OTAGO Partnered with CCA to Develop New Factory Blueprints that Prioritize Reducing Harmful Emissions for Workers
Launched in 2018 in Cambodia, OTAGO produces environmentally friendly char-briquettes from biomass waste. Leveraging experience gained from the successful management of Khmer Green Charcoal, a subsidiary company of OTAGO, founder Carlo Figà Talamanca has led OTAGO to produce a charcoal output of 120 tons a month. Today, the OTAGO has reached 6,500 households and now employs more than 40 people.
Like many companies in the clean cooking sector, OTAGO aims to reduce smoke emissions that contribute to household air pollution. By improving operations in their factories and the quality of their products, particulate matter exposure can be lowered for both employees and customers. Through the formalization of addressing these health and safety concerns, OTAGO can significantly streamline its production outputs, satisfy investors and social and governance (ESG) requirements, and look to expand into other markets.
The Clean Cooking Alliance’s (CCA) Venture Catalyst Program has partnered with OTAGO to update and modernize the company’s health and safety manual and create a comprehensive factory blueprint that can be easily replicated. By aiming to reduce emissions by at least 50 percent, this investment in health and safety will not only better protect OTAGO’s employees, but also increase employee satisfaction and support OTAGO’s expansion efforts. With the support of CCA, OTAGO and a local consultant:
- Conducted a survey to analyze the current health and safety conditions in OTAGO’s factory.
- Revised the company-wide health and safety manual and addressed any necessary factory design or production changes.
- Implemented the improved design in the current factory and measured its effectiveness in reducing particulate emissions.
- Integrated this new emissions-reducing design into blueprints for future factories as OTAGO seeks to expand into East African, Asian, and Caribbean markets.
Through these efforts, OTAGO installed innovative emissions-extraction systems and air ducts that will re-direct smoke emissions in factories, as well as installed air monitoring sensors to continually measure air quality. Due to these additions, OTAGO estimates an upwards of 80 percent air pollution reduction in its factories.
“This may not have been the flashiest intervention project, but it surely is one of the most significant and truly shows that you don’t need millions of dollars to make a large impact. With this support from CCA, our health and safety improvements have benefitted our workers, our investors, our customers, and our entire business.”
– Carlo Figà Talamanca, CEO and founder, OTAGO