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SOCAP11 Social Entrepreneur Spotlight: Jason Aramburu re:char (Sub-Saharan Africa)

SOCAP August 29, 2011

What problem are you addressing? Why should people care?
re:char is addressing the interconnected challenges of energy scarcity, rural poverty and climate change. re:char offers a solution called biochar, a premium charcoal product made from agricultural waste. Biochar can be burned or sold as a drop-in replacement for wood charcoal, the cooking fuel of choice for millions of East Africans and leading cause of deforestation. Biochar can also be tilled into agricultural soils where it improves nutrient retention and water retention leading to improved crop yields of up to 30%. Finally, biochar has the potential to sequester up to 12% of global CO2 emissions.
While these challenges might seem limited to East Africa, they are actually pressing global problems. Worldwide, up to 1 Billion people lack access to clean forms of energy and are at great risk from the threat of climate change. As these populations grow and improve their income, their demand for energy and fertilizer will increase exponentially. The energy and fertilizer needs of BOP customers will rapidly outpace the developed world. Unless we develop and implement clean solutions, global CO2 emissions will rise further and dramatically accelerate climate change.

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