Envirofit expands access to clean cooking technology in Kenya and joins the Business Call to Action

31 Oct 2013

image

New York/Nairobi - U.S. based social enterprise Envirofit International has announced it will join the Business Call to Action (BCtA), with plans to reduce greenhouse gases by 193,500 tons of carbon through the sales of 150,000 clean cookstoves across Kenya in the next two years.

Envirofit International is a multi-national corporation with a mission to develop and disseminate technologies that reduce pollution and enhance energy efficiency in developing countries. By introducing clean cook stoves as a less costly fuel alternative, the company also addresses low-income consumer households that have been traditionally overlooked.

In Kenya, an estimated 95% of the rural population relies on biomass for a cooked meal, and 63% of households are still using basic cookstoves. To meet the national demand in reducing climate pollutants and to help facilitate economic growth, Envirofit has partnered with Kaluworks – a leading provider of cookware – to improve production, supply chain, business development and increase sustainable revenue.

Envirofit’s cookstoves are engineered not only to be high-quality, but also affordable for emerging market consumers, costing the equivalent of one to three weeks wages. Given their enhanced fuel efficiency, the stoves typically pay for themselves in less than six months.

With the expanded productionand reputable brand that Kaluworks brings, the company also plans to expand its innovative training and distribution efforts that will lead to the creation of an estimated 100 new jobs.

“This new commitment with the BCtA will further Envirofit’s broad range of targets to meet the needs of the growing Kenyan marketplace,” said Sahba Sobhani, Acting Programme Manager, Business Call to Action. “We are confident that Envirofit’s focus and rigorous training will help promote behavioral change to reach more consumers and reduce harmful emissions.”

Through its relationship with Kaluworks, and Envirofit’s vast network of community partners, the company plans to reach more households and create a market for improved cookstoves across Latin America, India, and the African continent. The company is focused on continuing to build distribution and promote awareness and affordability of its product.

In addition to partnering with local microfinance groups, Envirofit has enabled some of the lowest-income customers to purchase stoves and improve their livelihoods. The company is working to build its strong sales force, meet distribution challenges, and promote its unique women’s empowerment training program to integrate women in the cookstove value chain. As part of its ongoing commitment, Envirofit’s new global carbon program will help offset and subsidize the cost of cookstoves to make them more affordable to end users.

“We are pleased to join the Business Call to Action which is well in line with our mission to serve much needed populations, empower consumers, and promote safer, cleaner, and more efficient cooking environments,” said CEO Ron Bills, founder of Envirofit.

Envirofit is also expanding its product line to include a new institutional stove model which will boil 75 liters of water in less than 50 minutes while reducing fuel consumption and cost by up to 80%. The company also plans to expand across Western Africa in the near future.

Business Call to Action (BCtA) is a global initiative that challenges companies to develop inclusive business models that offer the potential for development impact along with commercial success. The initiative is the result of a partnership between the Australian Agency for International Development, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs,  the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, UK Department for International Development, US Agency for International Development, United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Global Compact, and the Clinton Global Initiative to meet the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. Companies report on progress toward commitments on an annual basis. http://www.businesscalltoaction.org / @bctainitiative

Envirofit: Envirofit International is a social enterprise that was established in 2003 to develop well-engineered technology solutions to improve the human condition on a global scale, with a primary emphasis on applications in the developing world. Envirofit’s enterprise-based model represents a new, more sustainable approach to tackling global Household Air Pollution and energy dependence while yielding health, environmental and economic improvements in emerging markets - relying on market mechanisms to guide product development and drive consumer demand.

Contact Information

BCtA: Karen Newman, Karen.Newman@undp.org +1.212.906.5194
Envirofit: Jessica Alderman, Jessica.Alderman@envirofit.org +970.372.2874
Webpage: www.envirofit.org
Twitter: @envirofit