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Business Standard (India): Shell fights smoke with clean earthen oven

BS Reporter / Bangalore October 09, 2007 
UK-based Shell Group’s charity arm aims to sell 10 million clean cooking stoves in 5 countries in the next 5 yrs.
Shell Foundation, the charity arm of UK-based Shell Group, has joined hands with Envirofit International, a leading environmental NGO in the US, to fight indoor air pollution globally. Initially, the focus of the partnership will be on India.
Indoor air pollution (IAP) is caused by smoke generated by traditional fires and stoves used mostly in developing countries including India, according to the foundation. 
According to an estimate by the World Health Organisation (WHO), IAP affects more than 50 per cent of the world’s population and claims the lives of 1.5 million people a year worldwide. 
India alone accounts for around 500,000 IAP-related deaths every year. WHO estimates that pollution levels in rural Indian kitchens are 30 times higher than the recommended levels. 
According to the partnership, Envirofit will be tasked with handling the scale-up and spin off of the Shell Foundation’s Breathing Space programme, which was founded to achieve global reductions in IAP. 
This new partnership, which aims at investing $25 million over a five-year period, is part of the foundation’s mission to see 10 million clean cooking stoves sold in five countries over the next five years. 
The Shell Foundation is providing Envirofit with investment and organisational support to form an independent global entity. In turn, Envirofit will design, develop, market and distribute clean cooking stoves that are engineered to emit significantly less toxic emissions and use less fuel. 
“With half the world’s population still cooking on wood, dung and other biomass burning stoves, the only way we are going to make a significant long-term impact and achieve the scale needed is by getting the private sector involved,” Shell Foundation Director Kurt Hoffman said. 
The Shell Foundation took up the issue of indoor air pollution in 2002, when it started nine pilot projects in seven countries. 
Hoffman said, “Without the valuable lessons learnt from these pilots, we would not have been in a position to spin off the programme.” and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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