Goal Zero: Power to the People

The Advice Hub >Outdoor Power Advice >Goal Zero Power To The People Their Story

Goal Zero - Power to the People

Goal Zero’s mission statement is to empower people with a bright, safe, connected, and sustainable future by delivering smart, portable power solutions designed for everyone, everywhere.
Great words, but what do they mean, and how were these words born?

Goal Zero - Robert Workman

Pictured Above: Robert Workman

This philanthropic story really started to gain traction in 2007 after Robert Workman (Goal Zero Founder) visited the Democratic Republic of the Congo and witnessed first-hand the poverty of the area and the need for a global, long term solution to regions of adverse impoverishment. Using the principle of knowledge sharing, Robert formed the TIFIE (Teaching Individuals and Families Independence through Enterprise) Humanitarian, which taught the communities most affected, how to set up and operate a sustainable business; in essence giving them the power to manage themselves out of poverty and grow a micro economy.

Workman, originally from Morgan Utah, and he wife, Ange, were successful entrepreneurs and had spent some time exploring how they could use their earnings to improve the lives of individuals and communities across the globe.

In remote areas, the one common restricting factor was either the lack of a reliable electricity supply, or in most cases, no power at all, limiting what could be achieved within the community. The one thing that Robert did realise, was the abundance of sunlight, and that was the ‘light-bulb moment (excuse the pun). Workman introduced the Goal Zero pre-runner, the GoBe, as a solar powered mobile power source, bringing light, safety, and the potential for economic empowerment to the most vulnerable and isolated villages. Once tested extensively in The Congo, the GoBe power stations were sent to the communities most impoverished in Africa; this initial act bore the Goal Zero brand, and ethos of Zero Apathy, Zero Boundaries, Zero Regrets.

Goal Zero Escape 150

Pictured Above: Goal Zero Escape 150

Haiti Earthquake

Pictured Above: February 2010, Haiti

Goal Zero Extreme Ranger 350

Pictured Above: Goal Zero Extreme Ranger 350

Goal Zero Torch 250

Pictured Above: Goal Zero Torch 250

Goal Zero Yeti 1250

Pictured Above: Goal Zero Yeti 1250

Goal Zero Power on the Go

Pictured Above: Goal Zero Power on the Go

The first products manufactured were the Escape 150, one of the first all in one battery and inverter units, and the Escape 30 solar panel, combined with the Light-a-Life lantern. In February 2010, Haiti suffered a 7.0 earthquake, the team from Goal Zero quickly formed a partnership with various humanitarian organisations, to provide lights and mobile power units to help with the recovery from the wake of the destruction.

In 2010 Goal Zero introduced the Extreme Ranger 350 to the product line-up, increasing the available power supplied; the Extreme Ranger portable generator features a bolt-on AC inverter utilised lead-acid battery technology.

On March 11th, 2011, a devastating earthquake hit north-eastern Japan, just off the coast of Honshu, triggering a series of large tsunami waves that devastated many coastal areas and killed at least 20,000 people. Goal Zero donated hundreds of solar panels and lighting kits to the surviving families to help ensure the basic utilities could be supplied until some semblance of normality could be restored.

2011, Earthquake in Japan

Pictured Above: 2011, Earthquake in Japan


As well as being functional, it became very apparent that the Goal Zero product needed to be portable, and extremely robust. In 2011 the rugged, yet ultra-portable Nomad solar panels were introduced to help people power up their devices wherever they may be; in the same year, the Torch 250 and the Lighthouse 400 were added to the range, as fully rechargeable, multi-function lights.

In October 2012 Hurricane Sandy hit New York, resulting in many deaths and $19 billion of damage to the city. The team at Goal Zero immediately loaded up lorries with solar power products to donate, to help to tackle the widespread power cuts across the affected area. Being some of the ‘first feet’ on the ground, the employees of Goal Zero quickly teamed up with Team Rubicon, a disaster response organization founded by former US Marines. Goal Zero began a continuing partnership with Team Rubicon, providing mobile power units to provide power during relief deployments, in disaster zones across the globe.

2012, Hurrican Sandy

Pictured Above: 2012, Hurricane Sandy


The effectiveness and reliability of the off-grid power solution provided by Goal Zero in areas of need, both for commercial mobile generators and solar power solutions for disaster zones, created a demand for mobile power stations with a larger capacity. As a result, the Goal Zero Yeti 1250 was launched, and the Yeti won the CES Innovation Award in Portable Power, for its design and technology.

The success of the 1250 mobile power unit forced the introduction of the Yeti 150 and Yeti 400, to give a more flexible power solution, depending on the end use requirements.

In 2013 Goal Zero’s experience of providing mobile electrical power units to disaster zones was put to the ultimate test, when Super Typhoon Haiyan hit the Visayas group of islands in the Philippines. Haiyan is one of the most powerful storms ever, with gusts up to 235 mph; more than 14 million people were affected, and 6 million people died. Goal Zero partnered with TIFIE to provide rechargeable lights, power, and shelter.

As well as Goal Zero products being utilised to provide light and power to disaster zones, they have not lost sight of their vision to provide people in need with the ability to become self-sufficient, and in 2015, the team provided solar power to a technology centre in Kushea, Ghana, to enable the community more opportunities in the future, and start a joint initiative with Dell to provide solar powered generators for an orphanage in Tanzania.

Goal Zero String Lights

Pictured Above: Goal Zero lighting communities



As well as the abundance of sun, the team at Goal Zero had first-hand experience of very wet conditions, and there was a requirement for a weatherproof, resilient power bank, that was small, light and could be stored in a bag, or even a pocket. The introduction of the Venture 30, powerbank in conjunction with solar panels enable people to travel further to remote areas and stay out for longer.

Goal Zero Venture 30

Pictured Above: Goal Zero Venture 30 Powerbank


In 2017, after many years of research and development, Goal Zero created the very first portable lithium power station, a huge step in portable battery technology. Lithium is a soft, light-silvery metal, and under standard conditions is the lightest solid element, the metal also has a greater surge allowance than its lead-acid predecessor.

In 2019 Goal Zero launched the fifth generation of Yeti portable generators, from the light weight 200X model to the most powerful Yeti 6000X; the range provides an ideal mobile power solution to many different trades, where electricity is not available, as well as a back up to homes where the mains power is unreliable.

Goal Zero Yeti 6000X

Pictured Above: Goal Zero Yeti 6000X, providing power at a construction site


Goal Zero continue to work with various organisations to provide mobile power units and solar light solutions to disaster areas, schools, hospitals, and orphanages across the world.

In Summary, Goal Zero are a business that provide solutions to global issues directly to the individuals in most need, and in the meantime, they sell a few lithium generators to help pay the bills!

To see the entire range of Goal Zero Mobile power stations, click here.

To see which model suits your needs best, use our simple calculator.

< Back to Articles