sustainable living3 min read

Going carbon neutral with Clean Cookstoves in Nyungwe Forest National Park, Rwanda

WordsMegan Lambert

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Improving our impact on the environment is an everyday commitment at Lick, and our aim is to make our products as clean and eco-friendly as possible. However, we recognise that there are some unavoidable emissions created in the running of a global company, from manufacturing to delivering your orders to your front door. On our mission to reduce our carbon footprint, we have offset our unavoidable emissions to become Carbon Neutral. One of the ways we’ve done this is by providing clean cookstoves to the communities of Nyungwe Forest National Park, Rwanda. It’s just one step we’re taking on the path to becoming a net zero company.

We have chosen to support Clean Cookstoves, an energy efficiency Gold Standard project, supporting 11 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. These goals are balanced between supporting people and communities, nature and biodiversity. For us, this means we are supporting both people and the planet.

Nikki Buckley, Head of Sustainability at Lick

Why Clean Cookstoves?

Nyungwe Forest National Park is the largest rainforest in southwest Africa and is also one of the continent’s oldest. It is home to rich biodiversity including gorillas, chimpanzees, leopards, and hundreds of species of birds and butterflies. However, the growing population in the areas surrounding the park and their increasing use of firewood for cooking is putting mounting pressure on the unique rainforest ecosystem. In fact, at present, firewood accounts for at least 86% of energy consumption in Rwanda and is the primary cooking fuel for 98% of rural households.

We’re supporting Clean Cookstoves as we believe the benefits are twofold. Not only will our contribution have a positive effect on the environment by reducing deforestation and smoke inhalation, but it will also benefit local communities. Individuals will have access to a reliable, accessible and crucially healthier source of fuel—without having to travel in search of firewood.

 Carbon Neutral - Clean Cookstoves

How do they benefit the local community?

Not only does Clean Cookstove reduce the amount of wood being burned (which in turn means less indoor air pollution, less harmful smoke inhalation, as well as fewer greenhouse gas emissions), but these stoves are designed to be manufactured in the country they’re being used, providing employment in local areas and ensuring that they’re tailored to regional needs. Highly subsidised, the idea is to create an affordable and sustainable long-term alternative to firewood. Not only does this benefit the local community but also the local biodiversity as natural resources and forests are no longer being used. 

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