Little Sun

Little Sun solar-powered LED lamps

Berlin, Berlin

Germany

www.littlesun.com

About Little Sun

Little Sun is at once an inclusive social business, a global project, and a way of connecting the world through sharing light. Founded in 2012 by artist Olafur Eliasson and engineer Frederik Ottesen, Little Sun is invested in delivering clean solar light as well as raising awareness about the importance of sustainable energy for all through special projects and events around the world. The Berlin-based company’s eponymous first product, the Little Sun solar LED lamp, was developed to get clean, reliable, affordable light to the 1.2 billion people worldwide without access to electricity living in ‘off-grid’ areas, with a particular focus on Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Little Sun lamp’s unique design has made it popular across the globe – in addition to a growing number of African countries, Little Sun is sold in Europe, Canada, Australia, Japan, and the USA. Little Sun’s innovative business model utilises revenue from sales of Little Suns in on-grid areas to subsidise the delivery of Little Sun lamps to off-grid areas at reduced, locally affordable prices.

Little Sun addresses the need for light in sustainable way that benefits off-grid communities, creates local jobs, and generates local profits. Rather than a short-term fix of donating lamps to an off-grid area, Little Sun works with and trains local entrepreneurs to build profitable local businesses that distribute Little Sun light.

In April 2014 Little Sun received a ground-breaking $5 million impact investment from Bloomberg Philanthropies, making it possible for the company to dramatically scale its operations across the African continent.

As a social business, we are inspired by B Corp’s high standard of recognising companies who are not only affecting positive change worldwide, but also revolutionising the type of impact businesses can make while transforming their innovative ideas into action.

The Change We Seek®

Little Sun is a social business and global project with two key objectives:

1. Bringing sustainable solar energy to the 1.2 billion people in the world without electricity.

2. Raising awareness of the importance of sustainable energy for all, by activating and inspiring people all over the world to join Little Sun’s campaign for worldwide sustainable energy access.

Little Sun’s vision for the future is a world where the vital resource of clean, affordable energy is available to everyone. In the words of Little Sun founder, artist Olafur Eliasson, ‘Access to energy and light allows you to determine the direction of your life.’

Use of Little Sun lamps in off-grid areas eliminates the indoor air pollution, breathing-related problems, burns, and house fires caused by kerosene lanterns and candles, while supplying light that is 10 times brighter. With Little Sun, people can work, study, socialise, and extend their daily activities into the night – safely.

This increased access to solar light and energy is making off-grid poverty reduction strategies more effective, as businesses can extend their hours, thereby increasing their revenue. Students are now studying without the smoke of kerosene lanterns hurting their eyes. Cooking and socialising have become more enjoyable. The structure of off-grid communities is being strengthened from within by local entrepreneurs as they deliver sustainable Little Sun solar products.

Solar energy is bringing wide-reaching opportunities for safer, healthier, more productive, and more sustainable living to the world. Little Sun is helping bring about this positive shift, as ultimately, the company is set to become a large-scale solar energy provider, with the Little Sun lamp being the first in a long line of solar products, functioning as the important first step – of many – up the sustainable energy ladder.

What makes us a better company?

B Impact Report

Certified since: 

April 2015
Summary:

Company Score

Median Score*

Environment

Environment

The Environment section of the Assessment evaluates a company's environmental performance through its facilities; materials, resource, and energy use; and emissions. Where applicable, it also considers a company's transportation/distribution channels and environmental impact of its supply chain. This section also measures whether a company's products or services are designed to solve an environmental issue, including products that aid in the provision of renewable energy, conserve resources, reduce waste, promote land/wildlife conservation, prevent toxic/hazardous substance or pollution, or educate, measure, or consult to solve environmental problems.

20
7
Workers

Workers

The Worker section of the survey assesses the company's relationship with its workforce. This section measures how the company treats its workers through compensation, benefits, training, and ownership opportunities provided to workers. It also focuses on the overall work environment within the company through management/worker communication, job flexibility and corporate culture, and worker health and safety practices.

17
18
Customers

Customers

The Customers section of the Assessment measures the impact a company has on its customers. The section focuses on whether a company sells products or services that promote public benefit, and if those products/services are targeted towards serving underserved populations. Questions in this section will measure whether a company's product or service is designed to solve a social or environmental issue (e.g. improves health, preserves environment or creates economic opportunity to individuals or communities, promotes the arts/sciences, or increases the flow of capital to purpose-driven enterprises).

29
N/A
Community

Community

The Community section of the survey assesses a company's impact on its community. The Community section evaluates a company's supplier relations, diversity, and involvement in the local community. The section also measures the company's practices and policies around community service and charitable giving. In addition, this section includes if a company's product or service is designed to solve a social issue, including access to basic services, health, education, economic opportunity, arts, and increasing the flow of capital to purpose-driven enterprises.

45
17
Governance

Governance

The Governance section of the Assessment evaluates a company's accountability and transparency. The section focuses on the company's mission, stakeholder engagement, and overall transparency of the company's practices and policies.

7
6
Overall B Score
117
55

80 out of 200 is eligible for certification

*Of all businesses that have completed the B Impact Assessment

*Median scores will not add up to overall

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