Published on April 9th, 2012 | by Priti Ambani2
Innovative Social Enterprise Leverages Carbon Offsets With Clean Cooking Stoves
The Paradigm Project is working to implement over 5 million clean cook stoves in the world’s developing countries by the year 2020. Through the project, they are not only seeking to implement clean-fuel cooking stoves, they are looking to create a sustainable economy for these developing countries.
Nearly half the people in the world cook over an open fire. Over 90% of energy consumption is either wood or other biomass. This leads to three main problems: deforestation, poor respiratory health and poverty. Per the Paradigm Project, in Kenya alone, this leads to the consumption of over 100 million trees annually. It is estimated that 25% of global CO2 emissions are generated by the rural poor, more than all global transportation-related emissions combined. Deforestation leads to a myriad of issues we all know so well – erosion and flood that wash away top soil, infertile soil and arid landscapes that lead to reduced crop yields increasing food insecurity and poverty.
Leveraging Carbon Offsets on Behalf of the Poor
The Paradigm Project has an interesting business model – leveraging carbon offsets on behalf of the poor. Which means, they sell the carbon offsets resulting from the fuel-efficient stoves to volume corporate buyers in the US and Europe looking to lower their net carbon impact.
We align ourselves with local business partners and global relief and development organizations that have a significant presence and a long history of success working in the developing world. We then work with these partners to identify and develop scalable emissions reduction project opportunities that drive economic, environmental and social value into the communities they serve.
The Woodwalk Project
In October last year, the Paradigm team organized a “walk” to bring into focus the issues that women in many parts of Africa face every day – walking up to 15 miles to find cooking fuel or wood. It was called the Woodwalk campaign– a 10-day walk from San Diego to Los Angeles during which a team of founders, staff, partners, and volunteers carried are 50-pound bundles of wood on their backs to replicating the challenges of the marginalized women in Africa.
To commemorate Earth day this year, The Paradigm Project unveiled a short film based off of their arduous journey entitled, “Woodwalk”.