Investing in your supply chain can benefit business and deliver environmental and CSR objectives. One project we have recently developed using funds from the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) Finance Innovation for Climate Change Fund – provides efficient cookstoves to 11,000 farm workers in Kenya, who supply flowers and vegetables to major supermarket chains in the UK and Europe.
A key challenge faced by the workforce is the cost and health implications of cooking on inefficient stoves. Cooking on traditional stoves or open fires results in toxic fumes that kill 15,000 people in Kenya every year, and damage the health of many more. The UN endorses the provision of modern, efficient stoves to address this issue, but for most farm workers the latest efficient stoves are financially out of their reach.
What did we do?
ClimateCare developed an innovative project to make efficient cookstoves available to agricultural workers by subsidising the initial cost of a stove and, crucially creating a Revolving Fund which provides an interest free loan to assist purchase. This means that the money is used multiple times, to make the stoves accessible to a greater number of low income farm workers.
From our offices in Nairobi, we ran extensive testing and market research with groups of workers to select the best possible stove within the budget constraints and to develop an effective distribution and retail network. We set up a mechanism to manage the loan and repayment facility and arranged for upfront investment by the DFID, Kenya, to kick-start the project.
The project launched with great success and at least 8,000 agricultural workers are set to take advantage through 2015. Loan repayments top up a Revolving Fund, and the money is used again and again, allowing the project to expand and support more families.
Workers benefit from the positive health impacts of a more efficient stove and will save £125 in fuel costs every year. The business benefits from a healthier, happier workforce, as well as a great project that reinforces their commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility and particularly to their own workers – the people who grow and harvest food and flowers that are for sale across European supermarkets.
ClimateCare continues to develop the project on the ground, expanding the opportunities to improve life by providing efficient stoves. We also measure the outcomes – including carbon reductions and positive economic impacts. We will generate further revenue for this project through the generation and sale of carbon credits, ensuring it is sustainable in the long term.
Projects like this are a great way to make your international supply chain more efficient, reduce energy consumption and at the same time improve life for the people your business relies on.
Read more about Building Resilience within your Supply Chain
To set up a similar project in your supply chain, contact our team: +44 (0)1865 591000.
- Economic Savings & Job Creation: Supply chain workers are expected save £125 each on fuel costs, every year.
- Improved Health: The project will improve the health of over 40,000 people in Finlays farming communities by reducing exposure to harmful levels of Indoor Air Pollution.
- Empowering Women: Stoves cook cleaner and quicker reducing illness and freeing up time for work and study.
- Emission Reductions: This project will cut around 10,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, growing over time.
- Slowing Deforestation: The stoves require 50% less charcoal, helping to protect local forests.