BURN, a global clean cookstove manufacturer, distributor, and carbon-offset project developer, announces the issuance of Sub-Saharan Africa’s first-ever green bond designated for clean cooking financing of USD $10 Million.
Founded in 2011, BURN was created with the aspiration to save lives and forests by revolutionizing the clean cookstove sector. While traditional, inefficient cookstoves can bankrupt families, damage their health and destroy forests, BURN’s best-in-class stoves can save families money on fuel, limit indoor air pollution and protect forests.
“Our decision to issue the first green bond to support clean cooking underscores our strong belief in the power of financial innovation to drive positive environmental and social change. Leveraging benefits such as investment communities’ interest in green financing and potential tax advantages to investors, green bonds have gained considerable traction in recent years. BURN is excited to deploy this innovative instrument to catalyze sustainable development” said Peter Scott, CEO and Founder of BURN.
The proceeds from the bond will allow BURN to increase existing manufacturing capacity in Kenya as well as launch a new manufacturing facility in Lagos, Nigeria.
The company aims to increase production from the current 400,000 units per month to 600,000 units and will produce a range of life-saving biomass, electric, and LPG stoves.
BURN stoves have been independently verified by reputable institutions such as University of Pennsylvania, University of Chicago, as well as through a comprehensive impact assessment survey conducted by Yunus Social Business.
The stoves have consistently been proven to provide substantial health, financial, and climate action benefits. The funds from the Green Bond are poised to extend these benefits to an extra 2 million households in the year 2024.
The bond issuance was supported by DRY Associated Limited acting as the Placement Agent. FSD Africa, a specialist development agency funded by UK International Development, played a key role in providing technical input on the bond framework and contributing technical assistance for the second-party opinion which was conducted by Agusto & Co., the leading Pan-African Credit Rating Agency and Green Bond Verifier.
Commenting on the announcement, Evans Osano, Director, Capital Markets, FSD Africa, said: “We are proud to have supported this landmark issuance, the first-ever green bond to finance clean cooking activities in sub-Saharan Africa. Biomass fuel is the main source of energy for cooking for the majority of households in Africa and the proceeds from this capital raise will support these households to transition to more sustainable alternatives. These are not only better for the environment but also have health benefits from the reduction of particulate and carbon monoxide emissions which particularly impact women given their greater exposure.”
“Dry Associates is proud to be the Transaction Advisor on BURN’s Green Bond programme. The Green Bond programme underscores the opportunities available for fixed-income investments in Kenya to catalyze capital formation, employment, and economic growth. We are attracted to BURN for the leadership team’s focus, green finance acumen and the scale and professionalism of BURN’s manufacturing operation in Kenya. BURN’s export growth story is a stellar example that Kenya can indeed deliver quality to the world” added Reuben Mabishi, Head of Research from Dry Associates Investment Bank.
A 2022 report by the International Energy Agency on the Africa Energy Outlook suggests that achieving universal access to clean cooking fuels and technologies by 2030 requires shifting 130 million people globally away from dirty cooking fuels each year. The issuance of green bonds provides a crucial avenue for supporting this shift towards the adoption of cleaner cooking solutions for people.