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OPIC funds global clean cooking initiative

More than 50% of the worlds population are still using traditional methods for cooking. Pic credit: Wild Forage

On Thursday, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), committed $4 million (ZAR66 million) to Envirofit International, a social enterprise that innovates smart energy products to uplift communities globally.

The funds will assist with the commercial deployment of Envirofit’s business operations to supply their technologically advanced high quality, low cost, clean cookstove technology on a global scale, OPIC said in a company statement.

CEO of Envirofit, Ron Bills said: “We are excited about the partnership with OPIC and their commitment to support Envirofit with the necessary capital to grow our business in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.”

Elizabeth Littlefield, OPIC’s President and CEO echoed: “With this new growth capital from OPIC, we’re looking forward to helping them realize their goals to create healthier, cleaner homes across developing regions.”

She noted that the social enterprise demonstrates “exceptional potential for high-impact development progress for low-income people around the world.”

Traditional cooking remains high

According to OPIC, almost 50% of the world’s population continues to cook food over open fires or with rudimentary stoves – The emitted smoke is equivalent to the smoke of 400 cigarettes per hour.

In addition, open fire cooking contributes to 25% of global black carbon emission and can consume up to 25% of household expenses for people living in energy poverty, they added.

Clean cooking technology

In 2003, Envirofit developed a global product line of smart, clean cookstoves that cook faster while reducing fuel use, smoke, and toxic emissions.

OPIC explained in the statement: “In 2007 Envirofit formed a long-term partnership with Shell Foundation – an independent charity who provided them with grant funding and extensive business support.

“This helped the company grow from a one-product business to a global organization serving over 5 million people, with over a dozen user-designed products.”

Envirofit and OPIC have pledged to continue driving the adoption of clean cookstoves and fuels in a 100 million households globally.


Homepage pic credit: Wild forage

Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.