Nairobi – During his visit to Nairobi, His Majesty King Charles III took the opportunity to engage with pioneering low carbon innovators, including Peter Scott, CEO and Founder of BURN Manufacturing Co. This encounter reconnected Scott with the Royal patronage nearly two decades after an initial meeting that had a lasting impact on Scott’s career trajectory.
According to Africa Science News, Scott recalled his previous encounter with the King from when he received an Ashden Award, an accolade that recognizes low carbon innovators. This award was a catalyst for Scott, propelling him to establish what is now the world’s largest clean cooking company and a comprehensive carbon-offset project developer. His company designs and monitors projects throughout the full carbon value chain, from inception to credit issuance.
This year marks a continuation of recognition for the sector as USAFI Green Energy, a company in collaboration with BURN in the clean cookstove market, has been nominated for an Ashden Award. This nomination falls under the category of Powering Refugees and Displaced People, honoring entities that provide groundbreaking climate solutions in the global South and the UK. The award ceremony is scheduled for November 14 in London and will also be accessible online.
USAFI Green Energy stands out in the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya, where it manufactures and supplies cost-effective, low-carbon cookstoves. This venture not only fosters employment but also enhances health conditions for the displaced and local communities. Since 2020, the company has been distributing BURN stoves within the refugee camp.
Brian Onyango, the CEO and Founder of USAFI Green Energy, credits Scott as a mentor and role model in the clean cooking domain, acknowledging the significant influence Scott has had on his own company’s development. USAFI Green Energy has grown to become Kenya’s second-largest producer of cookstoves and briquettes, trailing only BURN.
Scott’s company was originally recognized as Aprovecho, receiving its first Ashden Award in 2006 for collaborative efforts with the Programme for Basic Energy and Conservation in Southern Africa to develop efficient biomass stoves. In 2016, the company, now known as BURN Manufacturing, garnered another award for its Jikokoa cookstove, which significantly reduces smoke emissions and curtails deforestation.
USAFI Green Energy, founded just in 2021, has already made significant strides, producing over 100 of its ‘Silver Bora’ brand cookstoves daily in its Kakuma factory. This production supports a robust retail network throughout the camp, providing employment opportunities for the community, with a focus on engaging young people and women.
In a unique approach to sustainability, USAFI Green Energy combats local environmental challenges by using briquettes made from prosopis, an invasive species. The company’s environmental stewardship extends to replanting cleared areas with neem trees, distributing thousands of seedlings to the local population.
Recently, on October 27, BURN Manufacturing announced the launch of Sub-Saharan Africa’s first green bond dedicated to clean cooking, valued at USD $10 million. This bond will enhance BURN’s manufacturing capabilities, including the establishment of a new facility in Lagos, Nigeria, with an expected increase in production to 600,000 units per month.
Scott emphasized the role of carbon financing and financial innovation in making clean cookstoves more accessible, citing the green bond as a milestone in achieving broader positive environmental and social impacts.
USAFI Green Energy aligns with this vision of expansion and community development. Onyango outlines plans to grow the company’s infrastructure and production capacity, fostering reforestation and job creation within the Kenyan communities.
Dr. Stephen Hall, Head of Ashden Awards, lauded BURN Manufacturing’s evolution since its award-winning origins and expressed enthusiasm for the potential of new nominees like USAFI Green Energy to address the global clean cooking deficit and foster sustainable community development.