3 July 2012 – ToughStuff was one of eleven winners at the 2012 World Business and Development Awards (WBDA) for its efforts to improve living standards in some of the world’s most disadvantaged communities. ToughStuff was recognised at a ceremony that took place during the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), where world leaders along with thousands of participants from governments, the private sector, NGOs and other groups convened.
The awards recognise the role of private companies in reaching the Millennium Development Goals, rewarding businesses who expand goods and services for low-income people through sustainable, commercially viable business models.
ToughStuff was recognised for its innovative business model which has seen the company reach over a million people with affordable solar energy. It works in 11 countries across Africa to provide affordable, durable and high-performance solar energy to the 1.3 billion people without access to electricity.
The international panel of judges for the WBDA included members of the International Business Leaders Forum, the International Chamber of Commerce, and the United Nations Development Programme.
Communities without access to grid electricity struggle to light their homes, charge their phones and power their radios. ToughStuff has developed a modular range of solar products, which provide durable, affordable and high-performance replacements for expensive and damaging energy sources, such as kerosene and batteries.
Users experience a significant improvement in their standard of living, saving about US$100 each year. They can be more productive, with more time for work and study. Health, safety and security concerns are reduced, as they are exposed to fewer open flames and less harmful fumes.