Envirofit International and Colorado State University Receive International Design Award

Note to Reporters: A photo of the cookstove that won the IDEA award is available with the news release at http://www.news.colostate.edu/.

The cookstove design and development teams at Envirofit International and the Engines and Energy Conversion Lab at Colorado State University have won a Bronze IDEA for Envirofit’s clean cookstove in the Ecodesign category in the 2009 International Design Excellence Awards. The Bronze International Design Excellence Award is shared with the industrial design groups Red Ingot LLC and Sector 7 Studios, LLC.

The winners of the 2009 International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) competition—a celebration of year’s most innovative and exciting product designs and one of the world’s most prestigious and recognizable design competitions—exhibit a focus on sustainability, functionality and, in some cases, breathtaking aesthetics. The Envirofit S-2100 clean cookstove is an example of a recent trend of the IDEA award and its sponsors, BusinessWeek, the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), Target and Autodesk, toward honoring products designed for underserved or underprivileged markets.

The four co-founders of Envirofit all have ties to Colorado State University: Bryan Willson, director of the Engines and Energy Conversion Laboratory and mechanical engineering professor; Paul Hudnut, professor in the College of Business; and Tim Bauer and Nathan Lorenz, now Envirofit’s Vice President of Operations and Vice President of Engineering, respectively, who used to be graduate students at the engines lab. Willson started the cookstoves program at the university. The Engines and Energy Conversion Laboratory serves as a R&D subcontractor to Envirofit which, with global partner the Shell Foundation, aims to design, build and disseminate millions of cookstoves to emerging markets in the coming years.

Envirofit cookstoves are sold to consumers in India and other emerging markets to address the global health and environmental impacts of Indoor Air Pollution. Unlike most groups designing cookstoves for developing world markets, Envirofit and its partners develop stoves that not only dramatically reduce toxic emissions and biomass fuel use, but also take the stoves’ aesthetics and ergonomics into consideration.

“Historically, emerging market consumers have not been viewed as a valued consumer group. But just because a family only makes a few dollars a day doesn’t mean they don’t want and deserve a beautiful, durable product they can be proud of,” said Ron Bills, Chairman and CEO of Envirofit International. “Envirofit and its partners are pleased that the international design community is recognizing the importance of creating high-quality, aesthetic products for emerging market consumers.”