Monthly Archives: August 2015

Transforming the Charcoal Supply Chain for the FAO

The Challenge

In Kenya, charcoal production is big business. 82% of urban households rely on charcoal for their domestic energy and the charcoal industry employs almost 1 million people through its value chain. However the industry is largely informal and unregulated. Inefficient production leads to low quality charcoal with high wastage and levels of pollution. Producers suffer from negative health impacts of the production process and the way charcoal is produced contributes to deforestation.


The Solution

Whilst charcoal production has a negative image, by recognising its role in Kenya’s energy sector, there is potential to turn around charcoal production and use it to contribute to sustainable development.

With this aim, the Government of Kenya has recently introduced energy and forestry laws to regulate charcoal production and drive more sustainable production through afforestation and controlled tree cutting.

To complement this, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) contracted ClimateCare to carry out a study into the methods of charcoal production in two regions of Kenya and to pilot more efficient production methods.


ClimateCare’s Role

After carrying out local studies, our experts identified the following opportunities to improve charcoal production and legal compliance in the two pilot regions of Baringo and Rukinga:

  1. Identifying sustainable feed stocks for charcoal production
  2. Introduction and adoption of efficient drum kilns to replace the traditional earth mound.
  3. Better organisation and management of the local charcoal production groups

The first step was to organise charcoal production groups. Through these, the ClimateCare team were better able to engage with the community to implement changes. By uniting producers these groups also helped knowledge sharing and empowered the group to negotiate prices more effectively.

Working with the local community, sustainable feed stocks were then identified. In Baringo an invasive species Prosopis juliflora, popularly known as Mathenge was used, while in Rukinga twigs were harvested sustainably adjacent to a local REDD+ Project.

Our project team then identified suitable kiln designs, had them fabricated and introduced them to the community. The team piloted the kilns, and trained local charcoal producers in their use.

The efficient drum kilns were quickly adopted and continue to be used. The team has been monitoring charcoal producers, who are now also better organised as groups, and able to negotiate better charcoal prices for their members.


LivestockAs an invasive species that needs removal, Prosopis Juliflora is a more sustainable feedstock for charcoal production in Baringo.


The Impact

As well as a successful switch to use of sustainable feed stocks, the charcoal producers have reported significant improvement in the efficiency of production, reduced overall demand for feedstock, improved charcoal quality and better charcoal prices. There was also a great reduction in the time taken to produce a batch of charcoal.

The results of this pilot study demonstrate how a move to a more sustainable and efficient charcoal production process can:

  • Be introduced to and accepted by the local community
  • Reduce deforestation, by reducing feedstock demands and switching to sustainable sources
  • Improve productivity for producers leading to increased income
  • Reduce carbon emissions

In both study areas the communities would like to continue using the kilns introduced in their pilot and have asked their newly formed Charcoal Producers Associations to acquire more kilns in future. Ultimately the aim is for each charcoal producer to have their own efficient kiln.

ClimateCare’s next step is to secure finance to scale and replicate these small pilots and kick start the transformation of the charcoal production chain in Kenya and beyond.


Drum Kilns

Drum Kilns are more efficient than traditional earth mound kilns – reducing fuel requirements, cutting emissions and improving incomes for charcoal workers. They can also be split into 4 main parts and so carried to a new location where there is feedstock.

Helping the Kenyan Government towards low carbon development

The Challenge

By creating opportunities for low carbon development, developing countries not only help to tackle global climate change. Done well, these actions can help to tackle poverty, improve health and create new opportunities for their citizens.

If such actions are developed under the UN’s Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMA) framework they can also attract income from developed countries, who are committed to support meaningful mitigation actions in developing countries through financing, technology transfer and capacity building.

Analysis of Kenya’s development pathway highlighted key opportunities for low carbon development in the provision of household energy for cooking and lighting, the development of cleaner waste management systems in major cities, and a Bus Rapid Transit system for greater Nairobi.

The Government wanted to help to identify the best ways to implement these low carbon development projects and to tap into international funding and support available to help make these recommendations a reality.


The Solution

The Government of Kenya contracted ClimateCare to develop 3 NAMAs as part of its low carbon development program in the household energy, waste management and urban transport sectors.

Our experts led the collation and analysis of information about these three sectors, identifying barriers and prioritising actions to support low carbon development. We identified key actions in each sector and documented these as NAMAs, in line with the UNFCCC guidelines.

We highlighted external funding requirements and set out options for the government to secure funding. We are also developing measurement, reporting and verification mechanisms in partnership with another company, to allow the Kenyan government and other development partners to track progress and demonstrate the positive climate and development outcomes delivered, as each of the NAMAs is implemented.


The Impact

As a result of our work in this area, the Government of Kenya will have clearly defined NAMAs as means of attracting funding for the implementation of the 3 low carbon pathway projects for the household energy, solid waste management and transport sectors. The NAMA activities have been selected, designed and documented to attract international funding support and to deliver maximum impact and value for money in each sector.


Want to know more about NAMA’s? Watch this great video from UNFCCC that explains how NAMAs help the shift to sustainable development.

Helping Kenya report progress towards tackling climate change

The Issue

Climate change is now widely recognised as one of the greatest challenges facing national and regional governments and the impacts of climate change are already being felt – particularly in developing countries such as Kenya.

The Kenyan government has recognised the threat posed by climate change to the achievement of Kenya’s development goals as stated in Kenya’s Vision 2030, and is committed to protect the climate for present and future generations.

To demonstrate this commitment, Kenya has ratified the Kyoto Protocol and has been supporting the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). As part of this support, the country must periodically provide information about how it is implementing the Convention, reporting progress made and highlighting any issues.

This National Communication isn’t just a reporting requirement, it also provides valuable information for policy decisions while guiding the provision of financial resources to support implementation.

Kenya prepared its first National Communication in 2002 and has contracted ClimateCare to lead the preparation of the Second National Communication Report in 2015, in readiness for the Climate Summit in Paris in December 2015.


ClimateCare’s Role

ClimateCare led a national consultation process involving all government ministries and sectors of the economy, collecting, analysing and collating information on:

  • Kenya’s national circumstances
  • Its current and projected greenhouse gas inventory
  • Programmes and measures to mitigate climate change
  • Its vulnerability and plans for adaption to climate change
  • Research and education on climate change

This information was pulled into a coherent Second Communication report that provides an overview of Kenya’s climate change status and issues to key stakeholders at local, national and international levels.

The report shows that Kenya’s emissions will continue to increase if the country develops without implementing low carbon development projects. It also shows how various interventions will help reverse this emission trend as we approach 2030.


The Impact

As well as a status report, the Second Communication includes recommendations about potential areas for further action and is a solid foundation from which the government can carry out further work on scientific and policy issues. It also shows the expected vulnerability to climate change in different parts of the country and the necessary adaption interventions to eliminate or reduce the impact of climate change.

Its publication will alert policy makers to the need to mainstream climate issues into the national policy and legal framework. It will also highlight the need for stronger efforts to spread awareness amongst stakeholders and decision makers.

Finally it provides a basis from which the Kenyan government and the international community can plan policies and interventions for climate change mitigation and adaptation to drive funding decisions.

Tropical Power Launches Gorge Farm Energy Park

The ClimateCare team are delighted to be involved in this project which launched in Kenya today.

  • Opening of first grid-connect biogas plant in Africa
  • To be the first grid-connect Solar-AD plant

Tropical Power logo
Press Release: 20th August 2015, Naivasha, Kenya… Tropical Power Energy Group (Tropical Power) is today opening Africa’s first grid-connect Anaerobic Digester (AD) plant, part of the Gorge Farm Energy Park. In 2016 construction will commence on a further 10MW of solar generation capacity.

The event was officiated by The Governor of Nakuru County, Kinuthia Mbugua. He says, “The Gorge Farm Energy Park is a showcase project for Nakuru County, Kenya and the African continent. Distributed power projects are vital to our energy security, reliability and efficiency. And the Park will be using local crop waste and the sun to generate clean, renewable power close to the point of use.

“I look forward to working with Tropical Power, Kenya Power and the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum to see how we can develop more biogas projects for organic and municipal waste in the county.”

The AD plant has been developed and will be operated by Tropical Power Ltd, on behalf of Biojoule Kenya, an Independent Power Producer (IPP). ERC are currently reviewing the PPA signed by Tropical Power and KPLC, as well as the Generation & Distribution license for the project.

Eng. Joseph Njoroge, MBS, Principal Secretary for the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum says, “Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies are working together to encourage the private sector to develop high quality distributed renewable power assets, like the Gorge Farm Energy Park. Kenya is open for business for investors and developers interested in clean, renewable and bankable energy projects. The biogas technology at this cutting edge project will provide Kenyans with more clean, reliable and cost effective electricity in their homes and businesses.”

The Gorge Farm Energy Park will also be a field research facility for an Oxford University research programme, led by Tropical Power Chairman, Mike Mason. This programme aims to advance the technology to enable AD to compete with conventional electricity delivered to the grid.

Mike Mason, Chairman, Tropical Power says, “Through the Gorge Farm Energy Park we aim to displace expensive and imported generation fuels – like diesel and heavy fuel oil – from Kenya’s distributed power mix. The Gorge Farm AD Plant is proof that locally produced feedstock can generate clean and cost effective distributed power. You cannot just plug and play a plant like this.
“The biology of the microbes that make the gas and the feedstocks that provide the source of energy are unique from site to site, and require time and expertise to understand. Tropical Power has been supported in this with extensive help from the Universities of Oxford and Southampton.”

Tropical Power’s partners include Kenya’s VP Group –the largest producer and exporter of fresh produce in East Africa.

GE was selected to deploy its Jenbacher gas engines (provided by Clarke Energy) for the first time in East Africa in a renewable energy project. GE’s two J420 units are designed to operate at the farm’s high altitude of nearly 2,000 meters above sea level. And GE was the launch partner for the Gorge Farm Energy Park opening.

George Njenga, Distributed Power Leader for Africa, GE says, “This is the first AD project in sub-Saharan Africa for GE. It is a big win for Kenya to get a ground-breaking project like this off the ground. It needs the developers, researchers, suppliers and government to work hand in hand. We look forward to working with Tropical Power, Kenya Power and the Ministry of Energy on more ground-breaking projects.”

The project has been registered with the Gold Standard by ClimateCare and is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 7,000 tonnes of CO2 a year. Tom Morton, Director of ClimateCare’s Nairobi office said, “This is an exceptionally innovative way of generating renewable power and diversifies Kenya’s generating mix away from fossil fuels such as oil.”

ClimateCare is retained to sell the verified emissions reductions. “We expect interest from the supermarkets in the UK, as this project is in their supply chain and compliments a number of other projects that we are managing in similar circumstances,” said Morton.

Construction on The Gorge Farm AD Plant took 12 months and it cost US$7.5 million – including the acquisition of agricultural equipment. It is projected to have a 6-year payback period – due to the combination of grid sales and higher-tariff energy supply to Gorge Farm. The Plant has an effective life of 25 years.

Tropical Power is in the final stages of fundraising and planning to commence work on the 10MW solar PV plant at Gorge Farm Energy Park within the next 12 months.


About Tropical Power
Tropical Power Energy Group (Tropical Power) is an Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) company, building renewable energy solutions for Africa. It is focused on developing utility-scale renewable energy technologies from biomass and sunshine. Tropical Power plans to build renewable power assets across Africa producing over 130MW of clean, distributed power by 2018.

About GE’s Distributed Power Business
GE Power & Water’s Distributed Power business is a leading provider of power equipment, engines and services focused on power generation at or near the point of use. Distributed Power’s product portfolio includes highly efficient industrial reciprocating engines and aeroderivative gas turbines that generate 100kW to 100MW of power for numerous industries globally. In addition, Distributed Power offers life cycle services and support for more than 37,000 distributed power products worldwide to help customers meet their business challenges—anywhere and anytime.

Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, Distributed Power employs about 5,000 people around the world.

About GE
GE (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter. The best people and the best technologies taking on the toughest challenges. Finding solutions in energy, health and home, transportation and finance. Building, powering, moving and curing the world. Not just imagining. Doing. GE works. For more information, visit the company’s website at

About GE Power & Water
GE Power & Water provides customers with a broad array of power generation, energy delivery and water process technologies to solve their challenges locally. Power & Water works in all areas of the energy industry including renewable resources such as wind and solar, biogas and alternative fuels; and coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear energy. The business also develops advanced technologies to help solve the world’s most complex challenges related to water availability and quality. Power & Water’s six business units include Distributed Power, Nuclear Energy, Power Generation Products, Power Generation Services, Renewable Energy and Water & Process Technologies. Headquartered in Schenectady, N.Y., Power & Water is GE’s largest industrial business.
Follow GE Power & Water on Twitter @GE_PowerWater and on LinkedIn. To hear the latest news and conversations for Distributed Power, use the Twitter hashtag #DistributedPower.

About ClimateCare
ClimateCare is registered in the UK and Kenya. Working with governments and businesses it delivers integrated Climate+Care programmes which protect the environment and improve people’s lives. Specialists in measuring climate and development outcomes and structuring finance for projects, the team also offer project development and consultancy services.

Find out more at, or follow @ClimateCare.

For press enquiries please contact:
Rhiannon Szmigielski, ClimateCare +44 (0)1865 591008,

Press Release: ClimateCare becomes one of the UK’s first Certified B Corporations

ClimateCare, a leader in the delivery of corporate and government programmes to protect the environment and improve people’s lives, today announced that it has received certification as one of the UK’s Founding B Corporations.

Referred to as “the highest standard for socially responsible business” Certified B Corporations go through a rigorous assessment of their business practices and are judged to achieve higher standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability.

I’m delighted to be joining this international community of forward thinking socially and environmentally conscious businesses”, says CEO Edward Hanrahan.

Since it was founded, ClimateCare has balanced delivery of three things: Social Impact, Environmental Impact and Profit. Achieving B Corporation status is a great endorsement of the positive impacts we create and, perhaps more importantly, it stands as an independent benchmark and certification of the ethical way we run our business, something that the whole ClimateCare team, our clients and our partners are immensely proud of.”

With an 18 year track record ClimateCare is living proof that commercial businesses can deliver positive impacts at scale. In the last 7 years alone the business has effectively deployed $100million to deliver measurable social and environmental outcomes for corporate and government clients.

B Corporation have awarded ClimateCare a score of 141.4 points (compared to an average of 97 points), but CEO Edward Hanrahan sees this as the starting point, saying: “A key benefit of the B Corporation system is that it identifies areas of strength and areas for improvement. We’re already using the results to identify where we can push the boundaries further. I particularly look forward to tapping into the knowledge and expertise of fellow B Corp members who I hope will challenge us and help us continue to improve.”

An influential organisation with hundreds of corporate clients, ClimateCare also plans to promote the B Corporation movement to its broader network. By encouraging its partners to adopt some of the core principles, it hopes to harness the power of its business community to deliver further positive change.

“We are delighted to welcome ClimateCare to our founding UK B Corp Community” said James Perry, Co-ordinator, UK Launch, B Lab UK.

“The B Corp movement is a global community of businesses who are using the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. It includes more than 1,300 businesses in 40 countries and over 120 industries. The UK is well placed to help lead this global movement, and companies such as ClimateCare are a great example of a business taking leadership in their field.”

 B Corp network photo

Image Caption: ClimateCare becomes a Certified B Corporation, joining a global movement dedicated to using business as a force for good.


About ClimateCare

We believe that climate change, poverty and sustainable development are so interlinked that they cannot be tackled in isolation. And, given the size of the challenges, we cannot rely solely on government aid to solve them. Businesses, governments and civil society must work collectively to deliver the speed and scale of change required to secure a sustainable future.

From our offices in the UK and Africa, we work with hundreds of organisations to deliver integrated Climate+Care programmes which protect the environment and improve lives. To date we’ve improved life for over 6 million people whilst cutting 16.5 million tonnes of carbon emissions and we’ve set an ambitious vision for 2020.

Find out more at


About B Corporations

Certified B Corporations meet the highest standards of overall social and environmental performance, legally expand their corporate responsibilities to include consideration of stakeholder interests, and build collective voice through the power of the unifying B Corporation brand. There are more than 1,300 Certified B Corporations from over 120 industries and nearly 40 countries with 1 unifying goal – to redefine success in business. B Corporations are leaders of the global movement of People Using Business as a Force for Good.


About B Lab

B Lab is a nonprofit organization that serves a global movement of People Using Business as a Force for Good. Its vision is that one day all companies will compete to be Best for the World and as a result society enjoys a shared and durable prosperity. B Lab drives this systemic change through a number of interrelated initiatives: 1) building a community of Certified B Corporations to make it easier for all of us to tell the difference between “good companies” and good marketing; 2) promoting usage of Mission Aligned corporate structures to increase efficacy of social entrepreneurship and impact investing; 3) promoting Measure What Matters campaigns to increase use of free, powerful tools for businesses to measure, compare and improve their social and environmental performance (more than 20,000 businesses use B Lab’s free B Impact Assessment). 4) developing B Analytics, a customizable platform to help investors and institutions measure, benchmark, and report on the impact of the businesses with whom they work and in whom they invest. For more information, visit,, and



Press enquiries and image requests

Please contact: Rhiannon Szmigielski, ClimateCare

Tel: +44 (0)1865 591008



SThree Plc continue their five year partnership with ClimateCare

SThree Plc, the specialist staffing company, are offsetting their carbon footprint by investing in projects which not only reduce CO2 but also improve the lives of some of the world’s poorest communities.  Continuing their five year partnership with ClimateCare, SThree are supporting a Wind Farm in Tamil Nadu and the award-winning LifeStraw Carbon for Water project.

The owners of the Wind Farm take CSR as seriously as SThree.  They helped to improve local infrastructure and provide a ready water source to local villages as well as providing clean energy. The LifeStraw project is bringing safe water to over 4 million people in Western Kenya and saving carbon emissions by eliminating the need to boil water.  It also provides unique employment opportunities in an area where prospects are limited.

“We wanted to offset our global emissions while having a positive social impact too. ClimateCare blended an Indian Wind project, with great social credentials with the LifeStraw Carbon for Water project, providing us with a portfolio that is great value for money, and one that we can be proud to support”, Marie Broad SThree Plc CSR Manager.

If you’re interested in further information about how you can support projects like these please contact