Carbon Roots International’s market-based model reduces reliance on traditional wood-based charcoal, which is one of the primary drivers of deforestation in the developing world.  In a country with extreme deforestation like Haiti, tree loss affects daily life, from agricultural productivity, to climate resiliency, to ecosystem collapse. For Haiti, this means less food, less farmable land, stronger floods and less income. 

Woman charcoal producer harvesting wood charcoal

Nearly 90% of rural Haitians live in poverty, three-quarters of whom live on less than $1.25 per day, and eight out of ten farmers don’t produce enough food to feed household members.  In this context, environmental and social impact is intricately linked to the growth and success of the enterprise. 

Environmental impact is linked to trees conserved as a result of replacing wood charcoal with green charcoal.  Assuming a 1:1 replacement ratio for green charcoal, CRI estimates that each ton of green charcoal consumed by Haitian households offsets 6.7 tons of wood harvested from live trees. Accordingly, CRI estimates that each ton of green charcoal represents 8.8 tons of CO2 emissions avoided. 

From a social impact lens, because the green charcoal value chain is entirely local, CRI’s model provides clear incentives and benefits to a wide range of local stakeholders: farmers monetize waste streams by selling agricultural residues to the company, women charcoal retailers enjoy improved business opportunities and greater autonomy by selling a branded fuel product and earning higher incomes, and base-of-the-pyramid customers have access to a cleaner, cheaper, sustainable fuel.