Cooking in 1 million kitchens: Lessons Learned in Scaling a Clean Cookstove Business
Shell Foundation’s long-term partner Envirofit announced on 4 November that they had reached 1 million homes with their clean cooking solution – making them the first clean cookstove manufacturer to achieve this scale. Their affordable and efficient clean cookstoves have helped improve five million livelihoods and reduced 17 million tons of CO2 - the equivalent of taking 1.18 million cars off the road for an entire year.
However, the path to selling one million stoves hasn’t been easy and has been filled with both successes and failures that shape their business today. In this report, Envirofit shares an honest and frank account of five key lessons learned based on their 8 year journey to build a clean cookstove business.
Today, three billion people still cook with open fires and traditional cooking methods and this number is expected to grow as the population increases. Since establishing a partnership with Shell Foundation in 2007, Envirofit has focused on building a clean cookstove business that has targeted financial viability and scale from the outset (a radical departure from clean cookstove traditional approaches centred on give-away schemes and heavily subsidised stoves).
Based on Envirofit’s practical experiences this report highlights the iterative process of their business model which has underpinned their ability to grow from selling a single stove model in India, to developing over a dozen clean energy solutions that serve low income communities across 43 countries.