A social firm working to provide smokeless cooking stoves to rural communities and access to reliable, affordable and environmentally friendly fuel is seeking investment.
Smoke from cooking on open fires kills 4.3 million people around the world every year, more than AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis combined. Bhutanese co-operative Dazin is working to change this by coming up with an innovative solution.
Starting in Bhutan, Dazin will distribute a smokeless stove that its has designed that is both reliable and affordable, while still being sustainable. It works by mobilising rural households to deposit free forestry wood waste at a series of collection points.
This wood waste is then transported to a production site, where a compression machine densifies the wood into small, easy to use briquettes, or ‘cookies’. In return for the wood waste Dazin gives rural households a stove for a nominal leasing fee and enough fuel to meet their cooking requirements compared to their collected wood waste deposit.
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The business model sees Dazin producing fuel cookies in excess of what rural households need, so the surplus is sold to urban communities at affordable prices. The profit offsets the free services in rural areas.
Jerry Greenfield, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s, explained, “Dazin addresses the complexities of open fire cooking with a comprehensive sustainable solution that tackles the root of the problem. Not only that, their replicable model significantly promotes environmental conservation with a financially sustainable model to provide an affordable cooking energy solution for all.”
The firm is looking for funds to kick-start the project expansion after a successful pilot launch. The enterprise is seeking around £42,000 of investment to cover the cost of a compression machine. For example, £50 can provide one smokeless stove, and save four tons of carbon emissions. This cost is recovered by fuel sales in cities within seven months and then re-invested to purchase another stove for a family.