When the term sustainable development is used, it means that social, environmental and economic aspects must be taken into account.By transferring an activity to the private sector, GERES focuses on the economic component and helps private enterprises to ensure the continuity of the technical solutions being developed. Introduced at the end of 2012, this concept is included in the design of ongoing projects and involves supporting social entrepreneurs who wish to use GERES technologies in their businesses.
In 20 years of project activities in Cambodia, the environmental NGO GERES has engaged in the fight against energy poverty by developing technological innovations for energy efficiency and transferring them to Cambodian people. This is the second time that GERES has launched an activity, and then transferred it to a private entrepreneur. The first was SGFE, a factory producing char-briquettes out of recycled waste, witch may now it will receive an Ashden award.
These are all examples of how civil society can shed light on the socioeconomic role played by local actors. By transferring technical expertise as well as management and business skills to the private sector, civil society encourages local stakeholders to take full ownership of the solution introduced, and fosters long-term sustainability of its socioeconomic co-benefits.
After 6 months of incubation, Sovannak Enterprise is on its own
A 31 years-old, former employee of NGO GERES, is now proud to be a business owner. After 6 months of incubation, he took over the Sovannak Palm Sugar activity, launched by GERES in 2009, becoming a social entrepreneur with a bright future ahead.
For GERES, this reflects how NGO in Cambodia have a role to play in stimulating the private sector.
Sovannak Palm Sugar is a brand of granulated palm sugar, produced by traditional producers in Kampong Chhnang and Kampong Speu provinces, using efficient stoves to produce a 100% natural product using up to 30% less wood than traditional stoves.
Sustainable Green Fuel Enterprise (SGFE) finalist for the International Ashden Awards
This pioneering Cambodian business is turning leftover coconut shells and other waste into clean-burning briquettes for use as cooking fuel in Phnom Penh’s homes and restaurants. Most Cambodians cook on wood charcoal, which contributes to the country’s rampant deforestation and air pollution.
headby Carlo Figá Talamanca, Sustainable Green Fuel Enterprise can scarcely keep up with demand. Users like Lin Haiy, who runs a family restaurant explains why the briquettes are so popular. “The old charcoal used to burn your clothes and it was smoky and dirty. This is much better: it burns longer”.
To see if SGFE will win the prize, look out for the Ashden Awards ceremony on 22 May in London.
Press contact: Caroline PIERRET – 04 42 18 55 88