River City Carbon Offset
RIVER CITY CARBON OFFSET
As part of Urban Capital’s sustainability initiatives for River City, we committed to offsetting the approximately 9,300 tonnes of carbon created as a result of both the construction and first year operation of Phase 1. After an extensive Request for Proposals process, we chose to support the New Laos Stove Project in Cambodia, developed by French NGO Groupe Energies Renouvelables, Environnement et Solidarité (GERES).
At 1.22% per annum, the rate of forest degradation in Cambodia is one of the highest in the world. With 80% of its population relying on wood and charcoal for their daily cooking needs, many provinces are increasingly unable to independently sustain their natural wood resources. As natural resources dwindle and fuel prices increase, at-risk households are threatened with an energy-poverty crisis.
The traditional Cambodian way of cooking utilizes large amounts of wood and charcoal, which can have direct negative health consequences on its users, most of whom are women. From the physical act of collecting the wood to the economic loss of buying charcoal, along with the indoor air pollution the smoke can cause, traditional stoves can have a significant negative impact on the lives on its users. In addition, the burning of wood and charcoal in traditional stoves leads to the release of significant amounts of carbon.
Created in 1999, the New Laos Stove is an alternative to traditional cooking stoves, requiring through design innovation 20% less wood and charcoal for use, and significantly reducing cooking time. Since it’s inception, 2.5 million stoves have been distributed, leading to the reduction of over 1.8 million tonnes of CO2-equivalent emissions between 2003 and 2012 alone. These stoves are produced locally with clay in the Kampong Chhnang province. By continuing to provide locally made stoves at a reasonable cost to its consumers (US$3.50 - $5.00), this project sets out to provide an economical remedy to a daily problem, along with creating 400+ local jobs. In addition, the spread of this fuel-efficient stove helps to narrow the gap between the rising needs of a growing population and the diminishing forest resources. It efficiently provides access to energy for many of the poorest Cambodians.
River City’s contribution of over $40,000 to the New Laos Stove Project will help to fund this project and contribute to its expansion across a larger base of end-users. By promoting the ongoing support of the Cambodian people, along with protecting its forest ecosystems and biodiversity, involvement in this life-changing project is something every owner at River City can feel proud of.