Supporting clean and healthy environment through energy efficient cooking solutions

Sustain Plus leverages technology to help reduce the risk to women’s health in rural India by facilitating their access to clean cooking solutions. Sustain Plus enables households and community spaces such as government schools, anganwadis, and commercial cooking establishments to shift to clean cooking by providing need-based solutions. It supports the use of cost-effective clean fuel such as biogas in communities owning livestock, and provides energy efficient cooking solutions through new and improved products in areas where existing use of fuel cannot be replaced.  

Clean cooking solutions help reduce carbon emission by lessening the use of biomass, curb environmental degradation, lessen drudgery, and reduce time and cost of cooking while making the process healthier. It also helps women improve their income by providing them with entrepreneurial opportunities through the creation of organic manure value chains.

Need Gaps

According to National Sample Survey’s Office (NSSO) report (76th round), only 48.3% households in rural India have access to and use LPG in comparison to 86.6% of households in urban areas. 44.5% of rural households said they still use firewood, crop residue, and dung cakes, etc. as primary fuel for cooking. In households having access to LPG, the practice of using multiple fuels has continued due to the high cost of refilling LPG cylinders.

As cooking and collection of biomass are considered women’s chores, both add a huge burden on their health. They not only have to carry back the firewood but also spend a lot of time in smoke-filled kitchens as traditional mud stoves do not burn biomass efficiently. For rural households where income is limited, biomass helps save on expenses as they come largely for free or at an affordable cost.

Our Approach

Sustain Plus works toward creating a robust rural public healthcare system and improving doorstep delivery of services across tiers that include Sub-Centres, Primary Health Centres, Community Health Centres, and District Hospitals. It integrates DRE solutions such as complete solarisation of the centres with access to energy-efficient health machineries to ensure improvement in the quality and quantity of services provided.

Sustain Plus also facilitates the capacity building of healthcare workers and village health committees for the maintenance of equipment and devices. By upgrading the infrastructure, facilities, and services at the centres, Sustain Plus helps reduce net energy usage and wastage, increase the uptake of additional services at minimum incremental costs, and improve health outcomes of communities dwelling in the last mile connectivity.

Case studies

Plugging energy gaps impacting education – either through more attendance in government schools or increased enrolment