Envirofit is a global clean cookstove business that designs, produces and markets affordable stoves that significantly reduce emissions, fuel costs and cooking time for low-income customers.
Every day three billion people around the world cook their daily meals on open fires or inefficient stoves – burning biomass fuels such as wood, waste and charcoal. This has major ramifications on health, income and the environment.
Over 4 million people die each year from Indoor Air Pollution - more than HIV, TB and Malaria combined
Cooking in this way produces a dense black smoke that kills over 4 million people a year
, mainly women and children – that’s one person dying every eight seconds (a death toll higher than HIV, Malaria and Tuberculosis combined). Burning fuel inefficiently also raises fuel costs and time spent gathering wood for the poorest families, while the resultant black carbon is a major contributor to climate change.
Shell Foundation has been working since 2002 to catalyse private markets to solve this global challenge by making more efficient stoves available to the people who need them. We began with a series of nine pilots over five years to learn about technology, fuel usage, cooking preferences and distribution channels in different regions.
You can’t solve a problem that affects half the world’s population one village at a time. You have to target scale from the outset
Ron Bills, CEO & Chairman of the Board, Envirofit
In 2007 we formed a long-term partnership with Envirofit, a social enterprise spun from the highly-acclaimed engineering department of Colorado State University, to build a clean cookstove business that targeted financial viability and scale from the outset (a radical departure from traditional approaches which centred on give-away schemes and heavily subsidised stoves).
Envirofit’s engineers pioneered a new cooking technology to produce affordable cookstoves that are efficient, durable and desirable – and are adapted to suit the cooking preferences and fuel choices of local customers. They now have a range of biomass stoves for different markets, retailing between $10 and $30.
Envirofit stoves reduces smoke and toxic fumes by up to 80% while cutting costs and fuel usage by to 60% when compared with open fires – delivering massive cost savings and health benefits to customers.
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