Vibrant Cookstoves Sector Growing in Central America
The month of June brought exciting news from two Central American partners. In Honduras, Proyecto Mirador installed its 100,000th stove. Meanwhile, also in Honduras, StoveTeam International and their local partner, E’Copan were awarded the National Energy Globe Award for their significant contributions to help combat deforestation.
Established in 2004, Proyecto Mirador builds and installs their Dos por Tres (2×3) cookstoves in rural Honduras. Accomplishing the 100,000th stove installation is a major milestone, and an indication of the viability of efficient cookstoves. Fittingly, the celebration included tortillas cooked on a 2×3.
StoveTeam and their partner E’Copan were awarded the prestigious National Energy Globe Award for their efforts, through making and distributing cookstoves, to combat deforestation and overconsumption of firewood in Honduras. Deforestation in the country is rampant, since over half of the population relies on firewood for cooking fuel. With support from StoveTeam International, the E’Copan factory opened in 2010, and since then, E’Copan has sold approximately 6,000 cookstoves.
StoveTeam International operates in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua, and their model shows that social business investment can achieve a high rate of return. Since 2008, more than 50,000 efficient stoves have been produced and sold by StoveTeam-sponsored businesses, impacting 373,000 people. StoveTeam’s initial investment to start up local stove production operations totaled $750,000. To illustrate the high rate of return on their investment, StoveTeam calculated that if they had used the $750,000 to simply buy stoves (at an average cost of $55 each), they would have distributed approximately 36,000 fewer stoves.
The success of the Alliance’s partners in Central America mirrors the momentum that is building all around the world for clean cooking and fuel solutions. With groups such as Proyector Mirador, StoveTeam International, and E’Copan leading the way, it is possible to stem environmental degradation and reduce the health impacts of household air pollution.