At the recent Flex Leadership Summit in June 2017, employees not only aligned on the company’s Sketch-to-Scale® strategy, they also generously donated their time to support south Bay Area communities by installing solar panels and assembling educational packets.
Bringing renewable energy to underserved communities
Leading up to the summit, more than a dozen employees volunteered with GRID Alternatives to install solar panel systems for local, low-income families. Nine systems were installed, which will provide more than a quarter million dollars in lifetime energy savings for these families and cut their electricity usage roughly in half. The systems will provide 49 MWh of clean, renewable energy each year and prevent the generation of 570 tonnes of CO2 emissions. Flex, together with sponsors like Facebook, SunPower, Wells Fargo, NEXTracker and others raised more $70,000 to support GRID’s work.
Building STEAM creativity
During a break from the Leadership Summit meetings, 115 Flex executives came together to build activity kits from RAFT (Resource Area for Teaching). These kits are designed to support STEAM activities for more than 5,000 students. Paul Baldassari, Chief Human Resources Officer at Flex, noted that, “it was wonderful to work with so many Flex volunteers to support education and help our communities prosper.”
Flex employees assembled two types of kits:
Colors of Light kits for nearly 3,000 students. These DIY spectroscopes include a diffraction grating prism that shows how white light can be separated across the spectrum, and used to identify different sources of light based on color.
Hovercraft kits for more than 2,000 students. By combining a balloon with a flat CD-sized disc, students can learn about the effects of friction and air pressure on motion, as they quickly scoot the hovercraft across the table.
“Assembling the clever hands-on kits was truly rewarding,” said Chief Financial Officer Chris Collier. “Anything we can do to help our local teachers provide students with engaging learning experiences is super valuable to our community.”
Feeding communities in need
In addition to the volunteer activity at the Leadership Summit, Flex made the event more sustainable by working with Copia to donate excess food to local hunger and emergency services programs for families and individuals. Several thousand meals were served over the course of the event. By working with Flex catering and Copia, 237 pounds of healthy food was recovered for use in 200 meals for local nonprofits, saving 86,000 gallons of water in the process.
These volunteer programs help Flex support the UN Sustainable Development Goals, especially around promoting quality education and supporting the environment. In addition, they support the Flex 20 by 2020 sustainability goal to increase global volunteer hours by 15% over the next few years.