Stewart and Lynda Resnick have pledged to donate $750 million to the California Institute of Technology to aid climate change.
The billionaire couple who co-own The Wonderful Company, which is the largest producer of almonds and pistachios whose brands include Fiji Water, said the pledge donation is to support environmental sustainability research.
According to the university, the donation is the largest fit ever recorded in Caltech’s history as well as the second largest gift given to a US academic institution.
Chairman and president of The Wonderful Company, Stewart Resnick, is also a senior member of the Caltech board of trustees. He states the investment is vital if climate change is ever to be conquered.
He shared in a statement:
“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.”
Caltech as a result of the pledge plans to build a 75,000 square foot building called the Resnick Sustainability Research Center which will serve as a center for the research. In addition it will provide state-of-the-art undergraduate teaching laboratories.
The areas of research will focus on measuring, modelling and mitigating climate change; managing water resources; global ecology; building smarter electricity infrastructure; and conversion of the sun’s energy into fuels, per the university.
Caltech President Thomas F. Rosenbaum said, according to Forbes:
“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.”