Shell Foundation
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The charity currently has five core lines of business:
  • Aspire - Supporting the start-up and growth of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in Africa as a way to reduce poverty;
  • Breathing Space - Bringing down the number of deaths caused by indoor air pollution;
  • Embarq - Easing the traffic congestion and pollution clogging up developing country mega-cities;
  • Trading Up - Giving developing-country producers improved access to world markets.
  • Excelerate - Providing modern energy and infrastructure services to poor people.

The Breathing Space initiative was launched in 2002 to tackle Indoor Air Pollution (IAP) - pollution caused by using open fires to burn wood, dung, crop residues and other solid fuels for cooking and heating in many developing world homes. 1.6 million people die prematurely each year from IAP. That is a life lost every 20 seconds.

The programme aims to achieve a significant long-term reduction in IAP by helping develop technology to make stoves more emission and fuel efficient - and by developing a sustainable way to get them in to people's homes. Its mission is to sell twenty million stoves across five countries in the next five years.

To do that it uses approaches that are market-oriented and commercially viable. This sees the private sector delivering those parts of the supply-chain that are commercially viable, while the other areas are delivered by NGOs - or hybrids of the two. Where barriers exist Shell Foundation steps in to remove them, perhaps by providing training or seed-capital, supporting stove design and innovation, or using its national and international reach to leverage support from other partners capable of removing them.

Between 2002 and 2005 the charity worked with existing IAP-specialist organizations to establish 'pilot' projects in seven countries, including: India, Guatemala, Mexico, Ghana, Ethiopia, Brazil and Kenya. In addition, it conducted a major review of past and existing attempts to address IAP, subsequently undertaking an evaluation of both the pilots and the overall market for stoves with the aim of identifying what does and does not work.

As a result of this process, 2006 saw Breathing Space begin a massive 'scale-up' of its operations in five countries: China, Uganda/Kenya (treated regionally), Guatemala, Brazil and India, the latter being the programme's lead country. Since its launch Breathing Space has committed $10million, sold 200,000 stoves - and improved the lives of more than a million people.

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To view a short film about the Breathing Space programme see here.

The Shell Foundation, which was founded in 2000 as a charitable foundation by the Shell Group, works to tackle long-term social and environmental issues in which the energy industry has a particular role and responsibility. The Shell Foundation works to create strategic programmes that improve and empower local communities, and then share that expertise and experience across the developing world.

Specific Programmes of Interest



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Last edited by Miriam Hansen , based on work by Clair Marrey .
Page last modified on Friday 15 of October, 2010 09:06:48 GMT. @HEDON: DMRB

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  • A practitioner's journal on household energy, stoves and poverty reduction.


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