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Fiji Water Owners Make Record $750 Million Donation To Climate Change Research

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Fiji Water Owners Make Record $750 Million Donation To Climate Change Research

The billionaire owners of Fiji Water have made a record-breaking $750 (£610) million donation towards climate change research.

Stewart and Lynda Resnic, who co-own The Wonderful Company - whose brands include Fiji Water and POM Wonderful - have pledged the money to the California Institute of Technology.

Stewart and Lynda Resnic, who own Fiji Water, have made the largest ever donation to environmental sustainability research. Credit: Pexels
Stewart and Lynda Resnic, who own Fiji Water, have made the largest ever donation to environmental sustainability research. Credit: Pexels

The donation is the largest ever made towards climate change research and the second-largest donation ever made to a US academic institution.

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The fund will go towards Caltech's 'Break Through' campaign and will support investigators 'as they pursue research in solar science, climate science, energy, biofuels, decomposable plastics, water and environmental resources, and ecology and biosphere engineering'.

Mr Resnick - who is also a senior member of the Caltech Board of Trustees - said he made the pledge because the world needs 'breakthrough innovations'.

He said: "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."

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A portion of the investment will be used to build a 75,000-square-foot building, which will serve as the 'hub for energy and sustainability research on campus as well as the home of state-of-the-art undergraduate teaching laboratories'; it will be named the Resnick Sustainability Resource Center.

The building will further the work of the Resnick Sustainability Institute, which was set up a decade ago with a $30 million (£24 million) dollar contribution from the couple.

The Resnicks have donated millions to Caltech over the course of the past decade. Credit: Caltech
The Resnicks have donated millions to Caltech over the course of the past decade. Credit: Caltech

Caltech president, Thomas F. Rosenbaum, paid tribute to the 'generosity and vision' of the Resnicks.

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He 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."

As if Stewart and Lynda weren't already feeling flattered enough, Steven Chu - co-winner of the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics and former secretary of energy under President Barack Obama - also heaped praise on them.

He said: "The risks we face due to climate change present daunting challenges. The discoveries, inventions and innovations that will be spanned by this incredible gift will be transformative.

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"The generosity of Lynda and Stewart Resnick is a lasting commitment for the future well-being of our children, our grandchildren, and our planet."

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Topics: Awesome, climate change, US News

Jake Massey
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