2007 - 2012
Offering exclusive recycled biomass fuel
While more and more families are equipped with gas for cooking purposes, cooking with biomass fuels is still part of the culture and traditions of Cambodian families. Phnom Penh residents in particular are heavy consumers of charcoal. For this reason, GERES decided to focus on the production of a charcoal with no impact on the forests, made from recycled biomass waste.
GERES technicians developed a way to produce small, condensed briquettes using char residue and coconut waste. The resulting product has a higher calorific value, emits less smoke and is easier to transport than traditional charcoal. A charbriquette factory was established in the greater Phnom Penh area, and offers stable and safe conditions for its workers, who come from disadvantaged backgrounds, in partnership with the local NGO “Pour un Sourire d’Enfant” (PSE).
From objectives to actions
The first production center of these charbriquettes was first envisioned by GERES in 2007, and developed jointly with PSE. Since 2012, Sustainable Green Fuel Enterprise operates as a fully independent social enterprise, successfully developing its business since then. it is now profitable, is employing around 25 people. This success has been rewared by the prestigious International Ashden Award in 2014.
From actions to impacts
- 260 tons of charbriquettes produced in 2013, a 85% inccread compared to 2012
- Burns up to 50% longer than traditionnal charcoal
- Pour un Sourire d'Enfant (PSE)
- Cambodian Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME)
- French Embassy of Cambodia
- City of Rouen
- Sustainable Green Fuel Enterprise (SGFE)
- Planète Bois
- Association Française des Volontaires du Progrès (AFVP)
At the end of 2011, an entrepreneur showed an interest in picking up the reins of SGFE, thereby offering GERES the opportunity of letting the local private sector take over this success story.
In 2012, GERES therefore handed this activity over to Carlo Figá Talamanca, who is contributing numerous ideas with a view to ensuring the company’s long-term viability: boosting sales by using existing charcoal distribution channels, reducing electricity costs by investing in a photovoltaic plant and exploring carbon finance opportunities in order to increase production capacity and diversify activities.
GERES has continued to provide ad hoc support and to monitor the company’s development closely.