We look forward to sharing our sustainability report with you at the end of Q2 2020. In the meantime, we invite you to read on to learn more about how we are supporting the environment and the population in Madagascar in partnership with ADES, a non-governmental organization we have been backing over the past decade.
Contributing to a sustainable future in Madagascar
By providing financial, material, and human resources support to ADES, a humanitarian organization in Madagascar, u‑blox has been helping to reduce deforestation, improve public health, and create jobs for ten years.
Ten years of support for Madagascar
2020 will be the tenth consecutive year that ADES, the Association for the Development of Solar Energy, will benefit from the support of u‑blox. Learn more about how ADES is committed to sustainability on many different fronts.
For twenty years, ADES has been engaged in promoting environmental sustainability, public health, and job opportunities across Madagascar. With a current staff of 160 local employees, the NGO produces and distributes energy-efficient cookers powered by wood, charcoal, or solar energy. Since ADES was founded, its national network of animation teams has sold 250,000 cookers, impacting well over one million people and saving more than two million tons of CO2. Education and awareness programs have raised the consciousness of environmental issues across the country. Find out more here: www.adesolaire.org.
Our support for ADES has left a lasting impact directly contributing to over 4,000 cookers currently in use and saving each household 600 hours spent gathering firewood each year. All in all, our donations have cut the country’s CO2 emissions by 38,610 tons. In a country where 92% of the population lives on less than two US dollars per day, and 85% of the population has no access to electricity, the activities of ADES make a big difference.
Recognizing the positive outcome of this longstanding partnership, we decided to step up our involvement. In 2019, we made a donation that made it possible to plant 2,500 trees and guarantee their survival for three years.
Over time, Madagascar has suffered enormous deforestation, largely due to demand for firewood. Swiss non-governmental organization ADES has been working on the island for almost 20 years, running programs to tackle this pressing issue.
u‑blox is a proud supporter. Through our uGive program, we donate money for every hour that our employees volunteer for non-profit organizations. Herbert Blaser, Head of the Product Center Short Range Radio, continues the story: “The work ADES does, including its environmental awareness and reforestation programs, is making a real difference to the people in Madagascar. I have been a volunteer for ADES since u‑blox became involved ten years ago. ADES stands out as an extremely efficient NGO. For every Franc donated, two Francs are spent in Madagascar, made possible thanks to the sales of CO2 certificates.”
“The flagship ADES program – the production and sales of energy-efficient cooking stoves – has engineering at its heart, and I’m delighted to have joined the organization’s board three years ago.
It is amazing to see what ADES has become - a recognized brand and a highly respected employer. We live such privileged lives here. That is why it is so great that u‑blox has been supporting ADES for so long, through donations, and through uGive. I’m really excited about what we can achieve with ADES over the coming years.”
Conservation researchers have found that over the course of the past 70 years, Madagascar as lost 44% of its natural forests. Not only that, most forested areas that survive to this day are heavily fragmented. Forests which provide a vital habitat for Madagascar’s many endemic species of wildlife, and are a critical component of the island’s ecosystem, are threatened by slash-and-burn agriculture, illegal logging, and domestic demand for firewood.
To reverse this trend, ADES runs several reforestation projects to increase the island nation’s forest cover. In 2019, a donation by u‑blox led to 2,500 trees being planted, reforesting a large surface area.
Selling cooking stoves with a pinch of IoT / Fleet management for a good cause
ADES cooking stoves are renowned for the dramatic improvements they offer to households that adopt them. They cut the amount of firewood needed (coal 50%, wood up to 70%) to prepare a meal in half, saving time and money. By burning wood more efficiently, they reduce the amount of smoke people, in particular women and children, are exposed to. Because they end up paying for themselves, the stoves have become immensely popular wherever they are sold.
In a country with around 60% of its population living in rural, and often very remote areas, getting the stoves to the villages and finding an opportunity to present how and why they make such a difference, can be quite challenging. ADES solved this problem in 2017 in the form of a sales platform on wheels. Since then, an ADES promotion truck has been touring the country, going from one village market to the next.
Today, ADES operates a fleet of vehicles that are often on the road for weeks at a time. With no real-time visibility on where each vehicle is located or what route they have taken, optimizing logistics and transportation capacity was becoming increasingly difficult.
To help ADES headquarters track their vehicles u‑blox donated vehicle trackers. The selected trackers, which feature u‑blox cellular and positioning products and offer a French-language tracking application, are produced by Geotab, based in Canada. In addition to the hardware, u‑blox has pledged to cover the yearly fees required to operate the devices.