Acacia Innovations Ltd. manufactures and distributes an eco-friendly alternative to firewood and charcoal made of sugarcane waste called Kuni Safi briquettes. So far, we are the largest supplier of clean cooking fuels to schools in Kenya, with over 250 school customers in 20 counties.We have impacted over 100,000 school children, by providing a smoke-free learning environment and contributing to affordable school meals.
We also designed an innovative cookstove to fill a gap in the market for institutions cooking for 20-200 people daily. Our cookstove is unique because it is the only model for institutions which is portable and can be used with cost-saving non-carbonized briquettes. It the most affordable option on the market, since we sell the cookstove at a low cost and make our money through the sale of fuel over time.We can sell either just the briquettes or the cookstove to the institution, or the full package if they require it.
We focus on supplying schools because schools pay extremely high prices for firewood (up to 5x those of large industries) and often face challenges with the availability and reliability of firewood supply necessary for feeding their students. Our cooking fuel, made of sugarcane waste, is 35% cheaper than firewood and up to 60% cheaper than charcoal, which makes it attractive to customers.
Kuni Safi briquettes have a double benefit for the environment. First, they are made of recycled sugarcane waste which otherwise would be burned or left to rot, releasing methane. Second, every ton of Kuni Safi conserves 25 trees. These trees left standing will save 5 tons of CO2e over their lifetime. By the end of 2020, we project we will have saved 1.6 million trees and 320,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
Already we have created over 60 jobs for Kenyans in our first 2 years. Our employees are over 50% women, including in the management team. Our workers are 75% youth, mostly at our factory in rural Bungoma. We are providing opportunities out of poverty for our factory workers, many of whom have not finished high school and lack other employment opportunities. We are changing the lives both of our workers and of our clients.