We want to measure and gain an understanding of the local impact that we are having with our holistic approach through research collaborations and data analyses. The resulting knowledge enables us to uphold the high standards we set for ourselves as social entrepreneurs, by monitoring and reflecting on our success on a daily basis.
By collaborating with partners such as the Chair of Corporate Sustainability at the TUM School of Management at the Technical University of Munich, we investigate the impact of Africa GreenTec’s activities especially on micro enterprises in rural areas, using qualitative and quantitative field studies.
Electricity has direct and indirect, short- and long-term effects through numerous reciprocal interactions. Our ImpactModel illustrates the effects that we have identified in the course of our field research and that we continue to examine. It ultimately demonstrates why we do what we do: electricity is the foundation and prerequisite for real sustainable development.
Our product portfolio is based on the stable access to electricity, which we generate reliably and CO2-neutrally using our Solartainers. We also supply every household with energy-efficient LED lights and organize educational events on the efficient use of electricity. Supplying people with electricity was and is the core of our vision and our daily work. The benefits of electricity contribute directly and indirectly to reaching the Sustainable Development Goals set by the UN by 2030.
Our Solartainer, coupled with our comprehensive services, access to energy-efficient tools and appliances as well as our mini-grid, provides access to high-performing and productivity-enhancing electricity – in contrast to other approaches such as Solar Home and Pico Solar Systems. Small business owners can instantly boost their productivity, leading to the creation of jobs and the rise in income levels. We consider entrepreneurship in the village to be of particular importance in driving socio-economic development forward, as it creates new prospects and opportunities for commercial businesses and ultimately for the entire community.
Our electricity is produced CO2-neutrally. Each Solartainer cuts CO2 emissions by up to 70 tons every year when compared to conventional diesel generators. In addition, we create ways to deal with the effects of climate change: we provide electricity for productive and income generating activities, as well as technological innovations in water supply and refrigeration for the agricultural sector, thus promoting independence in the face of rising temperatures and water shortages.
Our electricity powers schools and improves learning conditions. Light – in the home and on the street – allows children to study in the evenings. Apart from that, productivity gains in household activities lead to considerable time savings for the whole family (e.g. when collecting wood or running errands). This time can in turn be used for studying. Education – not only for children, but also for small businesses and women – promotes numerous other SDGs and is therefore included in our portfolio of community services along with the provision of technical hardware. Apart from that, electricity provides access to global information through the access to internet, radio and television, thus enabling the dissemination of knowledge.
Water is a critical issue in the Global South – particularly in regions bordering the Sahara desert where we operate many of our ImpactSites. Electricity allows for the operation of water treatment systems, which we supply and operate through the Solartainer. Enhancing the quality of drinking water has numerous positive effects, especially in regards to health. In addition, electricity enables the operation of irrigation pumps for agriculture. In times of increasing water shortages and the slow shifting of the seasonal cycles, this technology has proven to be essential for farmers.
Our electricity drives increases in productivity along the entire food chain. Particularly noteworthy are refrigerators or cold stores, such as our self-sufficient Cooltainer, which prevent valuable food from spoiling. Every year, about 40% of the fruit and vegetable harvest in sub-Saharan Africa goes to waste due to the lack of adequate refrigeration systems. The situation is similar for fish, meat and dairy products. Cold chains not only preserve the food supply for the population, but also provide opportunities for farmers to increase yields.
We understand poverty primarily as a lack of opportunities and self-determination. Our goal is to use electricity to provide exactly that for the local communities. We observe that the productive use of electricity by small businesses has a particularly positive impact on socio-economic development in the village (SDG 8) by creating new opportunities and increasing income through employment. In addition, solar power provides affordable access to electricity and leads to cost savings in many areas of daily and business life.
Our electricity increases security and reduces crime in the local communities. A key factor here is light – both in households and through street lighting. Moreover, communities are becoming more sustainable in the truest sense of the word – by providing new opportunities along with other developments that electricity brings about in the village – as the root causes for migration and flight are being eliminated. New income opportunities (SDG 8), education (SDG 4), water treatment (SDG 6) and cold chains (SDG 2) enable local communities to better deal with and adapt to the consequences of climate change. Electricity thus enables our customers to create safe, inclusive, sustainable and resilient communities.
Our electricity enables many women to save significant amounts of time in their day-to-day lives and in turn to invest it more effectively in their own education, family or business. We empower women, especially in the workplace (SDG 8) and through education (SDG 4), to become more independent and to live more self-determined lives by becoming self-employed. In order to strengthen women in the village, we implement Women’s Empowerment Programs together with our experienced partners.
By replacing diesel generators, we measurably reduce air pollution from particulate matter and nitrogen oxides – inside and outside our customers’ homes. This reduces the risk of diseases such as strokes, heart attacks, lung cancer and chronic and acute respiratory diseases, including asthma and various allergies. The increase in food supply (SDG 2) and the availability of drinking water (SDG 6) further contribute to the improvement of physiological health. Moreover, hospital wards are supplied with electricity, which enables the use of modern equipment and the cooling of pharmaceutical supplies. We also observe and measure how the creation of new opportunities through electricity – especially through entrepreneurship (SDG 8) – promotes the individual experience of freedom, self-determination, independence and happiness, thus strengthening psychological health.
We firmly believe that creating opportunities through basic infrastructure tackles the root causes of some of the greatest challenges in the Global South, rather than just addressing the symptoms. We perceive electricity to be an effective means of combating the root causes of migration and flight, and of promoting inclusive societies and peaceful communities. We have heard numerous stories of customers who have returned to their village because of electricity and the new prospects they have gained for their future, or of customers who have decided against leaving despite advanced plans to do so. A stable income for feeding their families can ease tensions between ethnic groups and in some cases even prevent them from joining terrorist groups.
Ultimately, we work for self-determination, justice and peace. WE DO.
We empower people to achieve more self-determination and growth through sustainable energy solutions.
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