Request for Proposals: Sales Strategy Support for Tokenised Clean Cooking Carbon Credit
Background of the Organization
UNF is an organisation duly organized as a 501 (c)(3) non-profit under the laws of the State of New York (EIN/tax ID number: 58-2368165) with the mission to support mobilizing ideas, people and resources to help the United Nations drive global progress through collective action. As such, any US donation is fully tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law. The Clean Cooking Alliance (CCA) is an initiative hosted by UNF. As an initiative hosted by UNF, CCA is covered under UNF’s tax exemption status. As the tax exemption holder, the United Nations Foundation claims fiscal responsibility for the Clean Cooking Alliance.
CCA works with a global network of partners to build an inclusive industry that makes clean cooking accessible to the nearly three billion people who live each day without it. Established in 2010, CCA is driving consumer demand, mobilizing investment to build a pipeline of scalable businesses, and fostering an enabling environment that allows the sector to thrive. Clean cooking transforms lives by improving health, protecting the climate and the environment, empowering women, and helping families save time and money.
As in 2023, UNF’s Clean Cooking Alliance’s Innovative Finance Practice seeks to unlock the full potential of new forms output-based public finance instruments and privately traded carbon and social impact finance to spur the growth of clean cooking markets, as well as further catalyze additional capital from traditional financial and capital markets to accelerate growth. As part of catalyzing additional capital to finance clean cooking solutions, CCA is partnering with selected banks to provide technical support and collaborate towards strengthening the banking ecosystem towards clean cooking financing.
Background of the Digital Innovation Challenge
More than 2.6 billion people continue to live without access to clean fuels and technologies costing the planet more than $2.4 trillion each year. Though access, adoption and use increasing, at current rates, more than 1.4 billion people are expected to still not have access to clean cooking solutions by 2030, missing the SDG 7 universal access target by a wide margin. Carbon finance is a potentially growing source of finance for clean cooking, however, as global carbon markets have accelerated through the growth in voluntary carbon markets (VCM) and the emergence of Article 6.2 bilateral agreements, the opportunity to deliver climate finance to the clean cooking sector through the carbon markets remains underutilized.
The Global Partnership to Accelerate Finance for Clean Cooking between the Clean Cooking Alliance (CCA) and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) was initiated in 2022 to address financing needs for clean cooking markets. The Global Partnership launched an inaugural Digital Innovation Challenge to support private sector enterprises working to address data and information barriers that will increase finance for clean cooking companies and their consumers. This focuses on digital innovations that reduce the time and cost for data and information management and facilitate faster access to financing opportunities such as from carbon markets or results-based financing (RBF). These digital innovations include but are not limited to providing monitoring devices, platforms and infrastructure solutions (i.e. cloud services, software, data centres, mobile internet connectivity) for improved tracking of results associated with clean cooking (including but not limited to climate, health, environment and women’s economic empowerment) and linking these to finance opportunities and solutions that enable investors, lenders, project developers, and other funders to have required information on clean cooking companies. This “Optimizing Data and Monetizing Impact in Clean Cooking” Innovations Challenge comprises activities related to providing industry insights, market linkages, networking opportunities, and grants for the design, implementation, or expansion of winning projects.
The Acceleration Phase aims to support traction of the selected solutions following from the Digital Innovation Bootcamp, held in Nairobi 19-21 June 2023, and in line with their work plans prior to potential scale up support in 2024. The overall aim of the Acceleration Phase is to support investment readiness of the digital innovation solutions.
CCA intends to select technical partner(s) (firms or individuals) for the Accelerator Phase who will work alongside CCA and its partner, the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), and the enterprises to enable meeting their objectives of the Acceleration Phase. The consultants will provide technical assistance directly to enterprises, with technical experts needed for enabling sales of and creating the sales strategy for tokenised clean cooking carbon credits.
Background of Selected Enterprise – Emerging Eco
Emerging Eco has developed an end-to-end platform taking high-quality data from clean cooking projects to verify claims of carbon emission reductions using a revolutionary blockchain and AI system. This produces digital credential certificates that impact producers self-issue as digital carbon credits (called “CARBON”) on the ixo blockchain.
The platform was released in July and the first carbon credits have already been issued. This platform includes a mobile app, called “Impacts X”, which is available both in the Apple and at Google Play app stores. Using this app, customers can buy a digital asset, which we brand as a “Supamoto Nifty”. This is a “digital twin” of a real-world cooking stove that is connected to the internet and provides a live dashboard of the cooking activity and renewable biomass fuel purchases. A Nifty gives the owner the right to claim the digital CARBON credits that are generated when a family switches from polluting traditional cooking and uses the device. A Nifty is thereby an asset, generating carbon credits as the stove it is connected to, is used in the real-world. This provides a unique experience and sense of direct contribution for the Nifty owner.
An web-based asset management dashboard, accessed through https://emerging.eco/ shows asset owners the performance, in near-real time, of all their assets, and gives the owner the ability to manage their assets. This dashboard may appeal to companies, organizations and individuals who own collections of Niftys.
The cutting-edge technologies offered by this platform have little, if any, precedence. The digital carbon credits generated are of the highest standards, based on the environmental, climate and social impacts they represent, and the integrity of the data proving these impacts. However, they currently lack the institutional recognition of carbon credits issued by one of the traditional central registries. Naturally, such novel technology will be faced with some skepticism, and selling the Niftys and the CARBON tokens will likely not happen organically. The reason being that the products (Niftys and CARBON) and the technology (blockchain-native carbon credits) are so new and the market therefore little understood.
Rather than taking the more academic approach of conducting a market research study that will produce a set of recommendations for how these products should be marketed, we want to implement a practical and data-driven agile approach that will enable us to test and rapidly iterate a range of marketing activities. We have identified two market verticals that are described below, as well as a guide for how we wish to conduct the process. The assignment will be results-driven, in order to reach the sales targets and product-market fit Objectives within the stipulated Timeline. In other words, if one of the verticals is showing great traction than the other, most if not all effort should quickly be shifted there.
The two verticals are:
- B2B: Sale of Niftys and/or CARBON tokens to businesses and organizations.
- Impact Bond: Securing investments into a private Impact Bond, where the investor(s) receive a percentage return after the digital assets (Niftys and/or CARBON tokens have been sold). Note that developing of the Bond itself is not part of this assignment.
Objectives of the Assignment
The objective is to address the hypothesis of premium credits based on tokenisation with an aimed for price to be achieved per CARBON token to be at least €0,02 token (€20 per tonne CO2-eq), but ideally €0,025 per CARBON token. Average price achieved per Nifty should be at least €150 each.
The main objective of the assignment is therefore to successfully secure the sale of 10,000 tonnes of CO2-eq (10 million CARBON tokens, since one CARBON token = 1 CO2-eq), or 2,500 Niftys, or a combination thereof, by January 31st 2024 and an associated Sales Strategy to scale up the sale of Niftys.
Subsidiary objectives include to better understand the different customer groups in the two verticals, and to feed back to the Emerging Eco and Digital Innovation Challenge team insights related to product market fit, pricing, offer, marketing channels, communication, branding as a clear sales strategy moving forward.
Scope of Work and Deliverables
When the sale of 10,000 tonnes of CO2-eq (10 million CARBON tokens, since one CARBON token = 1 CO2-eq), or 2,500 Niftys, has been achieved, or when the timeline has lapsed, the main assignment is considered completed and only the final report remains to close the assignment. Leading up to that, the following activities and deliverables are expected as part of the main objective or sale of tokens and/or Niftys:
1. Marketing Strategy and Sales Team Recruitment
The service provider is expected to produce a sales strategy a practical manual for training the team members in the two verticals, data and systems to implement the strategy. Alongside this the service provider is expected to have or recruit a sales team for fulfil the sales strategy for selling 10,000 tonnes of CO2-eq by 31st January 2024.
For such novel and untested products, starting with a database of warm or hot leads rather than cold will be a great advantage. If the service provider has access to such, it should be elaborated on in the proposal.
Data-driven approaches should be used, such as SEO, scraping databases, AI-automated sales outreach, or any other approach that would give confidence in reaching the Objectives
A sales analytics dashboard must be provided to demonstrate marketing and sales activities, conversion rates, sales targets, and customer feedback.
Deliverable: Details on the sales team, and the sales manual including specific tools and services to be used, with budgets.
2. Data-driven marketing and sales activities (conducted in fortnightly sprints)
The service provider should report to the Emerging Eco team the result of each sales sprint, which should last no longer than two weeks. The results should inform how to best prioritize and structure the following sprint.
Note it is expected that the first vertical (B2B) holds the greatest potential for return and should therefore receive focus for initial sprints. If it shows the greatest traction, most or all of the focus could be place there.
Deliverable: Marketing and Sales Report against target of 10,000 tonnes of CO2-eq (10 million CARBON tokens, since one CARBON token = 1 CO2-eq), or 2,500 Niftys, and pricing of €0,02 token. Report should include customer feedback and plan for next sprint for discussion.
3. In-house Marketing and Sales capacity developed, with projections
The service provider will transfer the marketing and sales systems that have been developed, with technical support, to enable Emerging Eco to operate a strong Marketing and Sales function within the company, if needed with potential for future agreements directly between Emerging Eco and the service provider.
This should also include a pipeline and projection analysis, estimating, based on experience, what sales could be expected from a) existing pipeline and b) future expected pipelines (projection up to minimum of 3 years). Identifying the most appropriate sales channels to pursue and any future sales channels to investigate based on the work to date.
Deliverable: Marketing and Sales Strategy presentation incl. premium credit pricing and quantity of sales projects for up to minimum of 3 years, with training of an in-house team and transfer of systems for ongoing implementation of marketing and sales activities.
Please note: The team at Emerging Eco and the Digital Innovation Challenge will be closely involved in the process, as advisors, and if needed more hands-on at the last stage of the sales process (final closing of the sale), but will not be involved in the earlier stages and strategic analysis such as prospecting, preparation or presentation.
Project Period of Performance
This assignment will be performed between October 2023 and the end of January 31st 2024. Interest and ability in continuing providing sales and marketing services on a commission basis after the Assignment should be elaborated on further in the application.
It is expected that sales activities should be focused on customers in Northern and Central Europe, but if the service provider can give strong evidence of buyers willing to pay premium prices existing elsewhere, other markets can also be considered. The team can work from anywhere, although part of the team ideally will need to be able to meet customers physically at the later stages of the sales process.
Individuals or Firms should have the following experience:
- Minimum 5 years of experience in sales and marketing, ideally of digital products and/or carbon credits, ideally both with B2C and B2B.
- Demonstrated experience with digital assets and digital technologies and at least basic knowledge of and interest in blockchain/web3.
- Ability to work remotely efficiently and effectively with project members in various locations.
- Ability to build, manage and motivate a high-performing team.
- Ability to integrate different experiences, methodologies, and approaches from a diverse range of stakeholders, organizations, and technical experts from multiple sectors.
- Excellent English speaking/writing skills required.
- Familiarity with the SDGs, especially SDG 7.
- 10/10/2023: Proposals due
- 10/31/2023: Proposal review and scoring
- 11/03/2023: Consultant(s) selected and notified via email
- 11/10/2023: Kickoff meeting with selected Consultant(s)
A detailed budget in US Dollars must be submitted with the proposal. Budget should include both pre-tax and net of tax values. The budget should include direct costs (Personnel, Fringe Benefits, Travel, Sub-Agreements, Equipment, Supplies, etc.), as well as indirect costs (overhead). For indirect costs, please indicate a list of expenses covered by the indirect rate. For all direct cost, please include assumptions that were made to arrive at line item costs (e.g. 2 trips @ $1,500/trip = $3,000 or 20 staff hours @ $40/hour = $800). The budget should be split to show the work associated with each deliverable.
If a bid has a mathematical discrepancy, CCA may correct the discrepancy and notify the Consultant of the adjustment. In such circumstances, the Consultant may choose to withdraw their bid.
While final payment is contingent on reaching the Deliverables rather than the Objectives (sale of CARBON tokens and/or Niftys), to make it realistic to reach these Deliverables, the service provider should specify what resources will be committed to the project for its duration (again, noting that the Assignment can also be closed earlier if the Objectives have already been reached). It is for example expected that a minimum team of two full-time equivalent sales people (plus extra management if necessary) will be needed for at least 3 months.
The Clean Cooking Alliance will review all written proposals and may request a phone or in-person interview and/or updated submission to address questions or provide clarification. CCA will use the following criteria in its evaluation.
|Evaluation Criteria||Weight||Score (1-5)|
|Approach: e.g the analytical framework and methodology answering the project’s key questions and deliverables||25%|
|Subject matter expertise: e.g experience working with emerging markets and the field of global development||25%|
|Project management: e.g achievable action plan that will deliver the project on time and on budget||25%|
|Capabilities and experience: e.g demonstrated firm experience with similar projects||25%|
Intent and disclaimer
This RFP is made with the intent to identify a Consultant to deliver results as described in this RFP. UNF/the Clean Cooking Alliance will rely on the Consultant’s representations to be truthful and as described. The Clean Cooking Alliance assumes it can be confident in the Consultant’s ability to deliver the product(s) and/or service(s) proposed in response to this RFP.
If the Clean Cooking Alliance amends the RFP, copies of any such amendments will be sent to all respondents to the proposal.
Proposal Guidelines and Requirements
- This RFP is open to multiple partners and is a competitive process.
- Proposals received after 5 pm EST on October 10, 2023 will not be considered.
- The price provided should be in US dollars, and should contain both pre-tax and net of tax values. If the process excludes certain fees or charges, the applicant must provide a detailed list of excluded fees with a complete explanation of the nature of those fees.
- CCA prefers a single point of contact who manages deliverables. If the execution of work to be performed by the Consultant requires the hiring of sub-contractors, the Consultant must clearly state this in the proposal. Sub-contractors must be identified and the work they will perform must be defined. Subcontractors are subject to vetting and approval of UNF/CCA
- CCA will not refuse a proposal based upon the use of subcontractors; however, we retain the right to refuse the sub-contractors you have selected.
- Provisions of this RFP and the contents of the successful responses are considered available for inclusion in final contractual obligations.
Format for Proposals
Proposals must include applicant signature as well as a signed declaration form. Proposals must include the full legal name of applicant, as well as legal formation and ownership structure (e.g. incorporation certification, tax status and ID, etc.).
Contracting and Compliance
CCA will negotiate contract terms upon selection. A copy of the contract terms and conditions will be provided upon selection. All contracts are subject to review by the UN Foundation’s Business Services and Budget Reporting team. The project will start upon the complete execution of the contract. The contract will outline terms and conditions, scope, budget, and applicable flow down terms. Selected recipient(s) must comply with CCA, United Nations Foundation, and funder compliance requirements. The selected recipient(s) must also undergo detailed legal, financial, and commercial due diligence.
The Consultant understands that the Clean Cooking Alliance has chosen to solicit an RFP for consulting services, and that the Consultant’s response does not guarantee that the Clean Cooking Alliance will enter into a new contract with the Consultant or continue any current contract(s) with the Consultant.
The Consultant agrees that Clean Cooking Alliance may, at its sole discretion:
- Amend or cancel the RFP, in whole or in part, at any time
- Extend the deadline for submitting responses
- Determine whether a response does or does not substantially comply with the requirements of the RFP
- Waive any minor irregularity, informality or nonconformance with the provisions or procedures of the RFP
- Negotiate with all Consultants UNF deems acceptable
- Issue multiple awards
- Photocopy the responses for evaluation/review
This RFP is not an offer to contract. The Clean Cooking Alliance assumes no responsibility for Consultant’s cost to respond to this RFP. All responses become the property of the Clean Cooking Alliance
The Consultant, by submitting a response to this RFP, waives all right to protest or seek any legal remedies whatsoever regarding any aspect of this RFP.
The Consultant represents that it has responded to the RFP with complete honesty and accuracy. If facts provided in the Consultant’s response change, the Consultant agrees to supplement its response in writing with any deletions, additions, or changes within ten (10) days of the changes. The Consultant will do this, as necessary, throughout the selection process.
The Consultant understands it may receive proprietary and confidential information from the Clean Cooking Alliance during the RFP process (“Confidential Information”). The Consultant and CCA agree to not use Confidential Information for any purpose other than the Consultant’s participation in the RFP process, and to not reveal Confidential Information directly or indirectly to any other person, entity, or organization without the prior written consent of the other party. The Consultant and CCA further agree to exercise all reasonable precautions to maintain the proprietary and confidential nature of Confidential Information where it can best demonstrate its value and capacity to delivery ecosystem-wide, meaningful value.
Grounds for Exclusion
Material misrepresentations, including omissions, may disqualify the Consultant from a contract award.
Submissions will be rejected in the Clean Cooking Alliance’s sole discretion if it finds that the Consultant has engaged in any illegal or corrupt practices in connection with the award.
The Consultant will be excluded from participation for the reasons below. By submitting a proposal in response to the RFP, the Consultant confirms that none of the below circumstances apply:
- The Consultant is bankrupt or being wound up, is having their affairs administered by the courts, has entered into an arrangement with creditors, has suspended business activities, is subject of proceedings concerning those matters, or is in any analogous situation arising from a similar procedure provided for in national legislation or regulations.
- The Consultant or persons having powers of representation, decision-making or control over them have been convicted of an offence concerning their professional conduct by a final judgment.
- The Consultant has been found guilty of grave professional misconduct; proven by any means which CCA can justify.
- The Consultant has not fulfilled obligations relating to the payment of social security contributions or taxes in accordance with the legal provisions of the country in which they are established, or within the United States of America, or those of the country where the contract is to be performed.
- The Consultant or persons having powers of representation, decision-making or control over them have been convicted for fraud, corruption, involvement in a criminal organization or money laundering by a final judgment.
- The Consultant makes use of child labor or forced labor and/or practice discrimination, and/or do not respect the right to freedom of association and the right to organize and engage in collective bargaining pursuant to the core conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO).
Principal Point of Contact
Shrikant Avi is the primary point of contact for this assignment. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org email address with any questions.
Please submit any questions and/or proposal materials related to the Request for Proposals to email@example.com with the subject line “Proposals for Sales Strategy for Tokenisation of Clean Cooking Credits
The deadline for submission is October 10, 2023 at 5 pm ET.