The People Behind the Partnership: ClimateHound and StoveTeam International
by The ClimateHound Team | 4min read
“Carbon offsets” can sound abstract, but behind every project, there are experts and entrepreneurs with the passion to create a healthier planet. In the case of StoveTeam International, that passion is also creating healthier homes, families, and economies in Latin America. ClimateHound is proud to announce that we are now the exclusive funder for StoveTeam’s work placing Ecocina stoves in Nicaragua, where factory owner Elida Olivas is creating Ecocina cookstoves to replace the open fires that have traditionally polluted homes with toxic smoke and released CO2 into the atmosphere.You can learn more about the need for clean cookstoves in our series about offset categories, but read on to meet Elida and Mike Hatfield, the StoveTeam leader who has helped to make our partnership possible.
Founded in 2008, StoveTeam International has helped to place more than 79,000 clean cookstoves in homes across Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras and Mexico, improving the lives of more than half a million people and preventing nearly one million tons of CO2 from entering the atmosphere. Through its innovative model – recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency with the Partnership for Clean Indoor Air Award for Developing Local Markets – local entrepreneurs produce the cookstoves, creating employment. Community members are asked to purchase the cookstoves, to ensure a commitment to making use of the technology. To keep prices affordable, though, offset purchasers subsidize the cost.
When ClimateHound learned about StoveTeam, we reached out to see if we could partner with them to achieve a mission close to the heart of the food and beverage industry – helping communities to feed themselves safely. StoveTeam Program DirectorMike Hatfield has worked in stove design, production, and dissemination for more than twenty years, and he helped us to understand the impact that our offset purchases could have. Mike says, “We’re excited to welcome ClimateHound as a partner in supporting clean cookstove production in Nicaragua. The support we receive from businesses that choose to go carbon neutral through ClimateHound will keep the Ecocina stove within reach for families in the region.”
Producing only 14 percent as much smoke and using half as much wood as traditional fires, the Ecocina stoves are produced in a factory owned and operated by Elida Olivas, who grew up in the kind of rural community that StoveTeam aims to support. Her journey (which you can read in her own words) will feel familiar to anyone who has made the leap to owning a company: ambition, vision, and help at the moments she needed it most. Elida says, “I have to work very hard but I thank God that I am creating my own business. I know that with the support of StoveTeam International our factory will get ahead.”
ClimateHound is proud to be a part of helping Elida’s business – and the families who purchase the Ecocina cookstoves she’s building – to thrive, and we’re grateful to StoveTeam International and our carbon neutral partners who are making this important offset possible!