Trees, Water, People

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Delivering efficient, affordable cooking technologies benefiting families and their environment



Headquarters: Fort Collins, CO, USA
Established: 1998
Impact Areas Haiti, Central America, Uganda, United States
Type: Nonprofit/NGO
Energy Sectors:
Business Model Types:
Staff Size: 10 in-house, 30 associate staff, 10 volunteers / interns
Annual Budget: $120,000/year in Haiti ($1.4M worldwide)
Major Funders: Donations, Grants
Awards: 2005: Ashden Award for Sustainable Development2008: Rio Tinto Prize for Sustainability ($1M)

2009: UNEP Sasakawa Prize for the Environment ($100K)


Trees, Water & People has designed a cookstove for the charcoal dependent population of Haiti, that reduces fuel consumption by up to 40%. The design is similar to a popular improved cookstove in the local market, but makes use of insulation, properly-sized flue gaps and a smaller fuel bowl to deliver cooking heat more effectively.


Energy Products/Services

  • ZPB Clean Cookstoves

Target Market

  • The Port-Au-Prince metropolitan area alone represents 425,000 charcoal-using households and will consume over 450,000 metric tons of charcoal in 2011.
  • TWP estimates that 20% of this population is using a slightly improved cookstove, while the other 80% are using tremendously inefficient traditional stoves.


Org Name here

Revenue Streams

  • Grants and donations
  • Sale of cookstoves

Value Proposition

  • TWP delivers immediate triple-bottom line returns to the poorest communities in the Western Hemisphere by leveraging its 13 years of experience toward the development of a charcoal stove that reduces household charcoal consumption by up to 40%.
  • This allows families to repurpose 20% of their annual household income from fuel expenses toward other productive activities.
  • The Zanmi Pye Bwa cookstove project will keep 100,000 trees in the ground over the next five years, which is critical to a country with only 4% of its forest cover remaining.
  • By designing and manufacturing locally, TWP is creating jobs and ensuring that the solutions it puts in place meet local needs.

Problem Addressed

  • 70% of Haiti’s urban population is dependent on charcoal to cook their food, costing families 40-60% of their annual household income.

Where They Are Now

Impact to Date

  • 14,000 people benefited with clean cook stoves in Haiti
  • 230,000 people benefited with cleaner indoor air and reduced fuel expenditures by Trees, Water, and People worldwide
  • 4 million trees planted
  • Over 250,000 tons of CO2 emissions avoided


  • 2005: USEPA funding ($132k grant, 211k in matching funds) to scale up cookstove programs in Honduras and Nicaragua
  • 2009: Factories established in Honduras, Nicaragua
  • 2010: 40,000 cookstoves manufactured; 4 million trees planted in 5 countries
  • 2011: Energy & Climate partnership of the Americas ($1.2M grant)

Growth Plan

  • 2012: Launch of ZPB project, Haiti
  • 2012: Launch reforestation programs in Haiti, with 100k trees planted per year
  • 2012: Establishment of cookstove programs in Uganda/Madagascar
  • 2015: Reach $2M budget for TWP
  • 2016: Prevent 400,000 tons of CO2 emissions

How They Deliver

Product Sourcing & Design

  • TWP’s International Director, in charge of the Haiti stove project, was trained as a cookstove technician by the leading cookstove outfit, The Aprovecho Research Center.
  •  The stove was designed specifically for the Haitian market, made with locally available materials and skills. It is targeted toward the urban, charcoal-dependent population of Haiti as a way to reduce household fuel expenditure.
  • TWP makes its stove out of metal because logistics around ceramics are challenging in Haiti.  Fragile ceramics break easily on Haiti’s rough roads, and light metal stoves are easier to repair and to transport by vendors and users.
  • As demand grows, TWP will shift its model to include mass-manufacturing of some components, but will continue to employ the artisans currently producing the cookstoves in assembly and detail work.
  • Local manufacturing gives TWP the flexibility to change features of the product rapidly based on consumer feedback.


  • TWP is just now starting to scale up distribution of its stoves, selling in partnership with microfinance institutions and retail outlets, with 5 vendors initially chosen.
  • TWP is intending to try to do large volume sales to NGOs and other partners, who will then sell them to end-users.
  • TWP also wants to start a warranty and buyback program to create longer term customers, allowing them to bring in old stoves and exchange them for new ones.

Revenue & Affordability

  • TWP is just now starting to scale up distribution of its stoves, selling in partnership with microfinance institutions, retail outlets, and mobile vendors.
  • The price is much higher than that of existing charcoal stoves, which retail for $3-7, but the savings on fuel allow customers to recoup their investment within 6-8 weeks.
  • TWP’s stove also has lower usage and maintenance costs than traditional stoves.
  • Subsidies have been used in pilot commercialization of the stoves, but TWP is employing strategies to ensure that subsidies don’t affect sales when the price is normalized.


  • TWP’s stove program is currently funded by grants, mainly because TWP  has always been a nonprofit.
  • However, the long-term goal is to create a self-sustaining Haitian company, so as things scale up, it will eventually start looking for debt financing.
  • The sale of stoves currently covers most production costs, but donor funding covers training, overhead, transport, and marketing costs.
  • One reason TWP wants to eventually mass produce parts is to drop its costs and increase margins, which will help the project scale faster.

Social Impact

  • TWP extrapolates most of its impact from the number of stoves sold.
  • Each stove results in saved charcoal, trees therefore kept in the ground, less indoor air pollution, and reduced emissions.
  • TWP also estimates the amount users save in fuel costs over each stove’s lifetime.

More Resources

Online Resources

Contact Information

Trees, Water & People
633 Remington St.
Fort Collins, CO 80524

(+1 970 484 3678
+1 202 870 8965