Current investments


Pay-as-you-go solar electricity for off-grid communities in Guatemala

20 percent of Guatemala’s 15million population does not have access mains electricity. Kingo serves this population with an affordable, pre-paid solar electricity service, that is safer, cleaner and cheaper than alternative sources of fuel, such as kerosene. The LCEF investment has enabled Kingo to expand its operations, and create access to energy for 2,300 new families in the first year of the investment.

Renewable energy for rural communities in India

400 million people in India are not connected to the electricity grid, which fuels dependency on kerosene, firewood and other unsustainable and often unhealthy sources of energy. The LCEF has invested in E hands, which provides a range of solar and wind-solar hybrid systems, which are particularly suitable for remote locations. To date, E hands has created access to energy for more than 5,000 people across 14 states in India.

E waste recycling and re-use in India

More than 75 percent of India’s 1.3 billion populations owns a mobile phone. Old handsets are often disposed of when new models come onto the market, which creates to a growing problem with e-waste. Karma Recycling has found an innovative way to address the twin problems of e-waste and making smartphones more affordable for India’s less-affluent communities. They repair, remove old date and refurbish old handsets and re-sell them at an affordable price to low-income groups. By extending the life of these devices, Karma helps to save scarce resources and embedded carbon that would otherwise go into manufacturing new devices.

Solar products for off-grid villagers in Cambodia

Nearly 11million of Cambodia's 15million population are not connected to the grid. This represents the lowest electrification rate in Asia at just 24% of the population. Most poorer, rural families rely on kerosene for household lighting which is carbon-intensive and very costly, representing a significant portion of average monthly incomes. According to the World Bank, the average price of electricity in Cambodia is among the highest in the world, which is a major barrier to further electrification. Access to affordable, renewable energy products and services is crucial to the future development of this country.

We have invested in a Cambodian business – Kamworks - that sells affordable solar lamps and solar home systems for off-grid, rural communities. Our investment will help this business scale its operations beyond its limited distribution capability. Central to this is a new micro-finance partnership that will make these products affordable to even the poorest families. ERM consultants from the Singapore office will work with Kamworks to provide on-the-ground support on an on-going basis.

Access to clean water for rural communities in Indonesia

Almost half of Indonesia's 240 million population lack access to a safe water supply. Many millions of people have to boil their water on a daily basis to kill dangerous pathogens such as faecal coliforms and e-coli. This process is both costly for low income families and highly carbon intensive as many families still rely on kerosene as their primary fuel source. Those who can't afford to boil water are vulnerable to contracting water-borne diseases such as cholera, typhoid and diarrhoea (Indonesia's second leading killer of children under the age of five).

To address these issues, an Indonesian company has established a water filter business that makes affordable, high quality water filters that convert contaminated piped, river, well and rainwater into a healthy water supply – eliminating the need to boil water and so representing significant carbon savings in addition to the many health and productivity benefits associated with access to potable water.

The company, Nazava, sells its filters directly to consumers through local resellers, NGOs and the internet. The LCEF investment of US $100,000 will help the company improve its marketing and training and expand its network of re-sellers, bringing safe water to many more low income families.

The LCEF team and ERM's Jakarta office will be working with Nazava over the coming months and years to provide on-the-ground support and help the business grow.


Forest-friendly Livelihoods

Eco-tourism to support forest protection in Guyana.

The Iwokrama Reserve is located in an important, pristine forest. In an effort to preserve it while maintaining the livelihoods of the local community, an eco-tourism lodge has been set up to help the forest become self-financing. Our investment has helped upgrade some of the facilities, bringing in more visitors and generating much needed revenue to support this forest protection initiative.

Carbon neutral shade grown coffee in Latin America and Ethiopia.

This coffee cooperative comprises farmers from Ethiopia, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Peru who cultivate their coffee under the canopies of native forest trees without the use of harmful chemicals. Compared with plantation grown coffee, the reduction in CO2 emissions is significant and the consortium employs around 145,000 family farmers in these countries. The creation of forest friendly livelihoods such as these plays an enormously important role in preserving the world's forests. Our financial support is aimed at helping the organisation increase the demand for its coffee in North America - thereby benefiting all of the farming families who are employed though the consortium.

Fuel efficient stoves and burners

Smokeless stoves for schools and street food vendors in India.

This enterprise makes fuel-efficient, smoke-free stoves for street food vendors and schools in India. The stoves require 40% less firewood than traditional models and offer a potentially safer and healthier working environment for village cooks. With dramatically reduced fuel bills, this offers important savings to the vendors, most of whom survive on very low incomes.

Energy-efficient burners for the rural poor in India.

Carbon-intensive kerosene burners are used across much of India. These are harmful to the health of users and also place a considerable strain on poorer households incomes. This venture makes energy-efficient burners that reduce kerosene consumption by up to 40%, saving money and improving the health of some of India's rural poor.

Fuel-efficient stoves for off-grid communities in Guatemala.

Around 70% of Guatemalans rely on firewood as their primary source of energy. Much of this wood comes from unsustainable or illegal forestry practices and the traditional wood fire stoves that are used are highly inefficient with many households spending up to 15% of their income on wood. It was to address these problems that the Doña Dora stove was created. Designed to meet the needs of local users, the stoves use around 54% less fuel than traditional models, which saves which saves money by dramatically reducing fuel costs. For most households, the stoves will pay for themselves in one year and the health benefits are also compelling.