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KNOW-HOW – Climate-smart solutions for inclusive business

climate_icon_71pxInclusive businesses working across all sectors are increasingly integrating climate change into their business models. With a growing need to adapt to climate impacts and a booming market for low carbon products at the BOP, buisnesses that understand and stand to gain as market leaders and innovators.

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A number of projects supported by the Business Innovation Facility and IAP introduce innovative clean energy solutions to low income markets: HiNation‘s solar powered lamps, Vagga till Vagga‘s clean-burning biomass stoves, Oando‘s liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) stove with cylinders, MEGA‘s micro-hydro power station, and Malawi Mangoes use of renewable energy for fruit processing are a few examples.

Recent evidence suggests that expanding people’s access to energy is not really about finding new technologies; these have already been developed and refined. The main challenge to commercialising clean, affordable and reliable energy at the base of the pyramid is building the business models and infrastructure that make it possible to deploy those solutions – a theme that is well explained in our Editor’s Choice articles Investing in clean energy at the BOP and Business Solutions to enable energy access for all.

For example, enabling some of the many models of fuel-efficient stove to reach mass uptake will depend on several critical factors: distribution network, pricing model, consumer awareness, financing, and maintenance system. These are the very challenges that BIF and IAP projects tackle.

In agriculture, businesses need to develop supply chains that can withstand climate change – helping both farmers and companies ‘climate-proof’ their business models and activities. In Malawi and Zambia, the Facility has shared a tool that enables a company to develop its own climate strategy framework, helping any business to map out a high level climate strategy specifically tailored to its activities, markets and size.

Globally there is high demand for products and services that can mitigate the impacts of climate change and help people build resilience. Especially at the base of the economic pyramid, whether among smallholder farmers sub-Saharan Africa or slum dwellers of expanding urban centres in India, there is huge potential for climate-smart business development.

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