Our Founder: Robert Workman

"My experience in life has taught me that whenever we try to do something significant, there will always be opposition. The beginnings of Goal Zero started by simply trying to do good, our vision was to help people out of poverty by teaching them how to build businesses — we wanted to empower them to lift themselves out of poverty.

We ran into so many obstacles that one day I turned my eyes heavenward and said, "I give up. I can't do this anymore." Almost immediately a thought came to me, "If not you, who? If not now, when?" That was profound, and it gave our team the courage to work through our problems. Our vision remained true, but we found that our methods had to adjust from what we thought would work, to what actually worked. We discovered that by creating basic tools that everyone needed and wanted, they could use those tools to create income opportunities within their community.

At Goal Zero, our products are designed to lift the poorest of poor, and are still extremely relevant to the richest of rich. Think about that for a moment. If we have products that will really do that, those products are a great equalizer in lifting us all to a higher place. After all, we are all here on this earth together, having a human experience.

We can put reliable power into every human hand on this earth, without overwhelming our resources. There is enough for all — so, if not you, who? If not now, when?"

Photo of Robert Workman Signature of Robert Workman Robert Workman
Founder, Goal Zero

Spring 2007

"If not us, who? If not now, when?" Robert Workman started TIFIE Humanitarian (Teaching Individuals and Families Independence through Enterprise) after visiting the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and witnessing first-hand the need for helping people out of poverty. His revelation, teach villagers how to run a sustainable business in their communities and empowering them to lift themselves out of poverty.

Spring 2008

Democratic Republic of the Congo First portable solar power pack tested in DRC — originally called GoBe, now the Goal Zero Yeti 150 — consisted of a battery, solar panel and LED light. This simple system brought light, safety and economic empowerment to villagers.

June 2009

A New Beginning Goal Zero launches as a business. Our mission: to empower people by putting reliable power in the hands of every human being, based on a mantra of Zero Apathy, Zero Boundaries, and Zero Regrets.

February 2010

Haiti 7.0 Earthquake Humanitarian partners in Haiti offer Goal Zero batteries and lights after the earthquake. Given the choice of a bag of rice or the Goal Zero gear, people chose power and light.

March 2011

Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Goal Zero donated hundreds of lighting kits and solar panels to families in Japan who were without power as a result of the earthquake and tsunami.

August 2012

Rural India Mahout village in rural India received 40 Torch flashlights, providing safety and lights.

November 2012

Hurricane Sandy With the launch of the "Buy One, Give One" campaign, GZ Nation sent 9 Goal Zero employees and almost $600,000 worth of portable power, solar panels and lights to those living in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Goal Zero begins an ongoing partnership with Team Rubicon, powering their communications during relief deployments.

Learn more about Team Rubicon at TeamRubiconUSA.com

January 2013

Barebones Camping Sister company Barebones launches at Winter Outdoor Retailer show. What Goal Zero is for power, Barebones is for living, featuring scalable, durable structures and gardening supplies.

Learn more at BarebonesLiving.com

June 2013

Street Charge Street Charge launched with Pensa and AT&T in New York City, seeking to empower people on the go.

Learn more at Street-Charge.com

July 2013

Share the Sun Launches Share the Sun, Goal Zero's humanitarian program launches in online sales, giving GZ Nation the power to change lives by donating sun shares to projects of their choice.

Learn more at GoalZero.com/ShareTheSun

September 2013

Navajo Nation, Tuba City, AZ Over 50 people living without power on the Navajo Nation receive portable and installed solar kits from Share The Sun.

November 2013

Typhoon Haiyan Relief GZ Nation comes through again, donating $300,000 in power, lights and Barebones structures for victims of Typhoon Haiyan with Charity Vision and Team Rubicon.

August 2014

Goal Zero begins new phase with acquisition by NRG Energy "Our mission is to put reliable power in the hands of every human on earth. Being part of NRG, a company that is similarly aligned, allows us to reach this goal in a much more powerful way. We exist to do good, to empower people everywhere," said Robert Workman, CEO and founder of Goal Zero.

Read the press release here.

Chris Burkard, Goal Zero Ambassador, Adventure Lifestyle Photographer

Surfing Iceland There's a lot of exploring to be done here. We were searching for surf spots, but I found myself taking less and less glances at the ocean and taking in all the beauty that Iceland had to offer.

Each time we surfed it felt like we were discovering new spots never before surfed or seen. There are so many nooks and variations in the coastline that you can spend days just searching for perfect spots. And we did. We would drive for hours and hours and hours, hitting every red dot on our map. sometimes it felt like we were on a wild goose chase, searching for the best spot based on the constantly shifting weather patterns. but when we'd finally find that spot with not another soul in sight, it made it all worth it.

It's amazing to experience how Goal Zero products have really allowed me to not only discover more isolated places, but also have the ability to wait out storms and swells to score great moments and waves amidst the ever-changing landscape. No longer do I have to drive hours back into the nearest village to charge my equipment for the next day, while chances to shoot pass me by. I can be completely mobile, allowing me to be constantly searching. And in that constant search are the moments when I capture my best photos.

Visit Chris Burkard's Ambassador Page for the latest updates.

Mike Libecki, Goal Zero Ambassador, Exploration Addict

Why Ration Passion? My passion for exploring has driven me to all seven continents in search of first ascents, interactions with different cultures, and the chance to embrace the untouched earth. I want to share the magic, power and beauty of the wild planet that few will rarely see, and inspire them to get out and live their dreams.

Not only do Goal Zero products help make my expeditions possible and successful, they make them easier. I don't have to worry about my power needs, which means I can focus on the immaculate mayhem in front of me, and capture the magic, power, beauty, and mystery of these expeditions so I can share them with friends, family and the world.

When you're living in the ultimate now, power should never be a distraction.

Visit Mike Libecki's Ambassador Page for the latest updates.

Travis Burke, Goal Zero Ambassador, Action/Adventure Photographer

Lighting the Trail My goal is to live life to its fullest. I want to witness, experience and capture things others dream of by seeing all of what the planet has to offer. I use photography to capture and preserve the essence of my experiences, so I can share them with the world.

While most people are asleep in the comforts of their home, I spend countless hours exploring the landscape at night. The world is dark and desolate and some of my favorite experiences have come from these adventures through the darkness. I want to light the trail and ignite their passions; I want to inspire everyone to get out and live their dreams.

Goal Zero empowers me to go farther and do more than I ever thought possible. Essentially I'm able to get out and live the things dreams are made of.

Visit Travis Burke's Ambassador Page for the latest updates.

David A. Rosner, Goal Zero Employee, R&D Technician

The Moment of Light Tifie and Share the Sun allow us to accomplish our vision - putting power in the hands of every human on the planet. There is a moment of brilliance our teams have witnessed, over and over again, that touches everyone to the core. It is the moment when someone flips a power switch for the first time.

There is a moment after an install that is incredible to witness. This moment is when a child finds limitless potential, when families feel safer in their homes. This moment infects the deepest darkest corners of the world with hope and has the potential to improve a life, save a community, and even change the world.

And in this moment, there is a look. The look is the same, young or old, man or women, no matter the culture. The eyes, as the pupils adjust to the light and focus, seem to then unfocus and stare through the light itself, into a universe of potential and hope.

This look remains for an instant, but lasts a lifetime. Be they domestic or abroad, Goal Zero's reliable power has brought this first light into the homes of those who need it most. Although it is but a light, something so taken for granted, it can also be the spark that changes a life. At Goal Zero, we provide the moments that can't be forgotten, and the power that allows us to share their smiles.

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