Green Gift Monday Partner Q&A: Sungevity
Danny Kennedy is the Founder of Sungevity, a home solar energy company. A long-time social entrepreneur, Danny has achieved global recognition as an environmental activist, spokesperson and opinion leader. Most recently, Danny was the Campaigns Manager for Greenpeace Australia Pacific. In 2001, he ran Greenpeace’s California Clean Energy Campaign, the success of which helped lead to the current California Solar Initiative. Danny was the founder and first Executive Director of Project Underground and serves on several nonprofit boards.
Why did you choose to participate in Green Gift Monday?
Sungevity is participating in Green Gift Monday to show our support for The Nature Conservancy and to create awareness around experiential and charitable gift giving this holiday season. As a company, Sungevity doesn’t produce any disposable goods. Our one product is actually a service: 15-20 years of clean, green, renewable energy.
Share one tip on how you’re personally going to green your holiday.
People who know me know that there’s not much I love more than food. From barbequed kangaroo to fried squid tentacles, if it can be served on a plate then I’ve probably had the pleasure of putting it into my mouth. It makes sense then, that one of my favorite things about the holiday season is all of the delicious food I can get locally. I make sure my holidays are green by making all of my holiday meals with organic food, grown and raised locally wherever possible. Not only do my meals have a lower carbon footprint, but I’ve done my part to support the local economy and the food tastes better!
What’s your favorite holiday tradition?
I really like Thanksgiving in that it is a celebration of family and good food, without a bunch of unnecessary gift giving. I did not grow up with Thanksgiving as it is not part of Australia’s heritage but have come to love it. Seems to me like American families love to come together, break bread together (and eat some other great food) and enjoy each other’s company. I think it feels friendly and a lot nicer than some of the other holidays.
What makes your product or service a meaningful gifting option?
Giving the gift of light to families in Africa is giving the gift of education. Through our Every Child Has a Light campaign we donate a solar light kit to a school in Zambia every time we sign a new customer. These lights allow children to study after dusk and in some cases replace toxic kerosene lanterns. In conjunction with Green Gift Monday we are now letting anyone (customer or not) gift a light to a school in need. This holiday season we ask you to support local clean energy, everywhere. Give the gift of light. For only $25 you can help fight energy poverty & proliferate renewable energy in rural Africa.
How are you spreading the word about Green Gift Monday?
Talk to people who have gone solar and they will tell you that solar is a social network. In fact, just having a neighbor with a rooftop solar array increases your chances of going solar by over 200%. To spread the word about Green Gift Monday we are going to leverage Sungevity’s Sunshine Network of happy customers and their word of mouth skills. We will also use all of the obvious channels, from our blog and social media accounts to an internal company memo to our email distribution list. We’ll give them some talking points to use with their friends about the rooftop revolution as well as the Conservancy.
What’s your favorite holiday movie or TV special?
“Young Einstein.” It’s a silly Aussie film but features phenomenal footage of my home country. If you’ve seen the movie you know it isn’t holiday-themed, but it’s my favorite one to sit around and watch with my kids – not that they love it as much! As the LA Times said, “it’s just about impossible to dislike a movie in which examples of the hero’s pacifism include his risking his life to save kitties from being baked to death inside a pie.”