Emerging Cooking Solutions is a Swedish-Zambian company with a strong social and environmental agenda. In 2012 they developed a market based concept for replacing charcoal for cooking purposes in Africa.
They’re starting a Crowdfunding Campaign during Christmas what will improve the environment within the Zambian schools and orphanages.
The use of charcoal is one of the main causes behind the devastating deforestation of the African continent. Made from virgin forests, charcoal is used as a fuel for cooking, heating, and for industrial purposes. Emerging Cooking Solutions market high-energy fuel pellets as an environmentally friendly substitute for charcoal. The pellets are produced locally from waste biomass: residues from agriculture and also from sustainable plantation forests. By using pellets in a new, efficient pellet burning stove, a school can cut its fuel costs by as much as fifty to seventy per cent, and cook more efficiently and more safely than with charcoal. To cook with pellets, a school needs to replace its charcoal stove.
Commercial kitchens and wealthy institutions can afford to do this, but underfunded schools and orphanages can not. They are caught in a poverty trap. Constantly spending funds on expensive charcoal, they can not accumulate the funds necessary to finance the switch from primitive charcoal stoves to the new energy efficient, and cost-saving pellet stoves for cooking – Per Löfberg
The goal of the project is that every school and orphanage in Lusaka is provided with a commercial size pellet stove, suitable for school kitchens.
The founders, Mattias Ohlson and Per Löfberg started the company to address the problem of deforestation caused by charcoal burning, and to promote healthy cooking environments in Africa. ECS now employs 15 people in Zambia. They are based both in Kitwe, Zambia and at the business incubator Ideon Innovation in Lund, Sweden.
This article is in collaboration with Øresund Startups, originally by Alexandra Hvalgren. Øresund Startups is a news site focusing on startups in Copenhagen and the other cities around the Øresund strait; Malmö, Helsingborg and Lund. It was initiated by Karsten Deppert and covers news about startups and events from the startup scene. You can follow them at @Oresundstartups.