This creates a governance issue for MPOWERD’s senior management, board of directors and shareholders. According to Jeong some competitors in the small but fast-growing solar lighting industry are thinking of using alternate production factories outside of China to avoid the tariffs. But social compliancy throughout the entire supply chain requires MPOWERD to ensure that workers making their products are earning competitive wages.

Jeong and the board are applying to U.S. trade regulators to grant MPOWERD an exemption from the tariffs by classifying Luci lights as essential products for emergency situations and disaster relief areas. Jeong acknowledges the difficulty for a small company that doesn’t have deep-pocket financial resources to combat government policy. “But we have tremendous support from business partners and consumers, both internationally and domestically,” says Jeong. “And we need to stay true to our B Corp values as we deal with this situation so consumers can rest assured that the firm is committed to social as well as environmental compliancy.”

This fall the partnership with Save the Children will culminate with a major event at the Brooklyn Bridge. Thousands of participants will light up the bridge with Luci lights, bringing the power of the sun into the night and raising awareness of how one small light can transform a child’s world for the better.

Paul Ellis founded Paul Ellis Consulting to work with financial advisors who want to integrate sustainable and impact investment strategies for their clients. 

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