Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, has an estimated net worth of £4.3 billion, making him the eighth richest man in the UK.
Despite his monumental wealth, Branson told Business Insider that companies must “adopt responsible practices to eliminate the risks that often lie at the root of inequality and poverty.”
We asked him how he’s doing this. Branson’s answer focused on finding sustainable environmental solutions for parts of the world where energy is lacking.
“We need to find real world solutions which benefit everyone,” Branson said. “I’ve been very passionate about renewable energy for many years, particularly solar energy and its capacity to bring abundant clean, sustainable energy to millions around the globe.”
Branson cited M-Kopa — “a pay-as-you-go solar energy provider to off-grid homes across East Africa” — as an example of a business he has invested in to help address inequality through providing sustainable energy.
M-Kopa has so far provided solar power to more than 375,000 homes in Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya.
“But this is about much more than an investment in a good business idea or a means of reducing carbon emissions,” Branson added.
“In many African countries, where nearly 600 million people still lack electricity, clean energy access often means the difference between prosperity and poverty, between women’s empowerment and continued inequality, between education and illiteracy,” he said.
Richard Branson’s comments are part of a longer interview conducted with Business Insider, which will be published soon.