Hydrologic and GERES: What happens when you mix fire and water?
Two seemingly different companies, one focused on water and the other focused on fire (or energy), have joined hands to get 15,000 locally manufactured stoves into the hands of everyday Cambodians in the next two years. Hydrologic Social Enterprise Company Ltd. is in the business of getting clean water to more people. They produce ceramic water purifiers called Tunsai locally. NGO Group for the Environment, Renewable Energy and Solidarity, more widely known as GERES, is in the business of getting clean energy solutions to more people.
In the last five years, GERES designed a new stove which is twice as sturdy, consumes 20 percent less fuel, and emits 50 percent less carbon monoxide compared to the New Lao Stove, one of the most used improved stoves. Just as it was looking for a large-scale producer and distributor, GERES found Hydrologic. Hydrologic has a track record of selling more than 300,000 locally manufactured water filters since 2010. It is also offering a range of financing options for customers and suppliers.
What bonds these two companies together is clay – both the filters and the stoves use ceramic. With some training, the Hydrologic manufacturing team can readily adapt to produce cook stoves.
There is more than clay involved, of course. What really makes the partnership exciting is the deeply-rooted understanding the two companies have and their common mission to get life-improving products to the hands of everyday Cambodians in the most rural parts of the country, create non-agriculture jobs through local manufacturing and sales, and save Cambodia’s forests and air.
Hydrologic is a partner of the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) as a result of the SHIFT Challenge Fund, CleanStart Energy Access Window. Rachel Pringle, General Manager of Hydrologic, said: “The co-investment funding modality of CleanStart is very suitable for our company, it allows us to focus on results and provides us with the required flexibility in operations, while sharing risks.”
Who said fire and water cannot mix?
PARTNERING FOR A COMMON PURPOSE:
UNCDF’s CleanStart and Shaping Inclusive Finance Transformations (SHIFT) programmes jointly launched the Energy Access Challenge to build new markets and innovatively lower the affordability barrier for low-income consumers who want to pay for modern clean energy.
UNCDF’s CleanStart programme aims to increase the access to clean energy by innovating support for low-income consumers to transition to cleaner and more efficient energy and, in the process, reveal new markets and build national financing ecosystems ready to meet clean energy demand. CleanStart is supported by the Austrian Development Cooperation, Government of the Principality of Liechtenstein, the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).
Hydrologic is a for-profit company that manufactures, distributes and sells water filters to Base of the Pyramid customers in Cambodia. Hydrologic aims to create value for its customers – and Cambodia as a whole – through improved public health, environmental benefits, stimulation of rural economic activity, and a commitment to ethical business practice.
UNCDF’s SHIFT aims to expand women's economic empowerment through financial inclusion. SHIFT advances financial markets by changing the behavior of market actors to stimulate investment, business innovations and regulatory reform in growing inclusive enterprises. SHIFT catalyses innovative partnerships to accelerate financial inclusion and women's economic participation in the least developed countries of the ASEAN region. The SHIFT programme is jointly co-funded by UNCDF and the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
The co-investment funding modality ofCleanStart is very suitable for our company, it allows us to focus on results and provides us with the required flexibility in operations, while sharing risks.