CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Greenlight Planet, a social business dedicated to delivering affordable solar energy products, such as indoor and outdoor lighting and lamps, to more than 2 billion people who live off the electric grid, today announced it has received the 2016 Ashden International Award for Increasing Energy Access, supported by the IKEA Foundation – one of the world’s most prestigious green awards – for excellence in sustainable energy. The award acknowledges the major strides Greenlight Planet has made to increase energy access through micro-financing in disadvantaged communities.
Through its Sun King brand, Greenlight Planet has sold more than 5 million reliable solar lighting products across 54 countries, allowing millions light for the first time. True to its mission of delivering clean energy at affordable prices, Greenlight Planet is helping to redefine the industry’s approach to fulfilling the needs of off-grid families. This includes revolutionizing access to solar lighting by offering its pay-as-you-go payment option, Easy Buy.
The Easy Buy payment model empowers community members to be proud of being able to purchase their own products where they could not have done so before. These payments, as little as fifteen cents per day, go directly towards the overall purchase of the product, allowing disadvantaged households and businesses to continue benefiting from solar lighting. Greenlight Planet will receive a monetary prize from Ashden International that will go towards the scaling of its business.
“For those living off the electric grid, kerosene, wood or coal-powered lighting are often considered the only options available – but each of these come with notable health risks, not to mention detrimental impacts on the environment,” said T. Patrick Walsh, Greenlight Planet Founder and CEO. “By developing safe and affordable solar energy products, we aim to show remote communities that there are other options available so they can live brighter and more productive lives. We are incredibly honored to receive this recognition from Ashden, and look forward to continuing our efforts to increase the development of solar technologies for remote dwellers worldwide.”
The idea for Greenlight Planet took shape in a University of Illinois dorm room, when founder T. Patrick Walsh realized that residents in rural villages had a need for healthy, affordable and sustainable energy options. In 2007, Mayank Sekhsaria and Anish Thakkar joined Patrick to develop that vision through smart solar design. By micro-financing its solutions, Greenlight Planet is able to bring its affordable solar products to global audiences.
Greenlight Planet’s Impact
- 5 million+ off-grid households reached
- 20 million+ users worldwide
- Available in 54 countries
- 6000+ micro-entrepreneurs created
- 100+ strategic partnerships
As a Result of Greenlight Planet’s Products:
- 25% of users claim an increase in household income
- 75% of users claim an increase in study time
- 84% of users claim better air quality
- 48% of users claim fewer breathing problems
- 94% of users claim they feel safer
- Reduced 9,000,000 tons of CO2 pollution per year
- 10,000+ deadly house fires prevented
Other awards and accolades won by Greenlight Planet include:
- Fast Company’s 2016 Most Innovative Companies in Social Impact
- Finalist, Zayeed Future Energy Prize 2015
- Grant Winner, Clean Start Energy Access Window for Myanmar
- Grant Winner, Energizing Development (EnDev) Uganda GIZ- PREEEP
- Finalist, TOI Social Impact Award 2014
About Greenlight Planet
Greenlight Planet is on a mission to deliver high quality, affordable energy solutions to the world’s two billion under-electrified consumers. Founded in 2009 by 3 university classmates, the Greenlight Planet team maintains an ongoing dedication to replacing dirty fuel sources prevalent in geographies such as Africa and India with smart, bright solar energy solutions. Greenlight Planet is empowering off-grid and rural families with clean and green energy solutions, hence catalysing transformation towards better life. Greenlight has product range which addresses needs of all income groups in rural and is selling in 50+ countries with 100+ partners across the globe. Through its offices in four countries and direct to village sales force, Greenlight has sold 5 million + lamps till date. Dedicated to its mission greenlight plans to reach 20 million households by 2018. www.greenlightplanet.com
Ashden is a charity that champions and supports the leaders in sustainable energy to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon world. Since our creation in 2001, our winners have transformed the lives of more than 47 million people in the UK and developing countries. Their solutions range from simple solar lanterns in Africa that allow children to do their homework after sunset, to low-carbon building innovators in the UK.