Sonepar Gives the Gift of Light to Local Nonprofits

Sonepar's operating companies nominated charitable organizations in need of lighting upgrades.

Old Colony YMCA, Stoughton, Mass.
Old Colony YMCA, Stoughton, Mass.

CHARLESTON, S.C. – Sonepar announced its global purpose in 2023: “Powering Progress for Future Generations.” One of the six bold commitments underlying the purpose is focused on supporting communities and helping to improve the lives of vulnerable populations. 

Born from the focus on communities, Sonepar launched the “Bright Lights Brighter Futures” program in the U.S. Each Sonepar operating company was asked to nominate a charitable organization with a facility that needed a lighting upgrade, which would provide better support and care residents of the community. One organization was chosen per region and the lighting retrofit work began. Recipients included:

  • Old Colony YMCA in Stoughton, Mass., nominated by NorthEast Electrical; installation by Florence Electric
  • 180 Ministries in Denver, nominated by QED; installation by Encore Electric Inc.
  • Mini O’Beirne Crisis Nurseries in Springfield, Ill., nominated by Springfield Electric; installation by Ryan Electrical Solutions

In a joint statement, program managers Evan Fisher, sustainability manager, and Bill Mortimer, director of product and solutions marketing, said:

“This program came to life following a conversation we were having about Earth Week. Now in the fourth year of our partnership with the National Forest Foundation, Sonepar has funded the planting of nearly 44,000 trees through our annual Earth Week promotion. We wanted to do more for our communities and take advantage of our existing partnerships in the lighting field. Our operating companies were excited to kick off the Bright Lights Brighter Futures initiative. It was a great way to get the entire company involved in the search for worthy charities in need of updated lighting systems. These are often older facilities, or even former residential homes, that have antiquated and inefficient lighting. We’re so happy to help the organizations who are helping our communities.”

Working with trusted business partners, Sonepar was able to deliver end-to-end services including product procurement, facility audit, system design, installation, and recycling of the old lamps. Acuity Brands donated the lighting products installed on all three projects. They also helped to vet the design and bill of materials, select the winning projects, and assist in spreading the word of this program through their “EarthLight in Action" campaign.

Terracycle Regulated Waste provided free lamp recycling services for the projects. Their EasyPak and BulkPak solutions provide safe and compliant recycling services and promote circularity. The lighting audits were facilitated by SnapCount, a retrofit software platform, which helped survey the facility and tailor a design for the new lighting system.

In addition, SnapCount donated the iPads that were used to conduct the audits to the charities.

Finally, the lighting retrofit projects were completed by local installers, who graciously donated their time and expertise to ensure proper installation. 

The program was so successful that Sonepar is seeking to expand in the future, spreading the gift of lighting to even more worthy organizations.

More in Operations