Grants to Support Underserved Communities with Programs Focused on Community Resilience, Careers in Sustainability, and Energy Efficiency Building Upgrades
The Hannon Armstrong Foundation (NYSE: HASI), a non-profit philanthropic organization with a mission to accelerate a just transition toward an equitable, inclusive, and climate positive future, today announced three new multi-year partnerships with leading non-profit organizations focused on community resilience, careers in sustainability, and energy efficiency building upgrades.
The Foundation's partnerships with Groundswell, SEI, and Southface Institute will deliver funding to improve direct access to affordable clean energy and health-enhancing products and services for communities that contend with disinvestment and inequities; provide education and training opportunities for careers in climate solutions at historically Black colleges and universities and those that serve other communities of color; and equip non-profits with financial and technical resources to make sustainable building improvements.
“The Hannon Armstrong Foundation is committed to supporting the most impactful organizations working at the intersection of social justice and climate action,” said Jeffrey W. Eckel, President, Hannon Armstrong Foundation. “We are honored and grateful to help support the growth of these unique programs and services offered by Groundswell, SEI, and Southface Institute.”
Meet our partners:
Groundswell builds community power through equitable community solar projects and resilience centers, clean energy programs that reduce energy burdens, and pioneering research initiatives that help light the way to clean energy futures for all. It leads clean energy programs and projects in six states, including the District of Columbia, serving more than 5,000 income-qualified customers with more than $1.85 million per year in clean energy savings.
With funded support from the Hannon Armstrong Foundation, Groundswell will develop up to eight new community resilience center sites in Baltimore, help advance at least two community resilience center sites into the construction phase and identify an additional Maryland community that is ready to develop its own energy resilience center program.
Groundswell resilience centers combine solar and energy storage on a microgrid to keep the lights, heating, and air conditioning on when the power goes off, providing essential services for members of the community that are more likely to experience outages and less likely to have adequate resources during emergencies. Their approach puts communities first by involving local residents to identify where resilience centers should be built and to determine which services are priorities.
"Building energy resilience can do more than keep the lights on. Resilience can be reparative, support the regeneration of communities, and build wealth. It’s our privilege to be alive at a time when the transformation of our energy systems can do justice, and it is our joy to serve that vision," said Michelle Moore, CEO, Groundswell.
SEI (Strategic Energy Innovations) is an environmental non-profit that builds leaders to drive sustainability solutions. For nearly 25 years, SEI has partnered with schools, communities, and organizations across sectors to develop a leadership pathway from elementary school to early career. Its flagship programs (Energize Schools, Energize Colleges, School of Environmental Leadership, Climate Corps, and Energize Careers) educate and empower students and emerging professionals to create thriving, resilient communities. SEI's Climate Corps program is an award-winning, bridge-to-career fellowship program that recruits and places rising climate professionals with higher education institutions to implement climate change equity and resiliency projects.
With support from the Hannon Armstrong Foundation, SEI will expand its Climate Corps program. SEI will train the region's climate and energy workforce of the future and build capacity at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other universities serving historically underrepresented communities in the climate space to advance climate protection initiatives in the region. SEI will build on Hannon Armstrong Foundation's existing partnership with Morgan State University as part of the pilot year of its expanded Climate Corps on Campus.
"The Hannon Armstrong Foundation and SEI both realize that the world needs more people from all backgrounds putting climate solutions into place in their communities,” said Cyane Dandridge, Founder and Executive Director, Strategic Energy Innovations (SEI). “Building the next generation of climate leaders takes teamwork, and SEI is grateful to the Hannon Armstrong Foundation for expanding the Climate Corps program to develop capacity at Minority Serving Institutions, support high-quality professional training and mentorship, and build sustainability-focused networks.”
Southface Institute is a sustainable building nonprofit that strengthens equity and the environment by transforming residential and commercial structures at every stage of the building life cycle. Since 1978, Southface has collaborated with other nonprofits, businesses, builders, developers, universities, government agencies, and communities to deliver practical solutions with tangible results for the planet and all its inhabitants.
With funded support from the Hannon Armstrong Foundation, Southface will pilot a new model of employee engagement within their GoodUse program, which equips 45-50 non-profits each year to reduce operating costs and reap savings to reinvest into core services to the community. This is accomplished through facility and operational upgrades that increase resource efficiency, lower utility bills, and improve indoor air quality. In the pilot, Hannon Armstrong staff ambassadors will help review and choose grantees from their own communities. These communities will benefit from the increase in investment while the environment will benefit from the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
"Southface is excited to partner with the Hannon Armstrong Foundation to grow the impact of GoodUse in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast," said Jim Neal, Interim President, Southface Institute. "This expansion will pay off for non-profits and communities throughout the region in a deep and lasting way, all while mitigating climate change. With our aligned goals and the profound need for mission-driven investments, this is one powerful partnership."
About Hannon Armstrong Foundation
The Hannon Armstrong Foundation's mission is to accelerate a just transition toward an equitable, inclusive, and climate positive future. Hannon Armstrong funds the Hannon Armstrong Foundation through an annual Social Dividend. The Foundation’s philanthropic priorities include providing climate solutions for disadvantaged communities; supporting career pathways in climate solutions for historically disadvantaged communities and those impacted by climate change and the energy transition; and strengthening the social fabric and promoting economic and climate resilience in our local communities. For more information, please visit hannonarmstrong.org.