2008: Muhammad Yunus Innovation Challenge Winner 2009: The St. Andrews Prize for the Environment Winner 2009: MIT IDEAS Awards Winner 2009: CGI U Outstanding Commitment Awards Winner 2010: US EPA P3 Awards Winner 2010: UNEP SEED Awards Winner 2010: MIT $100K Emerging Markets Track Winner 2010: Dutch Postcode Lottery Green Challenge Winner 2012: Forbes 30 Under 30: Social Entrepreneur 2013: 41st International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva, Winner of the Prize of the Public 2013: Asia Society Asia 21 Young Leader Awards
One Earth Designs sells a solar cooker called the SolSource, which harnesses the energy of the sun to cook without using any sort of fuel or creating any sort of pollution. The cookers are highly efficient and suited to just about any environment. They have offices in many cities worldwide, and distribute their product all over the world. They are based in Hong Kong and their main area of impact is China.
The SolSource is a super-efficient solar cooker that focuses the sun’s rays onto a pot to heat it up.
The reflective surfaces are safe to the touch, even when in use, because all of the thermal energy is being focused on the pot.
It’s easy to assemble and position, weighs only 46 lbs, and takes up a 4 x 4 foot area.
It’s also an extremely durable and versatile product that can withstand the elements.
Included on their website are detailed videos that show how to assemble the product.
One Earth Designs also sells accessory products such as a cover, a grill pan, and even an apron.
All of their products can be purchased online from their website.
Families in rural parts of China (namely the Tibetan plateau) who rely on fuel for cooking and heating.
They also distribute to consumers all around the world online, even in industrialized nations.
One Earth Designs
Sale of the SolSource solar cookstove.
Sale of accessory products.
One Earth Designs seeks to create complete design solutions that integrate principles of social, environmental, and financial longevity.
They work towards creating positive impact in every stage of the product life cycle; from selecting high quality sustainable raw materials and working closely with responsible manufacturers, to maximizing product durability and recyclability, we strive to bring the greatest value of our products to customers.
Indoor air pollution in rural China can be up to 10 times as bad as outdoor air pollution in major cities like Beijing.
By partially or fully replacing normal indoor cookstoves, the SolSource cooker helps cut indoor air pollution.
It also helps to combat fuel scarcity, and help families save money that they would otherwise have to spend to purchase fuel.
The offsetting of fuel consumption also mitigates CO2 release from combustion and deforestation.
Where They Are Now
Impact to Date
$11-26 in savings for every $1 invested in SolSource.
30-80% reduction in indoor air pollution among customers.
7,703 people benefitted.
50,000+ tons of carbon offset.
400,000+ SolSource-prepared meals.
50,000+ working days saved for women.
2010: Received 501(c)(3) status in the United States.
2012: Opened a for-profit branch to expand their impact across the globe.
2012: Opened manufacturing lines.
2013: Products entered market in rural China.
2014: Helped customers save a total of $200,000 & 50,000 working days in money and time spent that they would otherwise have spent on fuel.
2014: Entered US Market.
2014: Broke even.
2015: Move into big box retail.
2016: Launch rural retail in China and South Africa with BOAO model.
2017: Build out rural retail financing and leasing models in China.
How They Deliver
The product itself was designed by One Earth specifically for ease of use, cost-effectiveness, efficiency, and durability.
Manufacture is outsourced to suppliers.
Their products are distributed online via their website and Amazon.
They also utilize a referrals-based distribution system in the Himalayas.
They have plans to expand into retail in both the industrialized and developing world.
One Earth Designs implements a business model called Buy One Afford One (BOAO) to help families in emerging markets buy SolSource at a locally affordable price.
This model works by leveraging revenue generated from sales in developed markets to provide SolSource at an affordable price in developing markets.
Loans and equity from private investors.
Grants and donations.
One Earth Designs seeks to scale to new countries and target new communities within areas that they already operate in.
Their entrance into big box retail in the developed world is instrumental to their scaling in the developing world due to their BOAO business model.
They also are working on providing new, more affordable and adaptable products, such as a more compact, portable cooker and a thermal battery.
One Earth Designs seeks to impact as many lives as possible in developing countries.
Description: SolSource works by using a high efficiency parabolic mirror to focus sunlight onto a single point, onto which the cooking pot is placed. The product takes up approximately four square meters of space, and the mirror is 1.3 meters in diameter. The mirror backing is made of weather-resistant plastic and the frame is made of carbon steel, making for an extremely durable product.
How is it used:SolSource must first be assembled; base first. The base comes disassembled in the package, and must be pieced together, in a process similar to assembling the frame of a tent. The parabolic mirror comes in four pieces, which are then bolted together. The mirror is then hung on the base and aligned. After assembly is complete, the SolSource cooker is aligned with the sun, after which it is ready to use.
1.5m x 1.2m x 0.94m (59″ x 47″ x 37″) (width x depth x height)
1.3m x 0.28m (51″ x 11″) (diameter x height)
14 kg (31 lbs)
4.5 kg (10 lbs)
74cm x 84cm x 31cm (29″ x 33″ x 12″) (width x depth x height)
21 kg (46 lbs)
Outdoor endurance plastic
The SolSource solar cookstove.
A diagram showing how SolSource works. Sunlight is bounced off of the reflective panels and focused on the base of the cookware, which absorbs almost all of the incoming solar energy.