By: Scot Frank

Eight years ago in the Himalayas, a group of nomads, scientists, and entrepreneurs dreamt of a business that helps both people and the planet. Today, One Earth Designs creates and sells products that are already providing clean energy to thousands of people in need.

Winning the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge in 2010, and the support of the Dutch Postcode Lottery and DOEN Foundation, has made our dream possible. They have enabled us to get life-saving technologies into the homes of people who would otherwise be poisoned by the smoke from burning polluting fuels for their basic energy needs.

30 October 2013, blogpost by Scot Frank, winner of the 2010 Postcode Lottery Green Challenge30 October 2013, blogpost by Scot Frank, winner of the 2010 Postcode Lottery Green Challenge

Solar source

Solar source Products we develop, like SolSource, a powerful and durable solar cooker, have the potential to improve the lives of millions of people around the world. It also makes economic sense: for every $1 spent, a SolSource owner will save $6 to $21 and often pursue income generating opportunities, education, and more. Each SolSource helps the environment as well by saving a

bout 4 tons of CO2 per year.

The Postcode Lottery Green Challenge enabled us to bring our idea to market in less than two years through global exposure and a valuable network of contacts. Now, as we expand to new countries, I’m excited to tell about recently formed partnerships that are further helping us to practice the philosophies and values that have always guided our work.

 

 

BCorpLogo

Last year, One Earth Designs became a certified B Corp because we endeavor to be responsible for all aspects of our business and to be accountable to all of Earth's stakeholders, including future generations and the environment. We see this as a means by which to measure and improve how we treat our employees, which factory partners we choose, and what community empowerment programs we run in the local areas where we work. You can see our company One Earth Designs' certification page at this link for more information. Of note, we are proud to be the first Certified B Corp in China and to have one of the highest B Corp scores among all certified companies. As we grow, we look forward to following in the footsteps of fellow B Corps like Seventh Generation, Patagonia, and King Arthur Flour and also paving new and better paths of our own.

As a member of 1% for the Planet, we contribute at least 1% of annual revenues to environmental protection and conservation NGOs. Through our membership we support work in the Himalayas not only because our roots started there, but also because the region and its preservation is important for us all: the monumental and receding glaciers of the Himalayas are so impactful to climate change that scientists have named the region The Third Pole. The Himalayas are also the water basin for almost 60% of the world's population, adding another dimension of importance to their protection. If you are interested to learn more about the significance of glaciers on our future, I strongly recommend that you watch the award-winning film Chasing Ice, by my dear friend Jeff Orlowski.

 

1fortheplanet

Additionally, we are a member of 1% for the Planet because despite our effort to design and produce products responsibly, our work is not sustainable overall and therefore we need to actively take steps to balance our positive and negative impacts. What does a "green" or "sustainable" business mean, anyway? We see most companies use these words for marketing promotion, but as a consumer it is becoming harder to trust a brand. As a company, we seek to do more good, not just less bad. How do we perform to-date? Based on our estimation of how the average person will use their SolSource, we calculate a net positive impact of CO2 reduction per product. But in practice, being a responsible company means accounting for all of our inputs, outputs, and activities. In our thinking, not until each is in balance or net positive will we truly be a sustainable company (Note: we hope to conduct a full Life Cycle Assessment on our products and work with researchers and industry partners to employ Cradle to Cradle or similar concepts, materials, and processes to improve our products’ overall impact).

 

Our journey to becoming a responsible company is just beginning. Our next step is to work with our partners to provide more transparency about our manufacturing and supply chain. We aim to develop a case study to share our lessons learned and the improvements our partners and we achieve over time. And I’m glad we are in good company…

After seeing the participants of this year’s edition of the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge, the world has even more reasons to believe the future is bright, and green. Now, it is everyone’s responsibility to continue dreaming, to submit their idea in next year’s Postcode Lottery Green Challenge, and to work together to create the world we all want.

 

Sincerely,

Scot & the One Earth Designs team





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