Two high tech companies in Silicon Valley, SunPower and its parent company, Cypress Semiconductor, gave a significant donation, a million dollars worth of solar panels to the headquarters of Second Harvest Food Bank last week. The significance was not only in the million dollars, but also in the ongoing effect that the donation will have on reducing the operating costs of the non-profit.
In a news report on KCBS Radio, Sunpower CEO Tom Werner said: “SunPower has a great opportunity at our core as a company to build a great company and, we believe, to change the world. We think one of the ways we can change the world is to give back and Second Harvest is a great organization at giving back. So we get to accomplish our mission as a company.”
He added that this is not just talk but a tangible double gift to an organization that gives to the community.
While SunPower's contribution was over $400,000, the other $700,000 came from Cypress Semiconductor. Cypress' CEO, T. J. Rodgers saw the added value that a tangible donation of this kind would create for the charity: "If you put solar on the roofs, it reduces their costs and in turn they can serve more meals. In the lifetime of the system it translates into over 6 million meals."
Second Harvest Food Bank provides meals to over 200,000 people a month in the Silicon Valley area, and the number of meals served have been dramatically increasing in the last year.
Not only are these two companies philanthropic, but they are finding ways to help the charity do what they do better. Add to this the positive effect on the environment which translates into powerful impact on the community, locally and globally. It's also an incredibly innovative way to align SunPower's core business with their philanthropy. Bravo!