Blue sky thinking: Anson Zhang, CEO & Co-Founder of One Stop Warehouse

Blue sky thinking: Anson Zhang, CEO & Co-Founder of One Stop Warehouse 450 450 C-Suite Network
Blue sky thinking: Anson Zhang

Anson Zhang’s dream to end air pollution is a ray of sunshine in an otherwise murky energy world. By providing cheap access to leading solar providers, he equalises the balance of power one bit at a time.

For evidence of the need for a greater reliance on renewable energy sources, one should only look to China’s ongoing air pollution turmoil. The toxic smog that blankets the nation was responsible for the premature deaths of 1.6 million people in 2013, according to research presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science last year.

The research – an international collaboration of Tsinghua University, the Health Effects Institute, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, and the University of British Columbia – also found that burning coal had the worst health impact of any source of air pollution in the region, responsible for 366,000 deaths, and making up around 40% of the deadly particles in China’s atmosphere.

For Anson Zhang, growing up in Fujian, China, meant he experienced the effect of poor air quality on health firsthand as his own father was tragically diagnosed with lung cancer. Making the best of a bad situation, Anson felt the call to push and promote renewable energy sources so that current and future generations can enjoy cleaner air and better health, and the environment can once again prosper. “I knew I had to play my part in changing the world,” he says.

“I wanted to help contribute to a better, brighter future for myself, for my family, and for future generations.” It’s a goal that saw him eventually move to Australia and co-found One Stop Warehouse (OSW) – a wholesale distributor of solar energy equipment, such as photovoltaic panels, energy inverters, mountings, and electrical equipment, from a large variety of solar brands and manufacturers.

I wanted to help contribute to a better, brighter future for myself, for my family and for future generations.

While studying for a computer science degree back in China, Anson befriended a fellow student named Jeff Yu, then later, when he moved to Australia to do his MBA, he met fellow student Sunny Sun. The three of them together founded OSW in Perth, after Anson was inspired by the push towards solar power in Australia at that time. It was after he had photovoltaic panels installed on his own home that the idea for starting a business in the renewables sector came to him. Jeff and Sunny came on board to set up shop, taking on strategic executive roles, while Anson became CEO.

Four years later, OSW has grown from a three-man…