Envirofit BMC

By: Andy Fugh and Devin Yeatter

Key Partners:

Envirofit has a variety of partners including government agencies such as the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) of America and UKAid in addition to international organizations like the UN and World Economic Forum. These organizations provide economic support, PR, and even advise Envirofit on a variety of issues including assisting in finding grants. Meanwhile Shell’s foundation also provides funding and PR to Envirofit. Organizations such as the Clean Cooking Alliance and the Himalayan Stove Project have been assisting in distribution and PR channels as well.

Cost Structure:

Envirofit markets to base of the pyramid customers such as those in India making between $2 and $7 as well as other low income households in developing countries. They pay to manufacture the stoves, distribute them, advertise the company. They also pay for research, facilities, and staff in the various countries they are active in.

Revenue Streams:

There are several different methods by which Envirofit generates revenue. They accept donations and also offer a “carbon credit” program where both individuals and companies are able to donate via this program that allows lower income families to subsidize their purchase of Envirofit’s products. The sale of these stoves generates revenue. Envirofit also offers a service known as SmartGas where users pay by the amount of gas they use and have the tanks and gas delivered to their homes.


Envirofit mostly sells to retailers within countries, and allows anyone to apply to become a distributor. In addition, its governmental and community based partners serve as distributors and increase awareness in the various countries it operates in. It has its own services and employees in various regions to help operate SmartGas in addition to other aspects of their business.

Key resources:

Envirofit’s resources are vast. It has an extremely large network of partners including many government agencies and corporate partnerships. It also includes its human capital in the form of its employees. They also own several patents for their products. In addition, their scientists and engineers are constantly researching and developing their product as well which has great value.

Key Activities:

Research and Development: Envirofit International has a division of researchers and engineers that work together as a research and development department to continually improve upon the products that the organization distributes. This team develops different types of cooking stoves that suit different customer segments.


Impact Monitoring: Envirofit International follows up with its customers to ensure that each stove that they sell is creating a positive impact and that they are satisfied with the product they have received. This division feeds into the research and development segment of the organization, as the feedback that the company receives from customers can be used to refine the products that they sell and can be used to research and develop new avenues of products.


Design for Adoption: Before the stoves are produced on a large scale to be distributed to customers, Envirofit International tests each new stove design where they “focus, group test, and survey over 2,000 people”. This activity is used to ensure that the products that they produce are ideal for the customers that they are trying to serve.


Production for Scale: Since Envirofit International makes products that are sold globally, in Africa, Latin America, and Asia, it is extremely important that the production process is closely inspected. Each stage of production includes steps that are taken to check the quality of the materials used.


Customer Care: The Customer Care portion of Envirofit International serves as a means of providing the customer base with a source of educating themselves on how to use clean cookstoves, as well as serving as a branch that can be a contact point for customer concerns and questions.


Extensive Distribution: Envirofit International aims to be able to reach the most amount of customers via partnering with many different businesses that are both large scale and local to ensure that they can distribute their products in both rural and urban environments. They partner with last mile entrepreneurs. According to Business Insider, the Last Mile Problem results from the inefficiencies that make delivery to the doorstep very difficult. Partnering with enterprises that specialize in this area mean that they can take steps to ensure a more effective distribution system.

Value Propositions:

The value that Envirofit International proposes to its customers is that with purchasing an Envirofit Cookstove, they will reduce the amount of fuel required to prepare a week’s worth of meals, and at the same time health risks such as asthma caused from too much smoke intake will also be reduced. Essentially, the value to the customer is that over time, they will reduce the amount of money and other resources spent on fuel and on medical costs that come with dealing with the adverse effects of cooking over an open flame. According to Food Safety News, there are a very large amount of health risks associated with open flame and hearth cooking in homes, especially in homes with young children. The smoke and other particles produced from burning the fuel can cause an array of diseases such as asthma and even life threatening conditions such as pneumonia.


Customer Relationship:

Envirofit does a lot to maintain its relationship with its customers. Some of these strategies include creating a center that is aimed at educating the customer base on the problem of efficient cookstoves and on how to properly operate their products if the customer base has any issues. The firm also strengthens its relationship with its customers by creating and developing products that are affordable and improve the quality of life of the customer base, promising to be more energy efficient and reduce the health risks associated with cooking over open flames.


Customer Segments:

East Africa: Envirofit claims to be the leading cooking stove distributor in the East African region. This region includes nations such as Rwanda, Zambia, Uganda, Tanzania, and Mozambique. The organization aims to market their products towards both family professional uses in order to increase the efficiency with which the region uses energy to prepare meals.


West Africa: Envirofit serves nations in the Western region of Africa, including nations such as Nigeria, Liberia, Ghana, and Gambia. The organization aims to distribute their products to customers who wish to increase the efficiency with which they prepare meals as well as light their homes.


Latin America: In the western hemisphere, Envirofit distributes their products to Honduras, Mexico, and several countries in South America.



  1. Dolan, Shelagh. “The Challenges of Last Mile Logistics & Delivery Technology Solutions.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 10 May 2018, www.businessinsider.com/last-mile-delivery-shipping-explained.
  2. “CSR Programs | Off Grid Appliances | Clean Cooking Stoves.” Envirofit, envirofit.org/our-story/#our-story.
  3. “Harmful Hearths: Open-Fire Cooking Threatens Lives.” Food Safety News, 31 Jan. 2011, www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/01/harmful-hearths-open-fire-cooking-threatens-lives/.
  4. Narapareddy, Vijaya. “Envirofit International: Cracking the BoP Market Blue Ocean Strategy Case Solution.” Blue Ocean University, Blue Ocean University, 5 Dec. 2018, blueoceanuniversity.com/frontpage/blueoceancase/7785-envirofit-bop.
  5. Bauer, T. (2011). Enabling Market-Driven Technology (Innovations Case Narrative: Envirofit International). innovations, 6(3), 93-102.

Kawasaki and BMC

By Devin Yeatter

Kawasaki’s suggestion of making a mantra was well taken. I realized Project Plastikan hasn’t necessarily had a set way of explaining what we were all about other than each individual member’s near paragraph long explanation of the project. So having a simple mantra we can all preach would be very helpful.

We just had the opportunity to choose two people who would be assisting the project at Mountaintop this summer and beyond. In our process, we chose to “hire infected people” as Guy Kawasaki would say. The two students we chose seemed to display a genuine passion for the project, and to ensure the project works out, it will be important to continue to rely on infected people rather than those who aren’t

I enjoyed the idea of the 10/20/30 rule for presentations. I’ve always considered myself a bit of a minimalist presentation wise, so this idea takes it to another level. I hope as we continue in the project, and especially in regard to our final presentation, we are able to stick to this minimalist style Kawasaki advocates for.

We’ve done a good job of following a MAT without even consciously realizing that was what we had been doing. Now that we understand the idea of assigning tasks based on assumptions in pursuit of milestones, it should allow our project to remain on track.

Finally, the idea of simply getting going resonates with myself. Rather than sitting around planning what to do, it’s key to just get started. With our project being so young, we have so much to be doing at any given time that simply sitting around on our hands isn’t an option if we want to succeed.



Key Partners: UPD, Paradise Village Women’s Co-op, Vice Mayor’s Office, Lehigh University

Cost Structure: Developing and transporting machines, Powering machines, Rent for space being utilized

Revenue Streams: Selling the products produced by the machines

Channels: Local markets or to companies depending on the type of product produced

Key resources: human resources (women of co-op), machines

Key Activities: Collecting Plastic waste, operating machines, maintaining machines, selling products from machine process, designing molds for new products

Value Propositions: The products produced from the machines are significantly more valuable than the inputs, the value in the products also borrows from the fact that buying the products is reducing plastic waste and at the same time supporting impoverished women

Customer Relationship: Since the women in the co-op who will vend these products will be a part of the community, the venture will have a very close relationship with its customers. The customers can feel good that they are supporting the reduction of plastic waste and the empowerment of the women in the co-op.

Customer Segments: Customer segments include potential customers who wish to make a difference in the world by using their purchasing power to reduce the plastic waste in the philippines. Additionally, another segment is those who wish to support the innovation and creativity of the women in the co-op. Lastly, the customer base will remain in the local community of Malabon, Manila, but after future success may expand to other provinces of the Philippines and eventually to a more global market.

Assumptions, Hypotheses and Contributions

By Devin Yeatter

List ten non-obvious assumptions about your target customers (or organizations) that you need to validate

  1. The women of the Paradise Village co-op have the ability to learn how to utilize the machines we are developing
  2. They will be able to innovate and develop product designs
  3. Upon developing these products, they will be able to find outlets to ensure they can manufacture them, i.e. creating or finding a way to acquire injection molds of the products
  4. The products they develop will find a market base in the Philippines
  5. Recycled products will be marketable within the Philippines
  6. The government (especially local) will be willing to cooperate and assist our project and the women’s co-op
  7. We have chosen the correct people to be present at the women’s co-op during our workshop
  8. Ramon will help us in developing our ecosystem and fleshing out our contacts
  9. Locally made products will be valued more highly
  10. We know who will be supplying the plastic waste/how we will be acquiring it

List ten hypotheses about your project that you need to test during fieldwork

  1. Dividing workshop participants into smaller groups will be more effective in teaching them
  2. Jumping right into working with the machines after a very brief introduction is the best method of teaching/knowledge acquisition
  3. The machines will work exactly as planned with minimal problems
  4. The machines can be run day and night
  5. The machines can be operated with just the women of the co-op
  6. We will be able to effectively sort the plastic waste to avoid cross contamination
  7. The goods the women will create will either be very durable or able to reenter the recycling cycle again easily
  8. The rented space for the machines will have enough electricity and be big enough to house them
  9. Creating a recycling system that is effective for one community will lead to its spread in neighboring communities
  10. The process of conducting a workshop with the women’s co-op will be different than the process of conducting a workshop in the US for college students

What do you think you bring to your team? How has your perception of your own strengths and weaknesses changed over the course of the class? Please be specific

I believe currently my experience writing proposals for grants and writing experience in general is quite helpful to the team as we begin working in earnest on our paper. In addition, as the general lead on working with the sus dev class on the completion of our ecosystem map, I believe some of the experience I have working in business environments (although less than desired) is still helpful at this juncture. I believe I bring a generally positive attitude about the project and life in general to the team, seeing the work ahead of us and knowing we have the ability to do it and do it well. This attitude can be helpful when we have great amounts of work ahead and could become discouraged at the prospect.

I believe this project has reinforced my ability to see to see the forest for the trees and look beyond the day to day tasks and towards the goal and end result being worked towards. With such an early stage project, this has become especially important. At the beginning of the project I believed myself to be good at communication within groups and above average at time management. However, this semester has seen quite a few issues arise within both of these aspects of myself as my schedule grew more full than I anticipated. My abilities within both of these aspects need to continue improving, especially with an increase in workload overall. I know I am more than able to handle all that is on my plate and I’m passionate about everything I’ve been working on, it’s just a matter of budgeting my time better and staying on top of communicating with all the other stakeholders who are invested in the work I am involved in.


IRB and Logic Model

As part of Project Plastikan, we won’t need to apply for IRB approval. We won’t be conducting research on the women of the co-op in the Philippines, instead, we’ll just be helping them develop a recycling system.

Our inputs will include the knowledge and time of all the various stakeholders in our project including the students at Lehigh and at UPD. We will also utilize materials to build the machines, in addition to plastics to run through the process.

Our outputs will reach the women’s co-op in the Philippines and the surrounding community of Malabon. The students will develop the various pieces of knowledge that come from planning and implementing various parts of the recycling project. The actual products being developed from the machines are still to be determined, but those will be our most tangible outputs. This will most likely be delivered to retailers. We intend to write a paper detailing the types of products that can be made with the machines and the best kinds of plastics to develop the products with. We will also be conducting a workshop both at Lehigh and in the Philippines which will involve disseminating knowledge to others.

Our outcomes will include the knowledge gained by all the students and the women of the community in the Philippines. In the short term, the women of the community will hopefully gain further economic stability and be able to provide for their families more. The plastic collected from the community will hopefully lead to a cleaner community overall. If this system works, we hope communities other than the one in Malabon will also begin to see the value in the program and more plastics will begin to be recycled in the Philippines, making a larger impact on the plastics problem in the country as a whole.


-Devin Yeatter

Much of the time when I get stressed out with a project or a deadline nears, my natural inclination is to recede into my own space and bubble and interact with people as little as possible. I recognize in nature, this isn’t what occurs. Rather a group will band together in times of strife and their burdens will be eased substantially. So I hope that I’ll be able to take after nature in this regard more and more. A little outside the box, watching squirrels and their pure, manic energy can often exhaust me just looking at them. I realize though, that they devote every ounce of their energy to get their task done as quickly and efficiently as possible; that, namely, is generally acquiring nuts. So rather than procrastinating, it would be much more effective to maintain a full court press when a project or problem comes up until it is completed or solved. Problems, like rushing water, often come at you fast and one after another. Beavers understand that they need to make a dam to stem the rushing tide. If I were to draw from their playbook, and try to anticipate when problems may be coming, then prepare myself to take them on, my life would be much easier down the line.

The “optimize rather than maximize” principle stuck out to me. In regards to the GSIF project, it strikes me that the Plastikan Project is fully attempting to utilize this. The women’s cooperative will quite literally be optimizing by “recycling all materials”. As a team, we’ve all realized the immense value to these women, their community, and eventually the country and world as a whole as a result of their actions. On a micro level, the women will have supplementary income which will assist in their day to day lives and help to provide for their families. Meanwhile we believe that if this project is successful, there will be a great incentive for communities all around the Philippines to take up the idea and implement it for themselves as well, helping to more substantially fight the environmental problems facing the world today.

As mentioned above, Project Plastikan is working to ensure that plastics aren’t left around our planet for thousands of years. Rather, by recycling these products we’re showing there is no endgame. Instead, each product’s end, is leading to another’s beginning. Quite literally (as we’ll have to melt and burn the plastic) these products are functioning as phoenixes. Rising from the ashes of plastic bottles, can be jewelry, chairs, and many more practical products the world consistently needs. With Plastikan, we realize that even this one women’s cooperative taking on this project, isn’t truly the end of the project. Our hope of other communities taking up the mantle and project, also ensures that instead of cradle to grave, it becomes a matter of cradle to cradle.

I was talking with a Chinese friend a couple months ago and we were discussing the philosophies of citizens in our countries. This conversation was one of the more interesting and eye-opening I’ve ever had as we presented a thought question (that has certainly seen far too many real world examples). Would we rather live under a generally repressive regime as long as our families and selves were provided for or would we fight for rights and liberty? He, and most Chinese he claims, would much rather the former, as family is so important to them. Rather than worrying about themselves, the loyalty they hold for their family keeps them from fighting. Meanwhile, I fervently believe in the alternative, and believe that most Americans would agree. Our background fighting an English regime for independence has instilled in us a love and expectation for liberty no matter the cost. In my mind, it was hard to envision why anyone would side with a repressive regime, yet with his explanation I began to understand that point of view.

In high school, I was introduced to improv comedy from a friend. He also helped me embrace the concept of “yes, and”. Rather than assuming an idea was impossible or simply disagreeing with someone else, understanding their viewpoint, agreeing with it and attempting to build on it has changed my life profoundly.

Also in high school, I wasn’t sure exactly the path I wanted to take in regards to my career and life. I knew I wanted to make a difference, and that I wanted that to eventually lead to politics, but I didn’t know the best way to get started on doing that. Then I was talking with a friend who knew he was enlisting in the army after high school and while I knew that I had no interest in enlisting, that started turning the wheels of what a life would look like with a stint in the army. That concept, led me to a day shadowing an ROTC cadet at my local university and I realized how perfect a start that would be for my adult life. Since, I haven’t looked back.


The unique aspect of the Plastikan Project is how we are starting fresh. Our project doesn’t have a history like many of the other projects being conducted by the GSIF students. Instead we are building machines and mapping our ecosystem entirely from scratch. We believe we have an idea of the five major stakeholders as of now, but along with the sustainable development class, we will continue to develop and refine our product ecosystem.

The first group of stakeholders are the students and faculty working on the project from Lehigh. Speaking on behalf of the students, we all have a desire to create tangible, positive change in the world and would like to learn in the process. We all joined GSIFs to have the chance to do this and are entirely invested in the success of the project, as we see the potential direct impact it could have to improve people’s lives. Those people are the members of the women’s cooperative that the machines will be used by in addition to their families. They comprise the second group of stakeholders. Living in the area they do, the women don’t have many chances to generate income for themselves and their families, they’re hoping to change this via this project. The third group we will be working with are the students and faculty at our partnering university in the Philippines: UPD. These students and faculty have the same motivations as we do, but have the added inspiration that this project will be assisting people within their own country. The fourth and fifth groups of stakeholders are slightly more tentative at this junction. They are the suppliers of the materials to recycle, and retailers or wholesalers of plastics at the back end. As of now the suppliers may be companies that have excess plastic they need to dispose of, and perhaps their image would benefit from donating the plastics to a group like the women’s co-op. It’s a little to early to say in regards to them. Similarly, we aren’t positive what the women will be creating with the machines, nor who would be interested in purchasing and then selling these products. We’ve considered creating bricks of plastic material that could be sold to more developed recycling plants to create different products. Meanwhile we’ve also considered making more artisanal products like chairs or jewelry and selling them to retail outlets in the Philippines.

Our project’s credibility will hopefully be exponentially enhanced in the coming semester. As mentioned previously, our status as an entirely new project puts us in a unique position. No one has heard of us because we haven’t accomplished anything yet. We intend to develop the machines fully and demonstrate that we understand how they work and their capabilities. This will likely be accomplished via a workshop/hackathon-esque event we plan to put on in the month of April, where students can come tinker with our machines and we’ll help to illustrate how they work. Connecting with the UPD team more and exchanging ideas with them will naturally validate us as well as we will show that we are considering many different avenues and willing to both offer and listen to many different opinions and approaches. We hope to get into contact with different stakeholders in the Philippines as well. Once we source our plastics and find potential retailers/wholesalers, getting into contact with them and coming to agreements will show that we have a proper ecosystem in place with a supply chain from the very bottom to the top as well.

Cultural Issues

-Devin Yeatter


There are three significant questions our team is working to answer in regards to cultural issues that will likely be of vital importance to our project. The first is learning how gender roles are perceived in the Philippines. As we are working with a women’s cooperative we are anticipating some pushback from the women’s husbands as the women begin to help provide for the household financially as well. In many cultures, the idea of machismo reigns supreme and husbands allowing their wives to help provide for the family financially may be perceived as an attack on their masculinity and ability to single-handedly provide for their families. In addition, as the women will be outside of the household more, there may be a perceived difference in how much time they are spending mothering any children they may have in addition to how clean their houses may be. The second question we would like to answer is what kinds of products will have the most value to citizens of the Philippines. Perhaps a chair is more likely to make a significant profit than jewelry, at this stage of the project we simply aren’t sure. This is why we are working to establish more of a connection with our partnering university in the Philippines, to essentially gain perspectives that we as Americans aren’t privy to. The third question is what sort of perception do Filipinos have of recycled products in general. We’ve observed that Americans will often place a premium on recycled goods as they feel they are doing a service to the environment, however we currently aren’t aware of how Filipinos look upon recycled goods themselves. We are considering the possibility they may believe recycled goods to be of inferior quality and won’t be willing to purchase them, or at the least may not be willing to pay very much for them.

Within the US, although it is less prevalent among American citizens, there is still certainly a culture of machismo. The concept of a stay-at-home Dad (like I had for a time) is often looked down upon. A wife and mother providing for her family is looked at far differently than a husband and father doing the same. Even the idea that women always need protecting is an example of machismo that women and allied males are currently trying to put to bed. Even conducting market research on products in the US often proves to be a challenge that companies are willing to pay thousands or millions of dollars to consulting firms for. Understanding our own citizens’ psychologies and consumer tendencies proves to be enough of an issue that this is the case. Many schools and towns are happy to pay somewhat of a premium to create public benches out of recycled materials rather than those made purely of new ones. This demonstrates America as a whole’s willingness to do so.

Although machismo is present in Filipino culture, due to the large importance placed on the idea of family as a whole, we have high hopes that we will be able to utilize this to our advantage in convincing the families that women should be able to work and help provide financially to the good of the whole as well. The community we are helping is said to have high amounts of litter. Filipinos also place great significance on the community as a whole as well. This can be leveraged to perhaps create campaigns to reduce littering of plastic goods, and instead give their waste directly to the recycling center. The love of many Filipinos for unique art and architecture will help when it comes to selling the products the women will create. Because each mold of plastic can be filled with many different colors of plastic, no two products will look the same.

My interest in GSIF

-Devin Yeatter


This course struck me as a chance to make real change in an area I haven’t been as involved in as I’d like in the past. Since my high school years I’ve known I want to help make a difference in the world in whatever ways I can, big or small. Helping to empower a rural community economically speaks directly to what I want to help accomplish in the future as an economic development director. Like most folks in my generation I also care about the environment, so when economic empowerment can meet with helping to start a recycling center, that’s definitely a project I would be proud to help come to fruition. The chance to travel abroad and work directly on an international project on the ground is certainly enticing to a reluctantly infrequent traveler such as myself as well.


As a political science major, I see the world in terms of issues that I could hopefully work to help solve via innovation and compromise. Yet as a college student rarely do I have the chance to actually work on those issues, even at a local level. The ability to experience direct problem solving and innovation firsthand can only help to make me both a better political science student and person as a whole. Within the class itself, I envision the presentations our groups will be giving in front of panels to be especially helpful in developing my communication skills and to improve my process of refining projects. If, as the Fellows who took part in the program last year said would occur, the panelists ask questions we as a group had never considered and essentially take us to task on our project, there’s some definite nervous apprehension. But that’s overshadowed by the excitement that brings via the realization I don’t believe I’ve truly had that honest and direct of feedback before on an ongoing project and the opportunity is promising.


As demonstrated in the video we watched in class, a population’s economic status needs to be considered when examining solutions to a problem. This is true in the case of Kenya’s eye troubles. The major issue in developing countries when public health is concerned is often a lack of information and stigma. For example, in some countries a disability such as blindness often makes a person “worthless” in the eyes of their community members they become simply another mouth to feed who can’t take care of themselves. Education therefore can make a difference in cases like that. Similarly, when a population has so few trained optometrists, educating more of the population to become optometrists must be part of the solution. 1 optometrist per 1 million people is unacceptable and unsustainable. Prices for these doctors and their treatments can’t be exorbitant so as to prevent the people who need them most from being able to utilize their services. Instead, prices must be flexible. Indeed, some work will likely have to be done pro bono as well. In terms of the materials for eyeglasses, they will need to be readily available in country for reasonable prices that won’t be too expensive for the average consumer. A manufacturing process that doesn’t break the bank would also be necessary for this to occur. Although these are simple answers to a complex question, I think they’d be a good start to helping solve the crisis in Kenya and perhaps in other developing countries with the same problem as well.