Fiji Water billionaire owners donate $750m to climate change research
The owners of Wonderful Co., Stewart and Lynda Resnick have announced a $750 million pledge to the California Institute of Technology.
The Resnicks, who made the announcement on Thursday, have advised that the donation is to support environmental sustainability research, per Forbes.
The Wonderful Company is the world's largest producer of pistachios and almonds, and also owns world famous brands such as Fiji Water - artisan bottled water - and Pom Wonderul, which is described on the company website as;
"The world’s largest integrated producer of Wonderful variety pomegranates, renowned for their unique combination of ruby-red color, delicious taste and antioxidants."
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The pledged donation is believed to be the largest gift in the California Institute of Technology's history, and the second largest ever gift to a United States academic institution.
Stewart Resnick said in a statement, per Business Insider;
"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."
With the donation, Caltech plans to construct a 75,000 sq ft building, dubbed the Resnick Sustainability Resource Center. The building will serve as a hub for climate change research.
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Caltech President Thomas F. Rosenbaum said in a statement;
"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."
The Resnicks have donated to Caltech before; in 2014 the couple donated $15 million to establish the Resnick Institute Innovation Fund, which provides awards and fellowships for students studying sustainability science. And 10 years ago, the Resnick Sustainability Institute was created after a $20 million donation.