Popular outdoor gear brand Patagonia is providing its Honolulu store employees and customers with sustainably sourced water using rooftop hydropanels.
Patagonia first announced it was installing four of the hydropanels, made by SOURCE Global, in 2021. The tech allows Patagonia to produce clean drinking water using only sunlight and air. It’s the first company in the world to offer this system.
And it makes sense — Patagonia is a certified B Corporation. Founder Yvon Chouinard recently transferred ownership of the company to a trust that will invest its profits to protect our land and fight against rising global temperatures.
SOURCE developed the first-of-its-kind technology that relies on sunlight to pull water vapor out of the air to create “delicious, climate-resilient drinking water that’s balanced with minerals for optimal health,” according to the company.
The self-contained technology could help to bring sustainable solutions to the world’s water crisis and aid in emergency situations such as natural disasters, as it works entirely off the grid.
SOURCE’s Hydropanels are designed to send fresh drinking water directly to taps or faucets without the need for electricity or new pipe systems. As the company explains, this has never been more important, as there are more than two billion people worldwide without access to safe drinking water.
“The United Nations estimates that by 2050, more than six billion people could suffer water shortages due to climate change, and single-use plastic bottles continue to clog our oceans and streams,” Cody Friesen, founder and CEO at SOURCE Global, said in a press release.
Friesen says through partnerships with like-minded companies such as Patagonia, SOURCE is working to “raise awareness of the global water crisis, encourage action and promote safe, sustainable sources of drinking water for everyone, everywhere.”
The Hydropanel system can also help to replace single-use plastic water bottles. An estimated one million plastic water bottles are sold every minute — or 20,000 every second — and only 5% of all plastics are recycled successfully, meaning a lot of these bottles end up polluting our oceans and rotting in landfills.
SOURCE says one of its panels can save 54,000 plastic bottles over its lifetime. Two can provide enough water for a family of four to six people “without pumping groundwater from the Earth.”
“This issue is one of the planet’s greatest challenges,” said Friesen. “[A]nd while we’ve invented a way to bring perfect water where it’s needed most, we know we cannot solve this problem alone.”
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