Balmforth & Co
Kenyan Stove Project

How can a vending supplier become Carbon Zero?

Posted on 24/08/2021 by Evan Church
Estimated reading time: 2 min read
Categories: Sustainability, Vending

As the world keeps evolving, so do we. Since our inception in 1967, we have been on a mission to provide a variety of solutions to essentially make people’s lives easier

During 2005 we achieved the international standard for Quality Management Systems (ISO 9001). We had to provide a management framework that helps us improve our services and meet our customers’ expectations. In mid-2007, we decided to try and achieve the environmental certification (ISO 14001). We went as far as we possibly could to make huge strides which led to the beginning of us reducing our environmental footprint.

On the back of achieving the environmental certification, it created a whole new journey for RSL.

The Kenyan Stove Project

This is where the story begins. There were many projects that we could have looked into. However, the one that stood out the most was The Kenyan Stove Project. This is an energy-efficient project where we offset our Carbon Footprint by having the Kenyan stoves produced. The stoves reduce the need for firewood by 50%. This prevents carbon from being emitted from the stoves and also prevents deforestation. 

Our head of engineering Steve Wright was fortunate enough to visit Kenya in 2013. He said, “It was humbling to see the impact we have had on these people. There are many serious issues in Africa and one of which is the “kitchen killer”. The kitchen killer is responsible for the millions of deaths in the country every year. With benefits that the stoves bring to these people reduced the amount of Carbon Monoxide in their houses.

The amount of time the stoves freed up allowed some of the villagers to start their own businesses. Bringing in more money and just overall providing a somewhat better life for the families. 

It’s brilliant that this project has offset our Carbon Footprint, but there is so much more to what we set out to do. As stated earlier, we want to provide solutions and make people’s lives easier.

Kenyan Stove Project

The impact

We have been a Carbon Zero company for 13 years. Our impact during The Kenyan Stove Project has benefited so many lives. Stats don’t lie and we have them to share.

Wood saved – 4,863 tonnes of wood has been saved. Saving wood can reduce the severity of climate change by absorbing more carbon from the air.

Time saved – 15,652 days have been saved because of the stoves. This has allowed villagers to gain new priorities. For example, get a job, or start their own business.

Children impacted – 5,776 children have had huge benefits from the stoves. The benefit being that they don’t have to cut down trees with their parents and their parents will be able to watch them grow up.

Stoves built – 1,863 stoves were built during the project.

Overall impact – 2,423 families and 1,863 elderlies impacted resulting in (5,776 children as well) 10,062 total people impacted.

Since 2020…

The journey of reducing our Carbon Footprint continues. During the UK lockdowns, we have implemented new technology which has the capabilities to provide so many positives. We believe it had the power to do what we wanted and it has proved it can. Telemetry has improved customer service, made route planning more efficient and lowered carbon emissions.

In conclusion

Reducing our Carbon Footprint is something that RSL strongly believe in and as a culture within the company, this is what we wanted to do and continue to go forward with. There’s always more we can do. It’s not just the case of settling in on the Kenyan Stove Project and leaving it there, it’s way more than that.   

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WHAT OUR CUSTOMERS SAY

Our customers are at the heart of everything that we do. If they are not achieving their goals then neither are we. Their satisfaction is very important to us and we believe that delivering what our customers want and need, means that we can form a long-lasting partnership.

We got our machines very quickly, installed and working in no time, the aftercare is superb, we have weekly visits from our very entertaining replenishment engineer, nothing is too much trouble and we would highly recommend Refreshment Systems to any new/existing business.

Cygnet Health

We can’t thank the team enough, from helping us with the colour schemes to menu boards and point of sale materials, they have just been brilliant!

Coffee House Newark

I think the most important advantage RSL had over other potential suppliers was the use of the mobile drinks van. We knew we were getting quality before we switched suppliers!

Kongsberg Automotive

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