climate Access Fund (CAF) is a nonprofit green bank that uses flexible capital to increase community solar development in and for historically disinvested communities in Maryland. As we know, environmental harms and the impact of climate change disproportionately affect historically disinvested communities as well as neighborhoods with greater percentages of low-income people of color. In Maryland alone, there are 400,000+ low-income households, yet only a fraction have participated in Maryland’s Community Solar Pilot Program since the program’s inception six years ago.
Most community solar projects are located on large tracts of land and serve higher income families because these are the projects that tend to provide the most attractive financial returns for investors. Yet smaller (<1 MW) projects located on commercial rooftops and parking lots in underserved communities have the potential to offer a range of community benefits in addition to electricity bill savings. These “co-benefits'' can include, but are not limited to, job training, employment and educational opportunities, and wealth creation through shared ownership of the solar asset itself. CAF’s low-cost financing – raised from a combination of public, private, and corporate sources – makes these projects viable.
What inspired you to start the Climate Access Fund?
I was working at a private foundation that had a history of supporting efforts to tackle and alleviate poverty. The foundation had a focus on Baltimore City and a history of social impact investing. I had long been passionate about environmental sustainability, reducing the impact of climate change, and advancing social justice efforts, and while at the foundation, I was focused on making sure that low-income households would not be left out of the clean energy transition.
After the 2016 election, I felt moved to do more on this issue because I sensed there would be less motivation at the federal level in the coming years. The more I learned about low-income household access to solar, the more I discovered: (a) the real potential of community solar to reach low-income households at scale; and (b) a clear financing gap was preventing private solar development from benefitting low-income households. CAF was launched to plug that financing gap using social impact capital.
Through a community impact partnership with Sol Systems and Microsoft, Climate Access Fund is implementing a community solar project “Solar4Us @ Henderson-Hopkins” in Baltimore, MD. Can you share the history and details of this project?
Elmer A. Henderson: A Johns Hopkins Partnership School (or as most people refer to it, Henderson-Hopkins) is a Title I, K-8 school in the heart of East Baltimore. It is a few blocks away from Johns Hopkins Facilities – the hospital, the Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the School of Medicine. Henderson-Hopkins is a contract school (like a charter school) that serves a school community that is over 95% Black/African American, with 100% of its students eligible for free and reduced lunch. The K-8 school is part of a state-of-the-art school campus that also includes the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Early Childhood Center, a local pioneer serving families eligible for Head Start alongside families paying market rate.
Henderson-Hopkins operates as a community school, which is a school that places focus on supporting and building partnerships with residents in addition to academics and student outcomes. During the height of the pandemic, I went to Henderson-Hopkins as a volunteer, and I delivered food to residents who were lining up in their cars. Impressed by the ethos of the school and their community school approach, I reached out to school leadership to introduce the concept of a rooftop solar array that would benefit the families in their school community as well as other neighborhood residents. Henderson-Hopkins was enthusiastic about this idea and agreed to be our demonstration site, and Solar4Us @ Henderson-Hopkins was born. Henderson-Hopkins agreed to use 100% of all power generated for the benefit of the school community as opposed to drawing energy for the benefit of the school campus. The project anticipates serving ~150 - 175 low-income households. Each household that enrolls will experience a 25% savings on their electricity bills.
Our approach also emphasizes the necessity of other co-benefits, such as workforce and education-related opportunities. The construction of the system will create solar-related jobs in the neighborhood, and we prioritize local hiring. We are also working with a local nonprofit, CivicWorks, to offer paid apprenticeships to graduates of their solar installation job training program. Furthermore, we are sponsoring an after-school club for Henderson-Hopkins middle school students that focuses on environmental sustainability and clean energy, and with the solar panels being an on-site, provide an experiential learning tool. Ultimately, our target is to offset 27,000 metric tons of C02, the equivalent of ~3.04 M gallons of gas consumed and generate $1.1 M in household savings over the projected 35-year lifespan of the solar panels.
Why is this project important for the area where it is located?
The opening of the Henderson-Hopkins campus in 2014 represented progress toward the fulfillment of a commitment made by Johns Hopkins University to families in the Old Town/Middle East neighborhoods of East Baltimore. In these neighborhoods, the median income is less than $25,000, and over 50% of children live below the poverty line. It is a predominantly Black neighborhood, and 90.8% of residents identify as Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC). Over 50% of the adult population is unemployed. For participating families, the 25% discount on monthly electricity bills could very well be the difference between a paid bill and cut off electricity, which negatively impacts children and families from financial, health, and well-being standpoints.
What would you say are the benefits of partnerships when trying to address challenges facing our communities today?
At the fundamental level the only reason CAF is doing this is because of our partnership with the school. We are so fortunate to have such an enthusiastic and values-aligned partner like Henderson-Hopkins for our first demonstration of this community solar approach. We recently filled our last fundraising gap through a crowdfunding effort and should begin construction in Fall 2023.
Funding from Sol Systems has been critically important in the financing of this project because it has allowed us to do things like create a working capital fund, which every solar project needs. It also allowed us to establish necessary reserves, which we wouldn’t otherwise have. We also appreciate Sol Systems sharing their significant expertise with CAF, as well as sending us relevant funding opportunities as they learn of them to help us leverage additional funding.
We are intentional about cultivating mutually beneficial partnerships at every level. This includes large national coalitions, peers in the green banking and solar development fields, elected officials, and quasi-public agencies at all levels of government; community-based organizations and resident leaders, renewable energy and environmental justice advocates, and other mission-aligned organizations. Partnership development is an area of work for which we care deeply about, and as we grow, we look forward to having more internal capacity to expand our reach.
In short, our work has really taken a village. Solar4Us @ Henderson-Hopkins would not be possible without partnerships with the public and private sectors, other nonprofit groups, and philanthropy. Many stakeholders have come to the table to make this happen, which is especially important since we are doing something new– new because it is renewable energy with community solar, new to Baltimore City, and new because of the innovative ways to finance this project. This project is a first of its kind in almost every respect, and when you are attempting to implement a project of that nature, a multitude of committed partners is necessary.
Do you see your approach to community solar as a new way of bringing economic fairness to under-resourced areas? What makes your approach unique in addressing urban disinvestment?
Absolutely. I see this as a unique approach. Most community solar projects are built on large tracts of open, arable land. That’s where the economies of scale tend to be more beneficial. Bigger projects yield a greater return on investment. The revenue-to-cost ratio is higher, and naturally, the market gravitates towards those larger projects. This is great from a renewable energy perspective, but these projects typically do not prioritize enrolling low-income households, and the household savings rate tends to be lower.
However, rarely do private developers approach community solar as a broader economic development tool in low-income communities. It is often the case that it is out-of-state investors who own the projects and reap the long-term economic benefits in Maryland, and there are no co-benefits like community education and job training and apprenticeships. Local hiring is not usually a priority unless it is a public project. Private solar developers are not trying to figure out how to share the benefits of long-term asset ownership with the community members themselves. All these kinds of co-benefits tend to not exist in other types of larger scale solar development, and even community solar development generally.
Complementing our work as a green bank, CAF also has an advocacy angle that has been instrumental in paving the way for this holistic way of approaching community solar. In 2022, CAF originated HB 1039, which exempts community solar projects on rooftops, parking lots, and landfills that are at least 50% low and moderate income (LMI) from personal property taxes. In 2023, CAF was at the table to strengthen and advocate for HB 908, which made permanent the statewide community solar pilot program, eliminated the pilot program’s arbitrary cap on community solar projects at 580 MW, required that every project reserve at least 40% of its power for low-income households, and made bill consolidation mandatory for utilities.
Small Organization Tackles a Big Problem: Building Capacity to Strengthen Community Impact
Community Impact |
By Adaora Ifebigh
A challenge often seen across grassroots community impact work is building capacity within community organizations. As the clean energy transition grows, an immediate priority is ensuring that small community organizations, especially those serving low-income, coal-reliant, and BIPOC communities, as well as communities that have been affected by environmental challenges, can increase the capacity needed to continue serving their communities.
Over the past year, Sol Systems’ impact team engaged with over 150 community impact organizations across the United States to introduce ourselves and learn about their work. We shared our Infrastructure + Impact™ mission with the organizations, building the trust that is key to working with low-income and historically marginalized communities.
The organizations we met varied in their size and scope - from workforce development, environmental conservation and remediation, energy efficiency and weatherization, to clean energy generation and resiliency hub development. Each of the organizations is doing its part to embed equity and inclusion in its work so that no individual or community is left behind in the transition to a clean energy economy. During our conversations, it became obvious that these organizations share a common challenge: raising the funding needed to grow their programs and widen the scope of their impact.
Case Study: Huneebee Project
Huneebee Project (Huneebee) is one organization meeting the capacity challenge head-on. Headquartered in New Haven, Connecticut, Huneebee is a nonprofit social enterprise that brings beehives to community gardens and equitable employment to local youth. Its founder and Executive Director, Sarah Taylor, is a licensed clinical social worker and beekeeper with a history of serving youth in New Haven. Drawing from her experience working with youth who would one day participate in her organization’s programs, Sarah developed the idea that youth development and local environmental conservation are goals that complement each other. Founded on this belief, Huneebee teaches transferable job skills to young individuals to prepare them for work in other environments.
The training program also includes “wraparound” support for trainees such as resume building workshops and other activities designed to help them succeed in the workplace. Primarily, this program and the team at Huneebee provide stability and structure for young people that often miss it in their everyday lives. At the end of the training program, the trainees are invited to apply for jobs with Huneebee as garden site managers, operations assistants, bee apprentices, and junior bee instructors.
In the four years since inception, 25 trainees have graduated from the Beekeepers in Residence program, Huneebee’s premier job skills training program, which has one cohort per year. When I asked Sarah why the program was limited to only one cohort of about six trainees per year, the response could be summarized into one word – capacity. Huneebee’s supervisory staff and instructors are all volunteers, and all its funding is spent on the bees, the hives, stipends for the youth trainees, and decent wages for the youth employees. This is the first year that Sarah will not need a second job to support herself while she focuses on developing the organization’s programming and raising funds to support its expansion. Like any other young organization, Huneebee has challenges to meet before it can scale its impact in the community. These needs range from hiring a full-time beekeeper to responsibly care for its hives, maximize honey production, host more hives, increase the bee-keeping workshops, and move into a permanent space. Most importantly, Huneebee knows that the best way to deepen their impact is to increase their cohort size. Huneebee recently secured two multi-year grants and completed a successful fundraiser which will allow them to increase the number of hours they can offer their youth, run up to three cohorts next year, and deepen its impact. Recently, they have finally hired a full-time beekeeper!
Sarah Taylor is justifiably proud of the organization she founded, especially the youth who have come through its doors to date. For her, there is a sense of responsibility to support workforce pathways for youth in the community. Non-profit community impact organizations like Huneebee Project are important in their communities. Often these groups provide needed social services such as education and job skills training, which many of the residents depend on, that help enhance the welfare of the community. But the need for these services is usually much greater than the non-profits’ capacity to provide them.
Building capacity does not happen instantly, but its benefits to non-profits and community organizations such as Huneebee Project cannot be overstated.
For more information about community organizations embracing the challenges of capacity-building to deepen impact in their communities and how you can help, check out these other organizations in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area. These are a few of the organizations that we engaged with in the past year:
Computer CORE is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to prepare underserved adults in Virginia to achieve their career goals by teaching foundational digital and professional skills. Computer CORE has a long history of helping Virginians from over 100 countries to “build confidence in the computer skills needed to participate in today’s economy.”
South Baltimore Community Land Trust (SBCLT) is a community-led non-profit organization working to build affordable housing, ensure development without displacement, and zero waste. SBCLT was founded after years of research and action by high school students and residents in South Baltimore. SBCLT believes that “people directly impacted by environmental, economic and racial injustice must be in the lead to create development that regenerates our communities and our planet.”
 In this article, capacity focuses on an organization’s ability to raise or obtain the funding needed to grow its programs and serve more members of the community.
In the June edition of the Sol SOURCE we introduced our Infrastructure + Impact Spotlight Series, an opportunity for our staff, partners, and customers to get to know the community-based organizations we work with, other notable organizations that are doing their part to ensure a just and sustainable future, and to learn more about Sol’s role in facilitating the journey towards a more just energy future.
This quarter we highlight our partnership with GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic (GRID), a non-profit based in Washington D.C. that provides no-cost solar installations and solar job training. GRID Alternatives is a community partner in our partnership with Microsoft to combine a 500-megawatt (MW) framework power purchase agreement (PPA), one of the country’s largest, with a groundbreaking strategy to invest in under-resourced communities and communities disproportionately impacted by climate change.
GRID’s mission is building community-powered solutions to advance economic and environmental justice through renewable energy. Through their Solar Works DC and Solar Futures programs, GRID provides hands-on, group-based installation training and soft skills development for DC residents. This workforce development program is crucial in making the solar industry more inclusive for people of color. Additionally, GRID works extensively with low- to moderate-income residents in DC—including Wards 7 and 8, historically marginalized areas in DC where access to affordable, healthy food is limited or non-existent. In these food deserts, areas where it is difficult to buy affordable or good quality fresh food, resources are scarce and environmental issues are more severe. GRID helps democratize renewable solar energy to make affordable electricity, cleaner air, and sustainable career development available to everyone.
GRID is led by Executive Director Elijah Perry, a charming and passionate DC resident whose family has called the District home for decades. Elijah believes firmly in the principle that even marginal changes have impact on intractable problems. This adage is also becoming clearer to me as I work in community impact and through collaborations with people like Elijah—we do not need to wait to be able to move mountains to solve problems. Our work could start small and lead to a ripple effect in the community. GRID’s work in the Washington DC community, led by Elijah, is a pebble breaking the surface of the pond.
There is no better example of the immense impact of GRID’s work in the community than Jahlil Wormley, a graduate of the Solar Works DC program. When Jahlil graduated high school, he was unsure about what career options he could pursue. In the few months following his graduation, he experienced homelessness and gun violence. The violent experiences threatened his life and his ability to walk again. Two years later, Jahlil is not only walking well, but he also lives in his own apartment and earns $20 per hour in his first full-time job at Tesla Energy in Prince George’s County, MD. He credits GRID’s Solar Works DC program for helping him get his life on track. Not only did Jahlil attend the hands-on solar installation training, but he also used the career development and wrap-around support services provided by the program. Solar Works DC trains people on how to install solar panels and provides support through resume building, financial literacy, mock interviews, and addressing needs related to mental health, hunger and other issues that can affect personal growth.
Since the fall of 2021, over 40 participants have graduated from GRID’s workforce training programs. Out of these graduates, 19 of them have received offers for solar jobs in the Washington DC metropolitan area. One local partner hired four trainees from the class, the most hires made by a single organization. This employment opportunity includes a trip abroad to work on solar installation projects in Kenya. According to Elijah, the intangible benefits from an opportunity to travel internationally are immeasurable especially for people who never left the locality where they were born and raised. Not only does GRID help its trainees to secure employment with its partners, GRID also frequently hires trainees as instructors for new classes. To continue playing a role in addressing the gender disparities that exist in the solar industry, GRID has hired three women from the recent class as full-time solar instructors.
A financial contribution from Sol Systems (Sol) enhanced GRID’s ability to provide financial and computer literacy components to the installer training curriculum, career support activities, build community partnerships, and engage more employers to support greater inclusion in the solar sector.
Sol’s commitment to under-resourced communities is a priority shared by the leadership and staff. On April 13, 2022, staff at Sol participated in an Employer Day hosted by GRID for Solar Works DC trainees. During that session, Sol staff shared their various pathways to a career in the solar industry, offered instruction on job search, interviewing and soft skills needed to succeed in the workplace, tips on the benefits of mentorship, etc. The benefits of learning from employees in an organization in the industry where a person hopes to gain a foothold are innumerable especially in the face of barriers to advancement. On April 23, 2022, GRID Alternatives joined Sol Systems to celebrate Earth Day at a Starbucks Community Store event in Landover Hills, Maryland. Partnering with organizations like GRID shows how meaningful engagement with communities to tackle local challenges and build a sustainable pathway for future generations can be accomplished when the mission is shared by leadership, staff, and the community.
 Solar Works DC is part of the Department of Energy and Environment’s Solar for All program, which seeks to provide the benefits of solar electricity to 100,000 low-income households and reduce their energy bills
At Sol Systems, we work with our customers to design tailored programs for a more sustainable infrastructure solution. We do this because we believe in the work, it maps to our own culture and mission, and we can help lead our customers to make a transition they might not otherwise make. Our work connects our investments and projects to the communities in which we work and operate through educational programs focused on sustainability and clean energy, through job training programs, and through integrated economic activities. We focus on three aspects of the life cycle for the projects that we develop and/or finance: (1) site selection, (2) development, and (3) operations. In each phase, we aim to maximize overall impact.
As part of our commitment to supporting under-resourced communities through infrastructure investment and development, on May 17, 2022, Sol Systems and FedEx announced a unique charitable arrangement with So Others Might Eat (SOME), a local Washington DC non-profit. This effort builds off the 915Kw solar system Sol Systems constructed on the roof of the FedEx Express Eckington Place facility in Northeast Washington, D.C. A portion of the energy credits generated from the project will be donated to SOME and help offset annual electricity costs at two of their facilities in Ward 5. At these facilities and through its overall mission, SOME provides programs to support DC residents who are burdened by mental health, homelessness, and poverty.
In addition, Sol has partnered with Microsoft to combine a 500MW framework power purchase agreement (one of the country’s largest) with a groundbreaking strategy to invest in under-resourced communities and communities disproportionately impacted by climate change. As part of this initiative, Sol Systems will identify places where we can craft community-based energy solutions, support local workforce development opportunities and partner with local organizations working to address challenges in their communities.
In this spotlight series, we will provide the opportunity for our staff, partners, and customers to get to know the community-based organizations we work with and to learn more about Sol’s journey to help facilitate a more just and fair energy future.
The first five organizations are based in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington DC, all focused on issues related to renewable energy, environmental justice, jobs creation and training, habitat restoration, and other community and societal impact challenges. In the coming months, you will hear more about these organizations and how Sol Systems works with them towards an equitable clean energy future.
PowerCorpsPHL based in Philadelphia, connects disconnected young adults and returning citizens to careers by using community service as a model to provide education and paid work experience. Sol’s partnership will help PowerCorpsPHL to expand a skills-building program focused on mathematics and construction and field tests for the utility industry, increase career exposure opportunities for the students and address transportation logistics services for the program graduates.
Philadelphia Energy Authority’s Bright Solar Future (BSF) program provides access to solar careers for young people in Philadelphia, growing a diverse and more equitable workforce that will help make national climate priorities a reality. The students who are primarily from communities of color, train in solar and battery storage installation, sales, design, weatherization, construction basics, and job site safety. Sol’s partnership will help curriculum development and equipment purchases for their new energy storage training model and adapt existing curriculum to create a permanent solar training program for various school districts.
Groundswell based in Washington DC, is a non-profit organization that builds community power through equitable community solar projects and resilience centers, clean energy programs that reduce energy burdens, and research initiatives that help light the way to clean energy futures for all. Groundswell is working with various partners in the energy industry including the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) to identify appropriate facilities for energy resiliency centers (solar + storage) serving low-income neighborhoods within Baltimore City. The non-profit City of Refuge will be among the first resiliency centers in the city with solar and battery storage.
GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic (GRID Mid-Atlantic) based in Washington DC, is non-profit organization that provides no-cost solar installations and solar job training. Through their Solar Works DC Training and Solar Futures Programs, GRID provides group-based job training and education in solar system installation to residents with low incomes. Sol’s partnership will help GRID to provide its students with career support services (such as, career check-in sessions, resume techniques, professionalism in the workplace, etc.), financial and computer literacy programs, and other program support services.
Black Owners of Solar Services (BOSS) is a nationwide collaborative of entrepreneurs, financiers, veterans, attorneys, engineers, contractors, and developers whose mission is to combine and leverage their collective power to lead actionable solutions for sustained access to equitable opportunities in clean energy production, distribution, and storage for Black owned businesses. BOSS and Sol will collaborate in the development and implementation of a business-to-business mentorship and sponsorship program that will help connect diverse business owners to opportunities and relationships across the renewable energy industry
Sol Systems is making it a priority to continuously work with its partners to meaningfully engage with communities through innovative solutions to tackle local challenges and build a sustainable pathway for future generations. Our commitment to working with under-resourced and communities of color is ongoing and built into the mission and vision of our company.
The team at Sol is heart-broken by the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. While it should not take murder to elicit meaningful, lasting change, we are embracing the opportunity to listen, learn, and grow, both as individuals and as a team. We stand with those that fight against injustice towards the black community not just because it is convenient, but because it is necessary for the rest of our lives and for future generations.
know for a fact that good intentions must be backed by action.
Sol commits to the
Organizational Assessment – We commit to listening with compassion and taking concrete steps to implement feedback. We will learn more about the ways prejudice resides in individuals, teams, and institutions. We will be candid with ourselves and look to reform the image in the mirror.
Committing to Change in the Industry – We support the work of organizations like The Solar Foundation and SEIA in the realm of diversity and inclusion. We will continue to find ways to innovate how our industry supports and celebrates the black community.
Financial Investment – We are not experts on how to solve systemic bias, but there are talented entrepreneurs and political leaders committing themselves to addressing the problem of systemic injustice and racism faced by the black community. Sol has established a minimum annual fund of $50,000 to invest in under-resourced communities and especially black communities.
Continued Growth – We built this company on a vision of bold innovation and seamless collaboration. It powers our business, our people, and our leadership in the solar energy industry. We are a company of big ideas and real results, doing work that matters. We care deeply about creating a safe environment where everyone has a voice to lead and impact. We will not let the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless other black people be in vain. We are committed to using our resources to ensure that we honor, protect, and celebrate all black lives.
this moment and in the future, black lives especially matter and demand our
compassion and attention. We will continue to strengthen our communities by
standing up against police brutality, racism, and injustice. We aren’t afraid
of the challenges that lay ahead; if we were, we wouldn’t have built this
our love to so many of you who are in anguish right now. While we may not know your personal pain, this pains us too.
Black lives matter. Black children matter. Black futures matter.