Little Sun has been working since 2012 to create a thriving world powered by the sun.
This is our impact to date:
As of December 2021.
*From all Little Sun Originals, Little Sun Diamonds, and Natural Lights distributed in off-grid areas since 2012. Based on GOGLA, the Standardized Impact Calculator for the Off-grid Energy Sector. The calculations are based on the product lifespan.
**From Little Sun Foundation’s distributions to school children since 2018. Based on SolarAid’s Impact Calculator.
All of Little Sun’s work is embedded in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) framework. This group of 17 goals was created in order to tackle inequality, improve health and education access, stimulate economic growth, and address climate change.
Our solar energy initiatives particularly address SDG 7: “Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.” Our work also advances: SDG 1 (No Poverty), SDG 3 (Health), SDG 4 (Education), SDG 8 (Economic Growth) and SDG 13 (Climate Action).
At Little Sun, our main mission is to design and deliver affordable clean energy solutions and inspire people to take climate action. Needless to say, we always consider the environmental impact of all we do. We know that providing a clean alternative to toxic fuel-based power and light to communities in Africa is just one of many steps we can take to help solve climate change. That’s why we continuously invest in the development of new technologies and the implementation of more efficient working procedures, to support a zero-carbon and resilient world.
Why a plastic Little Sun Lamp, and what next?
From the outset, Little Sun has aimed to make high-quality, low-cost products that deliver a positive impact. Little Sun lamps are produced with ABS plastic, the most resilient, effective, and recyclable material we have been able to find to date. Moreover, we are constantly trying to reduce the carbon footprint of our products by talking to material scientists, manufacturers, and innovators, and testing new materials to find more eco-friendly options for our devices.
Our aim has always been to make the world’s most sustainable object as well as to develop renewable energy systems that are produced locally within a Circular Economy paradigm. We are currently running trials with newly available bio-plastics and are likewise experimenting with packaging materials grown from mushrooms. We are also testing a bio-resin, bio-fiber composite – which has great promise.
Are you powered by renewable energy and sustainable as an organization?
Little Sun has been powered by renewable energy since 2016 – most recently by Norwegian hydropower: Stadtwerke Cottbus. We also contribute to reducing CO₂ emissions in Sub-Saharan Africa through the sale and distribution of solar powered lamps, chargers, and other appliances. These devices are used by people living off the electric grid who would otherwise revert to (so-called “conventional”) energy sources, such as kerosene lamps and power generators which produce substantial emissions.
According to GOGLA’s Standardised Impact Metrics methodology, Little Sun has contributed to saving 817,799 tons of CO₂ to date by selling or distributing 762,223 solar lamps in off-grid areas. In 2019 alone, our devices contributed to saving 109,198 tons of CO₂ which is the equivalent of 24,000 vehicles taken off the road for a year.
However, Little Sun is determined to do its utmost to reduce its own carbon footprint. Therefore, in 2020, Little Sun endeavored to measure the total amount of our own CO₂ emissions. We looked at the emissions from lamp production, the “life cycle product carbon footprint” which measures the total greenhouse gas emissions generated by a product, from the extraction of raw materials to end-of-life, as well as the emissions from the business of running Little Sun’s operations – including our team’s travel, and our office (electricity, water, digital footprint, etc.)
We made an estimation of the carbon footprint of Little Sun’s global operations in 2019 which is a total of 1,637 tons of CO₂. When compared to the 109,198 tons of CO₂ saved by our solar distribution and productive use programs, the estimated calculation of 1,637 tons of CO₂ produced by the cost of doing Little Sun business is relatively small. But our aim is to continuously reduce our carbon impact – year after year.