Lighting the Way for Earthquake Relief in Puerto Rico

MPOWERD’s Work As a B Corp Affects Millions and Saves Tons of Carbon Dioxide from Our Atmosphere
The more Luci lights sold to developed markets, the more lights and phone chargers MPOWERD can offer affordably to emergency response markets. That’s why voting with your wallet is so important — be sure to look for the B Corp label next time you shop. (Photo credit: MPOWERD)

On January 7, 2020, a devastating 6.4-magnitude earthquake left Puerto Rico in a state of blackout. Many survivors said the event was “scarier than Hurricane Maria,” a disaster from which the island is still recovering over two years later. NGOs and nonprofits such as Catholic Charities, Together Puerto Rico, Harper 4 Humanity, and B&R Emergency Training and Response Corp. have been on the scene since. Their work has helped Puerto Ricans begin to rebuild their lives from the rubble. Even so, incessant aftershocks continue to disrupt the island, cause power outages, and keep families housed in tents.

By filling a unique gap in the humanitarian response efforts, a self-declared “small but mighty” Certified B Corporation called MPOWERD has been demonstrating its commitment to mission-driven business values. Its main product line of Luci lights are bright, waterproof, portable, and — best of all — provide limitless clean energy by using solar power.

MPOWERD is part of the community of businesses that have used a third-party verification of their impact. Use the free B Impact Assessment to evaluate your company’s impact on all stakeholders, including the environment, your workers, your community and your customers.

Since the earthquake, MPOWERD has distributed over 9,000 Luci lights to Puerto Ricans through its Give Luci program in partnership with those NGOs and nonprofits on the ground. However, Give Luci wasn’t just an afterthought in the wake of the Puerto Rico earthquake. The program has always been a core part of MPOWERD’s mission to bring renewable light sources to all corners of the globe.

You can make a difference by voting with your wallet and contributing to the Give Luci program.

This isn’t the first time MPOWERD has delivered light during earthquake recovery.

In 2015, Nepal was struck by a 7.3-magnitude earthquake and a series of aftershocks that led to a loss of 9,000 people and 5,000 schools. Because of slow rebuilding and an entire generation’s education at risk, the effects have been abysmal. Without light, students have trouble making early on-foot journeys to school as well as studying and playing after dark. Kerosene lamps are an option, but they’re unsafe and toxic to the planet.

MPOWERD’s alternative energy solution has been there every step of the way, partnering with Kids of Kathmandu and Asian Friendship Network to donate 500 Luci lights in the first year following the earthquake. This spring, MPOWERD continues its efforts by partnering with Backpacker magazine to bring light to 340 students at two schools in Nepal.

(Photo credit: MPOWERD)
It takes a village.

As part of the B Corp community, MPOWERD co-founder John Salzinger says:

“We believe that in the face of global challenges, companies have a responsibility to step up and face them head-on, participating in the recovery process and using our platform to connect one another.”

His words and the social mission echo throughout the company’s everyday operations. Not only are the products supporting disaster relief and facing climate change head-on, MPOWERD is also committed to building community and support networks as a B Corp, benefit corporation, and member of Social Enterprise Alliance (SEA). As Lauren Dekleva of SEA recalls, “MPOWERD joined the Alliance to meet other like-minded companies who believe business can be a force for social good.”

In the growing B Economy, a willingness and desire to share elements of success, sustainable business practices, and innovative solutions for social responsibility have an exponential effect that can’t be matched. B Corp products and services offer a unique value to paying customers, but their utility for those who need it most is simply invaluable. In troubling times, this is a community that can come together, contribute their strengths, and leverage partnerships to make a positive difference.

B the Change gathers and shares the voices from within the movement of people using business as a force for good and the community of Certified B Corporations. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the nonprofit B Lab.

Lighting the Way for Earthquake Relief in Puerto Rico was originally published in B The Change on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Source: B the Change

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