What it Means to be a B Corp: Sun Light & Power’s Story

Company: Sun Light & Power
Location: Berkeley, California
Industry: Solar panel installation
Final B Corp Score: 137.6

We recently asked Seamas Brennan at Sun Light & Power to share about the 100% employee-owned company’s journey of becoming a B Corp and how they do business better. Sun Light & Power became a Certified B Corp in 2009 and completed the recertification process in 2021.

Sun Light & Power’s mission is to drive the total adoption of clean energy by designing, building, maintaining, and advocating for clean energy solutions so future generations inherit a healthy planet. They are committed to delivering an exceptional customer experience by always innovating and acting with dedication and passion.

Why was B Corp Certification important for you?

Sun Light & Power has delivered exceptional solar for over 45 years. We design and build PV, battery storage and solar thermal systems for residential and commercial clients. We became a 100% employee-owned ESOP in 2018 and are among the charter California B Corps. Since 1990 alone, our dedicated teams have installed over 3,000 solar projects.

We have always strived to conduct our business in an equitable and responsible manner. Taking care of our customers, team members and the planet is how we help move us all closer to a clean energy future. Maintaining our B Corp Certification has helped us stay focused on this critical goal.

What did you learn from the recertification process?

Our recertification team learned how and where to make improvements to be a better B Corp. We were able to identify the specific areas where improvement is needed. This helped us focus and prioritize our efforts.

How did your company change through the recertification process?

Several team members from multiple departments helped us gather data for our recertification and all team members provided data to calculate our carbon footprint. As a result, their awareness, appreciation and commitment to B Corp values increased. Our high B Corp score also helped validate the hard work performed by our team members and boost morale. Our recertification reminded us that we are part of a special worldwide movement.

In your own words, what does it mean to be a B Corp?

At Sun Light & Power, being a B Corp not only reflects the long-term commitment of our Founder and CEO, Gary Gerber, it also honors the dedicated individuals who have helped us serve the greater Bay Area community since 1976. Being a B Corp reminds us that our mission to build a better future with solar is not merely a slogan – it is a way of life. This is why we have worked so hard to improve and endure in this challenging business sector even as climate change, the pandemic, politics and the supply chain have challenged us in every way.

What advice would you give to others considering certification?

We learned very quickly that having a certified B Corp consultant was essential for guiding us through the process. A third of the work involved education and qualification. Without the help of Carolina and her staff at Cultivating Capital, we could not have completed the process completely or on time. We needed patient direction and informed advice every step of the way. Together we achieved a very positive result.

Is there anything else that you would like to share?

In a 2020 interview, Gary Gerber, shared his thoughts on the importance of being a B Corp. He said, “It requires a commitment of time and resources, but it will benefit the company overall. You will have a superior ability to hire and retain good people. … The benefit will outweigh the cost, and the cost is not that high. Plus, by being a mission-driven company, it gives you a forum to meet and be among like-minded people where you can discuss the issues of the world. … By joining with other B Corps we are putting a message out to the world that a corporation does not have to be all about greed. And there is strength in numbers.”

Join the Community

Whether you’re just learning about B Corps or are already far along your journey, you’ll find opportunities to improve your impact as a business by getting certified or recertified as a B Corp.

If you have questions or would like to talk about B Corp certification, please get in touch with us using the form below.