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Air Quality

One Million Clean Cookstoves Delivered By Envirofit

Envirofit, a for-profit social enterprise, has delivered one million clean cookstoves to customers around the world. These devices save money by decreasing annual fuel costs and they reduce exposure to household air pollution, which is a leading cause of death globally. According to the World Health Organization, in 2012 4.3 million human deaths resulted from exposure to this form of air pollution. Ron Bills, CEO of Envirofit, generously answered some questions for CleanTechnica.

envirofitcookstove

Where are your clean cookstoves manufactured and who makes them?

Envirofit uses centralized manufacturing with “local” facilities set up in areas around the world where there’s the largest distribution. For example, our Kenya plant serves Eastern Africa and our Nigeria plant serves Western Africa. We also have plans for a new factory in Ghana that will come online in 2016. Additionally, we have a factory in India for distribution in Asia as well as production facilities in Mexico and Honduras to service Latin America. For any distribution outside of these areas, stoves are produced and shipped from China.

How much does it cost and how long does it take to make one?

Both the cost and length of time varies depending on the type of stove and the location where it is made and shipped. For example, in Honduras, our production line there can produce one stove a minute. Additionally, the cost of stoves vary depending on the country, but for customers in emerging markets, we aim for between $20-$50 for our household stove models.

How are they distributed?

One of our keys to success, Envirofit works with different partners globally to distribute our stoves across the public, private, and social sectors. These include NGOs, micro finance organizations and governments. For example, we are working with the Honduran President on a national cookstoves program. And with the SKS micro finance program in India, we are projecting 1 million cookstove sales over the next five years.

Who are your customers?

Our customers are the everyday working citizens who live in urban, peri-urban and rural areas in emerging markets around the world. There are still 3.5 billion people worldwide who cook with solid fuel, and now that we’ve reached one million households, we’re aiming to reach 5 million over the next five years.

How long did it take to reach one million?

Eight years since our first pilot program in India, and now we offer dozens of clean energy solutions across five continents.

What are your goals for the next 3-5 years?

These are lined out in the final section of our lessons learned document, which you can find here. We plan to expand deeper into each of our markets. In the last eight years, we have been able to successfully set up regional distribution networks, now we plan to go even deeper into Eastern Africa, Western Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The jobs that you created…what are they, where are they and who is doing them?

Envirofit has created more than 2,400 indirect jobs – these are the small businesses involved in design, supply chain, marketing and sales that help to get our product from the design table to the end user in the most remote regions of the world.

How long has Envirofit been in operation?

Since 2003.

How many employees do you have?

480

How was the organization created?

Envirofit was first created as a spin-off project from research conducted at Colorado State University in 2003 and now is a successful social enterprise celebrating its one-millionth customer.

What is the power source for your clean cookstoves?

The cookstoves use biomass, and Envirofit has models specifically for wood and charcoal. The reason being is these are the primary fuels that our customers currently use and have access to, so it provides an immediate solution for them. By providing clean cookstoves to people at the bottom of the economic pyramid, we’ve been able to prevent the release of 17 million tons of harmful CO2 emissions.

How long can one be used?

The cookstoves have a lifespan of 3-5 years and all of our products come with a 1 year warranty.

Image Credit: Envirofit

 
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Hello, I have been writing online for some time, and enjoy the outdoors. If you like, you can follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/JakeRsol

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