Biolite Energy: Social Impact Business Case Study

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In Canada, as in most developed countries we take energy for granted. It is at our fingertips everywhere we go and all we need to do is flip a light switch or turn the dial on the stove and we have light and cooking facilities instantly. However, there are billions of people that do not have access to what we have taken for granted for almost a century. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), 1.2 billion people lack access to electricity and 2.7 billion to not have clean cooking facilities (The IEA defines these as fuels and stoves that do not cause air pollution in the home). The majority of this energy poverty is in sub-Saharan Africa, where less than 40% of the population has access to electricity. Energy poverty
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Biolite was founded in 2009 by Jonathan Cedar and Alex Drummond after they invented a portable wood burning camping stove that used thermoelectric technology to create a smokeless fire and charge portable devices at the same time. They quickly discovered that there was a significant need for the technology used in the CampStove in undeveloped countries which led to the development of the HomeStove, a larger form of the biomass stove “that cuts fuel consumption in half and reduces toxic emissions by ninety percent, all while charging mobile phones or LED lights.” The company has since expanded its product offering in to other verticals, lighting and portable solar power technologies, as they continue on their mission of energy everywhere. With over 20 products being sold in 100 countries around the world and the HomeStove now in over 20,000 households, they are making progress. The company has also established operations in Africa and India with over 55 local…show more content…
The company raised $6.8 million and already has revenues in excess of $5.5 million in its short existence while expanding its operations in emerging markets. They have also signed an $8 million, long-term agreement with the Norwegian government for the purchase of carbon credits. This financial performance suggests that the company has a path to Profitability and the carbon capture deal points to a clearly positive environmental impact. In fact, with approximately $37 billion spent each year on kerosene and charcoal (conventional cooking fuels), Biolite has a significant opportunity. The Planet portion of the value proposition is also very clear for Biolite. The impact on our planet from greenhouse gas is well known and so is the need for clean sustainable energy. Biolite creates a positive footprint by developing new clean energy technologies. The company is able to measure its own C02 emissions and for every 1 ton of C02 they produce they offset 19 tons through customer use of the HomeStove. To date Biolite has been able to offset over 126,000 tons of C02 and at the same time has helped generate over 101,000-watt hours of electricity. However, the real impact is what they are able to accomplish for People. The health of people in the third word that still cook in their homes with open fire and conventional fuels is a significant issue. The World Health

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