For years Gladys Rafaela Martínez had been using gas and charcoal as fuel for cooking causing household pollution that was bad for health. In Paraguay, these solid fuels were even more costly than electric power, which is particularly affordable there. Now, thanks to an innovative financing product offered by her financial institution, Fundación Paraguaya, she has been able to buy a much more efficient and safer induction stove.
This green product from the Fundación Paraguaya was introduced as part of an energy efficient project financed through the Inter-American Development Bank EcoMicro program and implemented by a consortium composed of Canadian firms Econoler and Développement international Desjardins (DID).
Working together, Econoler and DID
- conducted an in-depth market study with several groups of women and suppliers,
- designed a credit product facilitating the purchase of environmentally friendly technology,
- trained staff at the Fundación Paraguaya, and
- provided operational support throughout the project’s pilot phase.
Through this initiative, the Fundación Paraguaya is greatly facilitating the transition to induction cooking by
- taking charge of finding a reliable supplier and negotiating a preferred price for their clients along with a guarantee on the equipment,
- providing its clients with all the necessary information on how to use induction cooking and its advantages while ensuring clients have the means to repay their loans, and
- combining the loan and purchase of an induction stove along with compatible cooking utensils into a single step.
By the end of the pilot project, 383 women had turned to induction cooking. As a result, they reduced their environmental footprint and preserved the health and the security of their families while saving substantial amounts of money.
Results of this pilot project: Annual savings of 83 million Paraguayan guarani, or nearly CAN $20,000 along with a decrease of 75 metric tons of CO2 emissions - equal to taking 14 automobiles off the roads!
In addition to these undeniable advantages, Gladys Rafaela Martínez emphasizes that the new stove saves her a lot of precious time.
The success of the pilot project is a good sign for deploying the initiative throughout the country. That project will be delivered through the 27 branch offices of the Fundación Paraguaya serving 193 municipalities in Paraguay and reaching a client base of 86,000 clients (87 percent of whom are women).
The technical support delivered to the Fundación Paraguaya by Econoler and DID also allowed the institution to establish an internal environmental policy and integrate an environmental risk management system related to all the loans issued. This will help the Fundación Paraguaya direct and organize the action it is taking to improve its environmental performance while assisting its clients, both women and men, better deal with climate change.