Second Issuance of Carbon Credits from Meru Cookstove Project

Last week Gold Standard issued 28,337 carbon credits from  the Meru small scale cook stoves project. The project is located in Meru South District of Tharaka Nithi County a place famously known as Chuka district and had 28,337 tonnes of CO2 emissions reductions during the last monitoring period. Since 2011, the Meru Improved Cook stove project has focused on reducing the negative health, environmental and economic impacts related to cooking on three stone fires through the distribution of over 8000 improved CZK cook stoves.

The distribution of fuel-efficient cook stoves has also lessen the amount of harmful smoke and indoor air pollution currently associated with traditional three-stone fires. This resulted in a decrease in the incidences of negative health impacts, such as respiratory diseases, among rural households.


Stakeholder Meetings in Dowa and Kasungu, Malawi!

This week on Tuesday April 14th, Concern Universal, our partner for the borehole-rehabilitation project in Malawi has started the local stakeholder meetings in Dowa and Kasungu Districts . The overall objective of the meeting is to provide all the information about the project to the local communities. Concern Universal will also use this opportunity to collect some outstanding data and initiate some additional stakeholder feedback mechanisms. We thank Concern Universal Malawi for all their effort in organizing the meetings and we are looking forward to progressing with the project.

The meetings will take place in the areas and dates presented below:

14/04/2015 Meeting 1: District of Dowa, Chakhaza Traditional Authority

15/04/2015 Meeting 2: District of Dowa, Dzoole Traditional Authority

16/05/2015 Meeting 3: District of Dowa, Kayembe Traditional Authority

17/05/2015 Meeting 4: District of Kasungu, Santhe Traditional Authority

Why companies should measure and reduce their Carbon Footprint

On a previous blog about GHG Audits and Climate Change, it has been highlighted that economic growth and business activity is one of the most important drivers of increases in CO2 emissions and thus climate change. Corporations have a huge contribution in GHG emissions and therefore have an ethical obligation to reduce their carbon footprint. However, there are additional reasons for companies beyond the climate change fight. Below are presented 6 simple reasons why companies should adopt regular carbon audits and carbon footprint measurements. These reasons are significant for every company in any sector.

  1. Legislation & policy – In most developed countries, companies are obliged to follow legislations regarding their energy efficiency and carbon footprints. The Energy Efficiency directive of the EU requires from member states to implement legislations and set regulations in the business sector regarding Energy efficiency and GHG emissions. A recent example is Energy Savings Opportunities Scheme (ESOS) which is compulsory for every company which has 250 or more employees or an annual turnover exceeding €50m and a balance sheet exceeding €43m in the United Kingdom. Although ESOS is an energy audit is strongly related to GHG emissions. Other energy audits which are strongly related to GHG emissions reduction are the ISO 50001 Energy Management and the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme (although are not compulsory).
  1. Reduce operational costs – cost savings and efficiency. Measuring Carbon footprint will help companies to identify environmental hotspots in their business activity. Companies recently have saved significant costs and achieved efficiency targets through measurement and reporting of their products and services carbon footprints.
  1. Clients demand for environmental data – Clients have become aware about current environmental problems and many of them adopt eco-friendly behaviours. The demand for credible environmental data and sustainable techniques from clients is continue to rise. The Nielsen Global Survey on Corporate Social Responsibility, conducted in 2014, found that 55% of consumers in 60 countries worldwide are prepared to pay more for products and services provided by companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact. Companies therefore can win new sales by having environmental data on their products and services.
  1. Competition. Companies can get ahead of the game by introducing carbon footprint in their products and services. Recently, many CEOs and the boards have catalysed many significant carbon reduction projects, with 93% of multinationals now addressing their own carbon emissions in order to exploit reputational gains.
  1. Enhanced green image / brand .The adoption of Carbon footprint in a company’s product/service can definitely enhance its green image across the society. See Carbon Zero certification.
  1. Increasing investor pressures. The increase awareness regarding CO2 emissions and their impacts to the climate and the planet makes more and more investors to expect companies to be taking actions on reducing their carbon emissions.


Third Successful Issuance of Gold Standard Credits for Aberdares and Kisumu Projects

Great news for CO2balance as last week the Gold Standard Foundation announced the issuance of 40,530 carbon credits for Kisumu Cook stove project and 24,441 for Aberdares Cook stoves project, in total 64,971 Gold Standard carbon credits!

The two projects have reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and indoor air pollution in Kenya by the distribution of domestic wood-burning improved cook stoves in households. It worth mentioning, that the majority of Kenya’s population (68%) is dependent on biomass as their primary source of energy for cooking.

Aberdares is a rural district in central Kenya near the capital, Nairobi. As a result of this project, 7,946 households are using the efficient cook stoves, and emissions have reduced by 24,441 tCO2e in the last year. Kisumu with a population of 968, 909, Kisumu is located in the Nyanza Province in West Kenya. Due to the project, emissions have reduced by 40,530 tCO2e in the last 13 months. The projects have also reduced time spent collecting wood by local people for cooking and reduce pressure on deforestation and local ecosystems.  In addition, 5693 people in total report increase their health because of using the cook-stoves.

Thanks to everyone involved over the last year in the successful implementation of these two projects. CO2balance will continue to reduce GHG emissions and improve the lives of Kenyan communities.

Case Study - 1

Achieve your business goals as a Carbon Zero Company

It is well known that anthropogenic Greenhouse Gas emissions are the major reason that Climate Change is happening. Although we know that our activities produce GHG emissions, we do little to reduce them. In fact, GHG emissions are still on the increase. According to the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report, Summary for Policy makers 2013 (AR5), since 1990 the global carbon emissions have risen 50%. Especially CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion and industrial processes contributed about 78% of the total GHG emission increase from 1970 to 2010. It is also well known that the consequences of climate change will be devastating for the environment and humans (e.g., extreme weather events, rise of sea level, decrease of biodiversity etc.,).

Economic growth and business activity is one of the most important drivers of increases in CO2 emissions and therefore climate change. Immediate action is required from companies in order to reduce their GHG emissions and thus the overall GHG emissions in the atmosphere. Recently many CEO’s and Board’s have catalyzed many significant carbon reduction projects, with 93% of multinationals now addressing their own carbon emissions in order to exploit reputational and efficiency gains.

CO2balance offers GHG Audits following the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol Corporate Standard, which is the most widely used international accounting tool to help businesses to understand, quantify, and manage their greenhouse gas emissions.

GHG Audits

GHG audit can be considered as the first step toward emission reductions in the business environment. Organisations and companies can conduct GHG audits and therefore measure their current carbon footprint. Its a very easy way for companies to firstly quantify and be aware of their energy use and the GHG emissions produced by their overall activities and secondly, design a strategy and examine different options in order to reduce their emissions. Many companies recently have saved significant costs and achieved efficiency targets through measurement and reporting of their GHG Emissions. Figure 1 below shows the hierarchy for managing GHG emissions.


Figure 1:  Modified from the “The carbon management hierarchy” (Burtis, 2008).


CO2balance have designed the scope of the CarbonZero® Package, to suit the needs of companies across the business spectrum from SMEs, to large multi-national clients. The package includes a holistic approach of measurement, management and offset Greenhouse Gas Emissions by carbon credits issued from the development of projects in developing countries. Additionally to the reduction of your GHG emissions, when you offset your unavoidable emissions with CO2balance you contribute in positive impacts in Africa. This is because the money funds community projects that reduce emissions as well as promote local social, environmental and economic benefits.

Drive positive impacts in Africa through offsetting

Improved efficiency cook stoves projects reduce the need for firewood and the volume of harmful smoke families are exposed to. In addition, it reduces deforestation through less demand of firewood and reduces families’ cost of buying wood. The community borehole projects provide clean, safe drinking water for hundreds of families as well as reducing carbon emissions as water no longer has to be boiled to make it safe to drink. Normally women and young people have to walk, often for hours, to find clean water and wood then carry it back on their heads. With so many of their daylight hours focused on gathering water, inevitably their fields are neglected and the harvest affected. Alternatively, they might choose to collect water from rivers or wells, probably dirty and infected with water-borne disease. By having a water point located closer to many of these hardships are avoided and in turn, women and especially girls have more time to pursue other activities, such as income generation and education. Moreover, clean water will reduce incidences of illness which will reduce medical costs but also decrease the number of days people miss from work and school.

An appreciative community member

Photo from Borehole Project in Uganda

DSC_0027 (2)A woman uses the Carbon Zero Stove in Meru, Kenya

By adopt CO2balance’s package you will:

  • manage to reduce your energy consumption ;
  • tackle climate change by going Carbon zero®;
  • help support thousands of people across rural African communities, including Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Mozambique and Sierra Leone through your carbon offset.

Find more details in :


IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5), Summary for Policy makers

Burtis, B. and Watt, I. (2008) “Getting to Zero: Defining Corporate Carbon Neutrality.” Clean Air-Cool Planet and Forum for the Future. Portsmouth, NH. Accessed June 2008.

Micro-scale Borehole Projects listed in in Uganda!

The Gold Standard confirmed this week that two more micro scale borehole projects in Uganda have been listed. Therefore, now we have three micro-scale borehole projects in total listed in the Kaliro District in central Uganda. The latest two Gold Standards approved projects involve the rehabilitation and maintenance of hand-pumped boreholes owned by communities in Kaliro District. It is estimated that they will achieve emission reductions of 20,000 tonnes annually, 10,000 for each project.

Many existing boreholes are owned by community groups or community based organizations (CBOs) and have fallen into disrepair because maintenance programmes have been poorly managed, or proven too expensive.  CO2balance works with community groups in Kaliro District and identify broken down boreholes and renovate them so that they deliver clean, safe water and breakdowns are fixed rapidly.  For the purpose of our micro scale borehole projects in Kaliro District we have repaired 30 boreholes. Below are some of the pictures during the repairs!

12. Kakosi WDD 4809  DSC00647



First Gold Standard credits issued in Rwanda!

Today we had our first issuance of Gold standard credits from our improved cook stove project in Rwanda! This is the first issuance ever in the country and is a big achievement for CO2balance indicating that the company has the skills, the knowledge and the experience to develop carbon offset projects in different countries worldwide.

The Micro-Scale improved cook stoves project in Bugesera district has 6515 tonnes of CO2 emissions reductions and generated 6515 Gold Standard carbon credits. It worth mentioning that the project involved the distribution of approximately 1,683 domestic fuel-efficient cook stoves to households within the Bugesera District in the Eastern Province, Rwanda. The efficient cook stoves are based on a design developed by CO2balance. In addition to reducing the usage of biomass, and thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the distribution of fuel-efficient cook stoves also has lessen the amount of harmful smoke and indoor air pollution currently associated with traditional three-stone fires. This will result in a decrease in the incidences of negative health impacts, such as respiratory diseases, amongst rural households. This is a great way to close 2014 for CO2balance. Wish to everybody Merry Christmas and a successful 2015.



Micro-Scale Borehole Projects listed in Malawi!

Great news this week, Gold Standard confirmed that two more micro scale borehole projects in Malawi have been listed. Therefore, now we have six micro-scale borehole projects in total listed in Dowa and Kasungu districts in central Malawi. The latest two Gold Standard approved borehole projects are active in the Dowa district , with estimated emission reductions of 20,000 tonnes annually, 10,000 for each project.

It is worth mentioning that for the purpose of our micro scale borehole projects in Malawi we have repaired more than 60 boreholes which are currently providing with clean water to approximately 6000 households, while also avoiding 60,000 tonnes of GHG emissions in total every year.

2014 07 14 Malawi Borehole Picture #4 2014 07 14 Malawi Borehole Picture #2


Off-Grid Solar Energy in Africa

It is estimated that 70% of people in sub-Saharan Africans live without access to an electricity grid. Africa is the only continent where this percentage is expected to reach 75%-80% by 2030. In addition, Africa’s total power capacity is currently only 147 GW, according to the African Development Bank, which is equivalent to the total capacity installed in Belgium, and what China installs every one to two years. Therefore, it is obvious that there is a huge energy requirement for the whole continent in order to provide electricity to the people, reduce poverty and achieve a substantial level of economic development.

Fossil fuel-based power generation is not a choice if we want to combat climate change and also is the most expensive form of energy globally. However, remains the largest source of electricity generation in Africa.

An alternative and winning ground idea is off grid solar energy. In the last few years over 7 million off-grid Africans have replaced their kerosene lamps with solar lights.  Africa can pursue clean energy development based on solar energy and diversify its fossil fuels dependency path. According to some environmental journalists the reasons for supporting off-grid solar energy are at least four.

First, the savings for a family’s budget from solar light is significant. According to SolarAid, one of the organisations introducing solar lights to Africa, by replacing kerosene with solar power LED light in Tanzania, typically you can save more than a dollar a week. This is a significant amount of money for the 48 percent of the sub-Saharan people that live on less than $1.25 a day.

Second, solar power can be expanded and connected. A family can get one panel and replace a kerosene lamp. With two and three panels they are able to charge a mobile phone, use radio, TV etc.  In other words, the solar generation could add to a family’s life different consumer products and can also team up with a neighbor and build a small local grid.

Third, the efficiency and the cost of developing solar panels. The solar light uses five to 10 times less energy than the old incandescent light. Moreover, subsidies have turned photovoltaic panels into a commodity with a rapidly falling price. What looked 10 years ago like a rich government’s game now is simply cheap and it has potentials for further technological improvement.

Fourth, solar, and other renewable energy technologies do not need the hugely expensive power infrastructure required to bring the electricity generated by a nuclear reactor or a coal power block 2,000 kilometers to a poor African village.

Some successful examples in the private sector are M-KOPA and Mobisol in East Africa. So far in Kenya around 744 public places in isolated areas, from health centers to schools, has been hooked up to off-grid solar power through the initiative. Five off-grid stations have been put in place and as they enjoy solid internal rate of returns (IRR) of 20 percent, the operation is being expanded to build new plants and also make existing ones bigger.



Can Africa leapfrog the carbon energy age?,Julian Popov

Electrifying Kenya: How One African Country is Approaching Renewable Energy Development , Sherelle Jacobs

Impacts of solar lamps in Africa

There are approximately 110 million off-grid households in Africa and in Sub-Saharan Africa only 9% of the rural population has access to electricity. An estimated 58.3 million of those without grid access are using kerosene to light their homes. In Kenya for example 92% of the population uses kerosene for lighting. However, kerosene is expensive, typically accounting for 10 – 15% of total household income. It is bad for people’s health and the World Bank estimates that breathing kerosene fumes is the equivalent of smoking two packets of cigarettes a day. If this wasn’t enough, a single kerosene lamp emits one tone of carbon dioxide over five years.

CO2balance’s long term vision upon realizing financing goals is to distribute 10,000 solar lamps to rural communities in Africa that are most at need. Moreover, there will be several significant impacts from this project across the environment, society, people’s health and the overall well-being.

The tables below present the significant impacts of the project such as 2,000 tco2e will avoided from being released to the atmosphere in each year.  In addition, a family in Kenya could saves £74 on average on kerosene use and young people can study 2 more hours per day.

solar lamps