Sustainability in emerging markets
Envirofit increases access to energy-efficient cooking methods
Envirofit is an organization that hopes to change the way energy products are produced for people living in poverty or in remote parts of the world. Over the past decade, it has designed and delivered products and services to families that allow them to cook faster in a way that reduces fuel usage and toxic emissions.
By allowing flexible payments in small sums, customers in underserved communities have even more possibilities for upgrades and improvements.
Envirofit units in Central America, South America, South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa have impacted 8.5 million people, prevented 29 million tons of CO2 emissions, saved families $234 million in fuel costs and created 2,600 jobs.
Jackline Bakhoya, a single mother of three, works for Envirofit in Kenya. Tasked with raising her children by herself, she was determined and motivated to provide like her father did for her. Envirofit gave her this opportunity.
“I must admit that I have had a great opportunity to learn skills and knowledge that have helped me perform at my job,” she said. “By this, I have been able to initiate and cultivate relationships for new business – a quality that has led me to perform well.”
Envirofit provides more efficient cookstoves for schoolchildren in India. In many low-income families, the meal the children get at school is their only one for the day. Many schools cook with firewood on outdated and inefficient cookstoves. By reaching cooking temperatures quickly, the stoves provided by Envirofit save schools up to 80 percent in fuel costs and reduce smoke. They are sturdily built and burn a wide variety of accessible fuel, such as wood, pellets, cow dung cakes, briquettes and coconut husks.
Traditional cooking methods are a major contributor to deforestation throughout India. Saplings were planted to help with the problem, but they were also cut down for fuel. Envirofit recommended one of its stoves that would allow villagers to cook efficiently and with less fuel. By reducing fuel needs and improving household energy options, saplings can keep growing and help preserve the environment.
Praxis Mutual Funds® supports organizations such as Envirofit through investments in Calvert Impact Capital, an impact-investing institution that helps people around the world through community development financing. It’s part of the Praxis commitment to place approximately 1 percent of each of its funds to benefit neighborhoods and individuals through community development investments.