goodwork: Carbon Community Foundation
Andrew Flint Co-founder and Executive Officer of the Carbon Community Foundation
2. What you do/who you help:
Carbon Community Foundation funds and facilitates solar technology and microcredit businesses to replace kerosene lights in Africa and the Pacific. In Australia we assist organisations and individuals in measuring, reducing and offsetting carbon dioxide emissions.
3. What inspired you to get involved in the Carbon Community Foundation?
The idea for Carbon Community began when I witnessed the poverty and environmental degradation experienced in PNG, Tanzania and Kenya, and appreciated The Global Kerosene Light Problem
- 300 million households depend on kerosene for lighting
- Kerosene is 250 times more expensive than electricity from the grid, taking over 10% of their household income
- 15 000 deaths occur each year from burns and indoor air pollution
- Home study suffers due to poor light
- Kerosene lights emit 190 million tonnes of CO2 per year
This led us to The Solar Lamp Solution
- A villager pays $25 per lamp giving 4 years of FREE power, saving hundreds of dollars on kerosene
- A lamp provides 4 hours of light every night, allowing people to earn and learn after sunset
- Switching to a solar lamp saves ½ tonne of CO2 over 4 years
- Solar lamps “generate” carbon offsets which are sold to fund more lamps
4. What we do:
Our solution is a social enterprise model. We aggregate our supporters’ contributions and provide micro-loans directly to village-based distributors in Africa and the Pacific. This enables the establishment of sustainable and viable local businesses that can grow in the future and make a significant contribution to carbon reduction. Rather than simply donating our funds, we are establishing village based solar lamp businesses that will not only make a remarkable difference today but also in the years to come.
5. Your responsibilities:
My responsibilities, through all the support mechanisms of business and marketing, are to ensure that as many lights as possible get into the hands of villagers, who do not have access to electricity.
6. Your team:
Our team is made up of very capable volunteers who fulfil all the roles of running a small company and engaging with our supporters and friends in Africa and the Pacific
7. Your greatest challenges:
We face all the challenges of a start-up company, as well as facilitating micro credit and distribution arrangements in other countries. One of my challenges is to ensure that our volunteer and systems can keep up with the planned growth this year!
8. How have you utilized goodcompany?
We needed someone to ensure that our website continues to effectively ‘tell the story’, and through goodcompany we found Matilde, and she is doing great work for CCF.
9. Would you recommend goodcompany to other not-for-profit organizations and why?
Goodcompany’s approach is not bureaucratic. Also there is also an expectation that a quality request is to be met with a quality applicant.
I have found that goodcompany keeps in contact, and is interested in how we are going – I appreciate that!
10. Tips for Community Groups and skilled volunteers working together:
I have found it important to check out how serious is the volunteer about taking on a role that is integral to the health and future of the organisation. Some aspiring volunteers decided not to start their relationship with us, following a robust initial conversation!