Envirofit Ramps Up Production of Clean Burning Cookstoves to Meet High Demand in India

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Envirofit International, a leader in creating sustainable, scalable businesses that help solve global health and environmental problems, is ramping up production and expanding its line of clean burning cookstoves in response to increasing demand in India.

"Envirofit clean cookstoves have received an overwhelming reception in India," said Ron Bills, chairman and chief executive officer at Envirofit. "Our cookstoves are not only meticulously engineered to reduce toxic emissions and fuel use; they are also aesthetically designed and durable. Envirofit takes great pride in offering high-quality, affordable products to typically underserved global markets."

According to the World Health Organization, nearly 3 billion people – or almost half the world’s population – cook their daily meals indoors over biomass-fueled cooking fires. Because these traditional cooking methods cannot achieve clean combustion, the majority of the heat is wasted, and up to 20 percent of the biomass is converted into toxic substances like carbon monoxide, benzene and formaldehyde. The resulting indoor air pollution kills 1.6 million people every year. Due to increased exposure in the home, more than 85 percent of these deaths are women and children under the age of five.

Envirofit clean cookstoves represent a solution to this silent killer. Compared with a traditional cooking fire, Envirofit cookstoves reduce toxic emissions by as much as 80 percent, use 50 percent less fuel and reduce cooking cycle time by 40 percent. Built and engineered to address the unique cooking habits of Indian families, Envirofit clean cookstoves are a result of more than five years of research and development, and emissions and durability testing in coordination with Colorado State University’s prestigious Engines and Energy Conversion Laboratory.

Envirofit’s commercial approach is an innovative enterprise-based model, with profits from stove sales reinvested towards making the business self-sustaining and allowing for business growth. Since unveiling its line of clean cookstoves in India in May 2008, Envirofit has sold nearly 15,000 cookstoves.

"Envirofit cookstoves have brought down the cooking time from nearly 100 minutes to 40 minutes," said P. Chandrasekaran of the Tamil Nadu Foundation, which has purchased Envirofit cookstoves for 300 day care centers in Tamil Nadu, India and is aiming to equip all 50,000 day care centers in the state. "Time savings aside, the kitchens have truly become smokeless and the whole atmosphere has turned child and environment friendly. The consumption of firewood has also come down almost 50 percent compared to conventional cooking."

Envirofit’s five-year business plan, in partnership with the Shell Foundation and its Breathing Space Program, is to sell 10 million clean burning cookstoves in five countries. Envirofit’s ability to scale up and expand into new markets like Africa, Asia and Latin America means the company has the potential to make a significant impact on the global indoor air pollution problem.  The company is seeking additional investors to expand its work into new markets.

About Envirofit International

Founded in 2003, Envirofit International is a US-based non-profit organization that uses a sustainable, enterprise model to solve global health and environmental problems. Envirofit develops and distributes technologies that improve the lives of people in developing countries while reducing indoor and outdoor air pollution. The company’s signature products include a direct-injection retrofit kit for dirty, two-stroke engines and a line of clean cookstoves. Visit www.envirofit.org or www.envirofitcookstoves.org for further information.

About Shell Foundation

Shell Foundation was established by Shell Group in 2000 as an independent, UK registered charity operating with a global mandate. It focuses on enterprise-based solutions to poverty and environmental challenges linked to the impact of energy and globalization. It acts like an investor, identifying financially sustainable solutions to these challenges that can be taken to scale and replicated to achieve global impact. By 2010 the Foundation will have used $75 milllion to leverage $350 million from other organizations. Visit www.shellfoundation.org for further information.

About the Engines and Energy Conversion Laboratory at Colorado State University

The Engines & Energy Conversion Laboratory (EECL) is a unique research/education program at Colorado State University with emphasis on engines, fuels, and energy conversion technology. With a focus toward market-driven solutions, products developed at the EECL – in partnership with industrial sponsors and multiple spin-off organizations – have saved more than 800,000 tons of nitrogen oxide pollution and more than 14 billion cubic feet of natural gas.

Beginning in 2002, the EECL began a program of international technology development primarily aimed at increasing energy efficiency and reducing the environmental impact of transportation, electric power production, and cooking/household energy in developing countries. Visit www.eecl.colostate.edu for further information.