Using Agricultural Waste to Generate Electricity and Reduce Carbon Emissions in Uganda

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Using Agricultural Waste to Generate Electricity and Reduce Carbon Emissions in Uganda

New BCtA inclusive business member Pamoja Cleantech will increase incomes for 15,000 small-scale farmers
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Friday, July 1, 2016 - 11:35am

CONTENT: Press Release

New York, July 1, 2016 – Pamoja Cleantech, a Uganda-based social enterprise specializing in biomass technologies for off-grid applications, has joined the Business Call to Action (BCtA) with a commitment to reduce CO2 emissions by 150,000 tons each year and increase access to energy for more than 30,000 rural households by 2020. BCtA is a global initiative that encourages companies to fight poverty through inclusive business models. It is supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and other international organizations.

Pamoja builds and operates micro-grids for direct electricity distribution. These micro-grids are powered by solar energy as well as biomass fuels that are mainly derived from agricultural residue (corn cobs, ground nut shells, rice husks and coffee husks). These residual products are converted into high-energy dense fuel pellets for industrial and domestic use. To meet its goals, the company will scale up its operations to 100 micro-grids (from two), sourcing the additional biomass fuels from 15,000 small scale-farmers in East Africa beginning in Uganda.

Producing energy through agricultural waste enables Pamoja’s inclusive business to align its bottom-line demands with the new global development agenda. Smallholder farmers and agricultural processors will be able to generate energy from their waste residues, optimizing efficiency in the supply chain and improving their bottom lines while making positive climate impacts. By 2020, Pamoja aims for a 150,000-ton reduction in CO2 emissions per year by replacing diesel generators with a clean-energy alternative and by avoiding methane emissions caused by the decay of raw biomass.

In the home, Pamoja’s pellets work with pyrolytic cooking stoves that are highly efficient, smokeless, simple and cheap, addressing one of the largest causes of deforestation by replacing charcoal for cooking while improving health.

“Pamoja’s inclusive business is committed to solving some of the most pressing energy needs for those living at the base of the economic pyramid in Uganda,” said Peik Stenlund, the company’s Chief Executive Officer and co-founder. “By reusing waste to create affordable and accessible energy, we are helping to create socially and economically thriving communities, and ensuring sustainable development. We are pleased to become a member of the Business Call to Action and look forward to working with their team and our fellow members.”

In addition, Pamoja will assess the technical, social and economic feasibility of converting organic waste into a soil building bio-fertilizer to be used in agroforestry systems. Local farmer cooperatives will provide communities with hands-on tools for sustainable agriculture using agroforestry, as well as educate them about the importance of value addition.

Companies like Pamoja exemplify the mutual benefits of inclusive business for companies and low-income communities,” said Paula Pelaez, BCtA’s Programme Manager. “To meet its corporate goals, Pamoja is driving innovation and strengthening its supply chain, which in turn is improving productivity and generating increased, sustainable earnings for its poor suppliers and clients. We are pleased to welcome the company as a member of the Business Call to Action.”

For further information:

Business Call to Action: Tatiana Bessarabova

Pamoja: Peik Stenlund at

About Business Call to Action (BCtA): Launched at the United Nations in 2008, the Business Call to Action (BCtA) aims to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that offer the potential for both commercial success and development impact. BCtA is a unique multilateral alliance between key donor governments including the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)UK Department for International DevelopmentUS Agency for International Development, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Finland, and the United Nations Development Programme — which hosts the secretariat. For more information, please visit or on Twitter at @BCtAInitiative.

About Pamoja: Pamoja Cleantech is a for-profit social enterprise enabling technology transfer for clean energy technologies in East Africa. The company aims to catalyze sustainable entrepreneurship and climate change mitigation through the introduction of new innovative business models. Since its founding in 2010, Pamoja has worked with a range of international actors in the industry including the World Bank, UNIDO and SIDA. Currently, Pamoja builds and operates micro-grids for electricity distribution powered by solar and biomass energy in collaboration with the Ugandan Rural Electrification Agency. The company is also expanding to India and exploring smart grid and biomass opportunities together with the Swedish Energy Agency.

Keywords: Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship | Alternative Energy | Energy | Environment & Climate Change | Ethical Production & Consumption | Farming | Pamoja Cleantech | Renewable Energy | Utilities | business call to action (bcta)

CONTENT: Press Release