Fiji Water Billionaire Donates 750 Million Dollars To Climate Change Research
Stewart and Lynda Resnick, owners of Wonderful Company, have pledged $750 million to the California Institute of Technology.
They made the announcement on Thursday, advising the donation is in support of environmental sustainability research, as reported by Forbes.
The Wonderful Company is the world’s largest producer of both pistachios and almonds (which ironically aren’t sustainable to farm), as well as both Fiji Water and Pom Wonderful.
The company’s website states:
“The world’s largest integrated producer of Wonderful variety pomegranates, renowned for their unique combination of ruby-red color, delicious taste, and antioxidants.”
The Resnick’s donation pledge is believed to be the largest one in the history of the California Institute of Technology, as well as the second-largest donation to ever be gifted to a US academic institution.
According to Business Insider, Stewart Resnick stated, “In order to comprehensively manage the climate crisis, we need breakthrough innovations, the kind that will only be possible through significant investment in university research. Science and bold creativity must unite to address the most pressing challenges facing energy, water, and sustainability.”
“If we had an alternative to plastic we would use it,” Stewart Resnick said of his bottled water business. He and his wife are donating $750 million to California Institute of Technology, much of it for climate research. https://t.co/sXrx38Lslf
— NYT Business (@nytimesbusiness) September 26, 2019
With the money, Caltech has plans to construct a 75,000 square foot building, appropriately called the Resnick Sustainability Resource Center, which will serve as a hub for climate change research.
President of Caltech, Thomas F. Rosenbaum released a statement that said, “Sustainability is the challenge of our times. Stewart and Lynda Resnick’s generosity and vision will permit Caltech to tackle issues of water, energy, food, and waste in a world confronting rapid climate change. The Resnick Sustainability Institute will now be able to mount efforts at scale, letting researchers across campus follow their imaginations and translate fundamental discovery into technologies that dramatically advance solutions to society’s most pressing problems.”
This isn’t the first time that the Resnicks have donated money to Caltech. The couple donated $15 million back in 2014 in order to establish the Resnick Institute Innovation Fund – which provides awards and fellowships for students studying sustainability science. Also, 10 years ago, the Resnick Sustainability Institute was created thanks to a $20 million donation.
Always nice to see large money sums going into education and sustainability research.