• The Envirofit Institutional Cookstove was recognized by the Spark judges as making a significant step towards better living through better design.

Sarasota, FL, December 6, 2013 — ROBRADY design and Envirofit International have won the Gold award in the World Changing category of this year’s Spark Awards competition. The Envirofit Institutional Cookstove was recognized by the Spark judges as making a significant step towards better living through better design. Congratulations to Envirofit and ROBRADY team members for their award-winning contributions to this innovative design.

According to the WHO, cooking over an open fire inside the home is the equivalent smoke exposure to inhaling 2 packs of cigarettes a day. With half the world’s population cooking over a 3-stone fire inside their home, the indoor air pollution from inefficient stoves leads to 4 million deaths a year - more than HIV, Malaria, and TB combined.

Envirofit is the world’s leading clean cookstove business producing high performing biomass cookstoves that are efficient, durable, desirable, and affordable for households and institutions in developing nations. Using a market-based model, Envirofit develops user-centered clean cookstoves that appeal to consumers in developing nations. In addition to the aesthetic qualities, Envirofit’s stoves are designed to offer economic, health and environmental benefits.

When Envirofit approached ROBRADY to help design a new industrial stove, our first step was to develop a brand image that incorporated and reaffirmed that reputation. Working closely with the Envirofit team, we discovered that strength and reliability were two key descriptors that we wanted to make sure came across in the design. This was achieved by features such as the widened sturdy legs and a thicker lip on the cast piece around the pot. These features not only give the stove a robust look and feel, but also reflect an image of quality and strength that appeal to users. Another main guide of the design was to create enough complexity in the manufacturing process to discourage cheaply made imitations which hurt brand reputation. By using some complex geometry in the casting, the manufacturing process becomes more difficult to imitate as it takes a degree of control that can only be done in factories that have tighter tolerances and controls. We took advantage of this as an opportunity from a branding perspective to incorporate some softer shapes, giving it a thicker look and reinforcing the feel of strength and robustness.

The design for the Institutional Cookstove incorporates all of Envirofit’s industry-leading household technologies into a highly-efficient, institutional-sized model designed for scalability depending on the needs of the location. The target market for this new addition to the Envirofit line include orphanages, schools, restaurants and small to medium enterprises. The stoves are long-lasting, durable and easy to use. Key benefits in the design of the stove are safety mechanisms for pot stability, reduction of harmful emissions (up to 90% less smoke and soot), adaptability for indoor/outdoor cooking and an 80% reduction of wood needed for cooking. These benefits are crucial in developing nations where up to 60% of income is spent on fuel in food preparation. By using wood more efficiently there are larger scale impacts through the reduction of harmful greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation.

The Spark™ award is a global design competition that was started in 2001. The Spark mission is to promote better living through better design. The focus of the competition is recognizing change — ‘designed change’. They define ‘designed change’ as change for the better: studied, researched and cognizant of criteria like sustainability, suitability, context, inventiveness, process, universality and yes, beauty. The Spark 2013 recipients represent the world’s most important manufacturers, designers and architects whose work embodies an emphasis on creative solutions that enrich our lives and environment.

About Envirofit International

Envirofit International is a social enterprise that was established in 2003 to develop well-engineered technology solutions to improve the human condition on a global scale, with a primary emphasis on applications in the developing world. Envirofit’s enterprise-based model represents a new, more sustainable approach to tackling the global IAP and energy dependence while yielding health, environmental and economic improvements in emerging markets - relying on market mechanisms to guide product development and drive consumer demand. More information at www.envirofit.org.