We can decarbonize our energy system with the technology we have today. Sunrun is accelerating this wide-scale transformation with affordable, reliable, and clean energy solutions like home solar and rechargeable battery storage.
We will drive the electrification of our homes and transportation by harnessing the sun to power our lives with abundance. We will never pump gas again and our families will be cooled and warmed by cleaner, all-electric devices. This future will also help households better manage their energy bills. It will also save everyone money by creating a more efficient system and reducing the need for expensive energy infrastructure like long-distance poles and wires.
The problem of runaway pollution is real. Today’s energy system creates the majority of the world’s carbon emissions. The climate crisis has led to an increased threat of wildfires, hurricanes, and other natural disasters that are severely straining the outdated technology that generates and delivers our power. We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build a sustainable future for humanity. The quicker we deploy our solutions, the faster we can decommission legacy fossil fuel power plants. Sunrun’s success is the planet’s success.
Our core values of being human-centered and making an impact anchor our drive to achieve this transformation. We prioritize our activities and decisions that make a difference and best serve our customers. Our teams also bring a diversity of perspectives to all steps of the problem-solving process. By cultivating empathy for all of our customers, and working together to solve problems as a team, we are able to design elegant solutions that more fully meet customers’ needs.
The past year has tested these values more than ever before. The COVID-19 pandemic is like nothing else in modern history. It has forced us to rethink the way we operate as a business, engage each other, and go about our daily lives. It has put a new emphasis on the importance of reliable and affordable home energy as our households were transformed into the place we live, work, play, and find solace. The pandemic highlights why local energy resiliency and affordable clean power are so important to our collective future.
As we move forward, Sunrun is once again reaffirming its commitment to serving all stakeholders, including our employees, our customers, our financial partners, and the communities in which we operate. In 2020 we hosted quarterly meetings with our executive Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Committee. This group is made up of senior management tasked with aligning our ESG priorities with the company’s broader vision and mission.The Nominating & Corporate Governance Committee of our Board of Directors also provided oversight of our ESG goals and performance.
The acquisition of Vivint Solar solidified Sunrun’s position as the leader in home solar and energy services across the U.S. and a top owner of solar assets globally with more than three gigawatts of solar energy. Our combined company’s expanded solar footprint has prevented greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions totaling 8.1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), which is a more than 50% increase from the previous year.
2020 served as an inflection point, and now is the time for the next chapter in America’s energy narrative. Through our commitment to our customers, our employees and our environment, Sunrun will lead the energy transformation towards a distributed, sustainable future.
Co-founderChief Executive Officer
Sunrun is committed to serving all stakeholders: our employees, our customers, our financial partners, and the communities in which we operate. Our annual impact reports allow us to evaluate and understand the impacts of our business on the world around us.
Our impact spans across multiple areas. Beginning with our customers saving money on their utility bills by switching to solar power, to creating quality jobs in our communities and finally, to protecting the planet for future generations.
We have 550,000 customers, as of the end of 2020
The amount of savings we have provided to our customers
Cumulative kilowatt hours of clean energy produced since 2007
At Sunrun, we offer clean, reliable, affordable solar energy and battery storage solutions to accelerate the transition away from polluting fossil fuels. We recognize that inaction on climate change threatens global security and stability, and bringing solutions to bear on the issue remains the driving force behind our mission to create a planet run by the sun. Sunrun is committed to comprehensive environmental stewardship as demonstrated through the following avenues:
In 2020 Sunrun solidified its position as a global leader in solar deployment and environmental stewardship after successfully acquiring our nearest competitor, Vivint Solar. This transaction enables us to support an accelerated shift to a more low-carbon, climate-resilient economy. However, persistent climate risks and industry inertia could disrupt or compromise operations like they did during the recent fires in California, East Coast hurricanes, and snowstorm-caused blackouts in Texas. We continue to develop strategies for assessing and responding to current and future climate risks. Only through our continued efforts to deploy our products and services to our growing customer base and to adhere to our evolving environmental and social policies can we better insulate ourselves, our partners, and our communities from the consequences of unchecked climate change.
Reducing GHG Emissions
Sunrun’s systems continuously offset GHG emissions as they deliver clean energy to customers. During 2020, we deployed 603.4 megawatts of solar to 84,559 customers. These systems could generate over 20 billion kilowatt-hours of clean energy during the next 30 years, enough to prevent the emission of over 14 million metric tons of CO2e. This quantity is more than 30 times greater than the quantity of CO2e emitted to deploy these systems, which means that Sunrun negates significantly more emissions than we produce.
Positive Carbon Returns
Once Sunrun’s solar energy systems begin operating, positive carbon returns accrue rapidly. Our deployed solar energy systems prevent more GHG emissions than they emit over their product life cycle, resulting in a net-positive carbon balance. After operating for just 11 months, a Sunrun solar energy system will prevent the emission of as many GHGs as were emitted to build and install the system. Because Sunrun’s systems are expected to produce clean energy for 30 years or longer, our systems prevent the release of harmful GHGs for 97% of their lifetime.
Environmental Management System
Sunrun strives for exceptional environmental performance, and maintains an environmental management system (EMS) based on principles of continuous improvement. Our EMS is continually improved to remain aligned with Sunrun’s business strategy and to ensure progressive environmental performance over time.
We continually strive for environmental responsibility at Sunrun, including how we manage our vehicle fleet. As we entered 2020, our plans were focused solidly on driving efficiencies through route optimization and moving toward expanding our hybrid vehicle fleet. Unfortunately, we were forced to put many of these efforts on hold in March when COVID-19 required us to adjust our approach to better follow the Center for Disease Control best practice guidelines. In order to maintain proper distancing, we required employees to take separate vehicles. Additionally, our fleet footprint was broadly expanded, along with almost every other aspect of our business, following the acquisition of Vivint Solar. In 2021, our focus will be on improving the sustainability and efficiency of our combined company’s vehicle fleet. Sunrun is looking into solutions to incorporate electric vehicles into various parts of our fleet as they become available. This includes setting a goal to have one-third of our vehicle fleet be electric or hybrid within five years. In the meantime, we will be adding new, more efficient and eco-friendly vehicles to replace a large portion of our existing fleet. We will also continue to pursue all avenues that would allow us to further expand our hybrid fleet and continue driving optimization through standardization and expansion of our advanced software systems. We plan to expand real-time monitoring telematics solutions to our entire fleet, providing opportunities to track drivers, optimize route patterns that result in enhanced safety, and reduced emissions and operating costs.
In 2020, Sunrun continued to move more toward light-emitting diode (LED) warehouse lighting when feasible, adding to our already large portfolio of this more energy-efficient technology. Additionally, we added two new properties already fitted with complete LED lighting. LED lights are about 25% more efficient than standard compact fluorescent lamp (CFL) bulbs and about 80% more efficient than halogen bulbs. Sunrun has continued its efforts to utilize electric forklifts in the majority of its warehouses. Electric forklifts have many benefits, including the elimination of tailpipe emissions (reducing GHG emissions), fewer components and maintenance, and a lower cost of ownership over the life of the equipment.
As we continue to grow and deploy systems, we bear significant responsibility for managing the end of life for our hardware. That’s why Sunrun integrates product end-of-life considerations into our EMS and plans to decommission, redeploy, resell, or recycle our energy systems. In 2020 alone, Sunrun redeployed or recycled more than one megawatt of solar panels. Sunrun uses monocrystalline and multicrystalline photovoltaic modules, thereby avoiding the mounting concerns about hazardous materials present in alternative chemistries such as thin-film modules. We are prepared to sustainably dispose of modules, batteries, inverters, and other electronic equipment used in installations through partnerships with third-party recycling and refurbishment vendors, such as Recycle PV Solar, Echo Environmental, and other groups associated with the Solar Industry Energy Association’s (SEIA) National PV Recycling Program. These vendors are certified under the Responsible Recyclers R2:2013, OHSAS 1800:2007, and ISO 14001:2007 standards. We are also working with our third-party vendors to redeploy or resell modules to minimize recycling to support a reduced environmental impact overall. Learn more about the industry’s approach to lifecycle considerations from the SEIA.
Responsible Mineral Sourcing
Sunrun expects its vendors to provide products that contain only responsibly sourced commodities. Vendors that supply products containing minerals (including, but not limited to) cobalt, wolframite (titanium), cassiterite (tin), tungsten, and gold) sourced from conflict-affected and high-risk areas must ensure that the sourcing of these minerals does not knowingly contribute, directly or indirectly, to armed conflict, including terrorist financing or human rights violations. Sunrun expects vendors to source minerals in a manner consistent with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas. Sunrun recognizes that cobalt, a mineral used in some types of batteries, presents an increased risk of being sourced from areas associated with unfair labor practices. Because of this, we choose to work with battery manufacturers that share our commitment to responsible mineral sourcing. Some of our main suppliers are members of the Responsible Cobalt Initiative, which aims to create a shared set of policies and increase transparency around the cobalt supply chain. Additionally, Sunrun will continue to evaluate battery innovations that may further reduce the mineral content of batteries.
Sunrun works with vendors that share our commitment to creating a better, greener, and kinder planet. That’s why we included policies on environmental protection and sustainability as well as responsible mineral sourcing in our Vendor Code of Conduct, adopted in January 2019. We expect all of our vendors to adhere to the policies set forth in Sunrun’s Vendor Code of Conduct.
People and Communities
Sunrun employs more than 8,500 people throughout the United States with a focus on fostering a culture of inclusive, connected, and innovative teams. In 2020, we worked toward building a shared identity and strengthening our Sunrun culture of belonging, particularly as our community navigated the challenges of COVID-19. The integration of Sunrun and Vivint Solar created an opportunity to design a more efficient, best in class company that has the decision-making agility and nimbleness to ensure excellent customer service, care and efficiency.
Sunrun was honored with four awards from Comparably in 2020 for having a top performing company culture based on feedback from our employees.
CEO for Women
Company for Women
Sunrun continues our commitment to the following pay parity pledges:
White House Equal Pay Pledge of 2016 under the Obama Administration
The California Equal Pay Pledge Developed as part of the Partnership Between the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls and the Office of California First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom (April 01, 2019)
As of December 31, 2020, women comprised 44% of Sunrun’s Board of Directors and 50% of our executive management team. Our organizational leadership included approximately 21% women, and approximately 23% of all Sunrun employees are women.
Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging
We believe that having a diverse workforce and an inclusive workplace better positions us to respond to our diverse customers. Diversity of thought and experience is critical to the innovation and development of new ideas. In 2020, Sunrun reinforced our efforts by hiring a new Head of Diversity, a new Head of Talent Management, and introducing a series of employee and manager programming to support the belief that everyone has a responsibility to make Sunrun and our communities more inclusive.
Compensation, Wellness and Benefits
Sunrun is committed to providing a living wage of at least $15 per hour to all employees. We are working to revise wages and salaries of employees in order to address this commitment. Sunrun is actively working to differentiate ourselves in terms of total rewards and benefits to help us to attract and retain our talent.
In 2020, we developed a robust COVID-19 leave policy to support employees:
We implemented a remote worker policy for non-field employees.
For field employees, the COVID-19 Safety Taskforce has continued to establish protocols in accordance with the latest guidance from government agencies to keep our employees safe.
We conducted approximately 15 sessions across wide ranging topics to support mental health, financial literacy and well being, with participation from about 75 employees per session. We are committed to enabling a work-life balance and improving the personal lives of our employees.
Full-time employees are eligible for the Sunrun benefits package, which includes medical, dental, vision, life, and disability insurance. It also includes an employee stock-purchase plan (ESPP) and a 401(k) retirement plan, with a company match feature.
We believe it is important for our employees to spend time with their families and focus on personal well being. In addition to 11 paid holidays and traditional paid time off, Sunrun offers two paid volunteer days per year, one annual flexible holiday, and 10 days of paid leave for active military service. Additionally, Sunrun provides 10 weeks of paid parental leave for all employees who have been at the company for more than a year.
2021 Environmental and Societal Development Goals
Sunrun is committed to mitigating the human-controlled impacts of climate change.
We plan to build a network of solar systems that will offset carbon emissions by more than 600 million metric tons over their lifetimes in the next decade
We are setting a goal to decrease the overall carbon intensity of our operations by 20% by 2030
We are setting a goal to achieve net zero carbon emissions of our operations by 2040
We are setting a goal to decrease our transportation emissions by having one third electric or hybrid fleet within 5 years
We are setting a goal to achieve 100% equipment recycling at each facility within 5 years
Sunrun is committed to building a diverse, fair and equitable workforce.
We will sustain our focus on pay equity through periodic review
We will embed the principles of diversity, inclusion and belonging as implicit in everything we do
We will foster the growth of our Employee Resource Groups to support inclusion and belonging among our employees, improve awareness, and drive greater social impact
We will foster a diverse workforce that represents our customers, and the communities in which we live and work. We strive to do this through gender representation parity in director and above roles by 2025 and race/ethnicity representation parity in manager roles by 2025
Sunrun is committed to improving environmental equity and justice.
We are setting a goal to contribute 100,000 employee volunteering hours by 2030
We plan to bring at least 500 megawatts of low-income solar to people across the country by 2030, benefiting hundreds of thousands of residents of disadvantaged communities.
At Sunrun, operating our business with integrity, responsibility, and accountability is a priority. We believe having a culture of compliance with strong governance practices promotes long-term value, and we are committed to conducting business ethically. We work to continually enhance the structures, policies, and internal controls that support and promote accountability, transparency, and ethical behavior. We expect all of our employees and partners to act according to the highest standards of honesty and ethical conduct. Our commitment to good corporate governance is reflected in our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, our Human Rights Policy, our Vendor Code of Conduct, and other related governance policies, which are reviewed annually by the Nominating and Governance Committee, and any changes deemed appropriate are submitted to the full Board for its consideration.
The Board of Directors makes recommendations and conducts unbiased evaluation and supervision of management activities. It maintains an independent majority at all times and comprises seven members, all but two of whom are independent. Gerald Risk serves as Lead Independent Director and is responsible for overseeing separate meetings of the independent directors. Our co-founder Edward Fenster has served as Chairman since March 2014. The Board has three female members, including our CEO Lynn Jurich.
Board Level Oversight of ESG
To ensure alignment with our mission, we created a formal committee of senior management to oversee Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) matters at the company, while also establishing board level oversight of ESG performance by our Nominating & Corporate Governance Committee.
Vendor Integrity and Ethics
We require our vendors to act with integrity and to adhere to our Vendor Code of Conduct. This Vendor Code of Conduct, along with Sunrun’s Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, prohibits undisclosed conflicts of interest, money-laundering, and whistleblower retribution.
Sunrun is committed to maintaining high standards of financial integrity and takes very seriously all complaints and concerns regarding accounting, internal accounting controls, auditing, and other legal matters, including violations of Sunrun’s Code of Business Conduct and Ethics. Sunrun prohibits retribution or retaliation in any way against any person who has in good faith made a complaint or reported a concern or against any person who assists in any investigation. Sunrun also requires that vendors strive to allow their workforces to raise similar concerns without fear of retaliation.
Sources and Notes
Based on Sunrun’s monthly and prepaid lease customers using (i) estimated pre-solar utility bills minus (ii) estimated post-solar utility bills and any annualized payments to Sunrun through December 31, 2019.