How one company saved California 15 billion gallons of water.

 Plus other news from companies in the Swell portfolio that are making an impact.


California American Water 
launches award-winning communication campaign.

What’s the impact?
Reducing water use in California by 15 billion gallons.

During California’s recent drought, California American Water, (an American Water Works Co. subsidiary) helped their customers reduce water use by more than 15 billion gallons over an 18 month period. To do this, the company created a campaign using social media and smartphone apps. “Our customers around the state took the drought seriously and reduced their water use by 26 percent,” said Richard Svindland, President of California American Water. “The emergency is over and we should applaud that, but keep in mind that water efficiency is a California way of life.”  Read more


Tetra Tech awarded $57 million contract to promote clean energy in Pakistan.

What’s the impact?
Pakistan becomes a front-runner in renewable energy.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) awarded Tetra Tech a $57 million contract to promote the delivery of clean energy services in Pakistan.  Tetra Tech is a worldwide consulting, engineering, and construction firm found in our Clean Water, Renewable Energy, and Zero Waster portfolios. By promoting clean energy, they hope to stimulate the country’s economic and social development. Tetra Tech will also help stakeholders leverage investments for clean energy projects that will help generate more electricity capacity.  Read more


bluebird bio 
participates in a first-of-its-kind consortium at Duke University.

What’s the impact?
Bringing down the cost of expensive medical treatments.

bluebird bio, Inc., a clinical-stage company which specializes in gene therapies is participating in a first-of-its-kind consortium at Duke University. The consortium's aim is to develop a strategy for addressing the high costs of gene therapies and other innovative treatments. The consortium will collaborate to outline a path forward for payment reform involving innovative therapies. “Our consortium members represent a wide range of perspectives but share a common goal of payment models that encourage innovation, resulting in better outcomes for patients at a sustainable cost,” said Duke-Margolis director Mark McClellan, MD, PhD.” Read more


 Unilever innovates a way to tackle plastic sachet waste.

What’s the impact?
Developing new recycling technology that could save billions of dollars.

Unilever is testing breakthrough technology they developed to tackle plastic sachet waste. Sachets look like little sandwich bags and are made from plastic and aluminum. The packaging allows low-income consumers, particularly in developing countries, to buy small amounts of otherwise unaffordable products. But as more people use sachets and throw them away, more waste is sent to landfills. To help tackle this problem, Unilever has developed an open source technology which recovers the plastics from sachets which can then be used to create packaging for new products. “There is a clear economic case for delivering this,” Unilever chief R&D officer David Blanchard said. “We know that globally $80-120bn is lost to the economy through failing to properly recycle plastics each year. Finding a solution represents a huge opportunity.” Read more


SunPower builds largest behind-the-meter solar power system in the Air Force.

What’s the impact?
The Air Force's renewable energy efforts take off. The Air Force's renewable energy program takes off.

SunPower Corp. has broken ground on a 28-megawatt solar photovoltaic system at Vandenberg Air Force Base near Lompoc, California., The project is expected to create about 150 jobs at peak construction. Upon operation, it's anticipated to be the largest behind-the-meter solar power system in the Air Force where 100% of the energy generated will be consumed onsite.  "A solar project that is grid-connected to the Base enables us to meet our electric demand with renewable energy and increase our energy security," said Ken Domako, Chief, Portfolio Optimization, Vandenberg Air Force Base. "We look forward to increasing the Air Force's energy independence with competitively priced, dependable solar from SunPower." Read more


Topics: Movers and Shakers, Clean water, Disease eradication, Healthy living, Renewable Energy, Zero waste

Amberjae Freeman

Amberjae Freeman

Amberjae brings more than a decade of experience in public and private sector research to her role at Swell, including a stint at the Royal Bank of Canada, where she specialized in ESG investing. She’s also spent time working in developing countries with cash-strapped NGOs—an experience that led her to believe that financial markets should be used as a vehicle for social and environmental change.

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