MECS is delighted to share that the programme has been shortlisted as a finalist for the ‘Research with Impact – Institution’ category for the Green Gown Awards UK & Ireland 2021. This Awards was established in 2004 with the aim to recognise the exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities and colleges. With sustainability moving up the agenda, the Awards have become established as the most prestigious recognition of best practice within the further and higher education sector. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the Awards has received a great number of applicants this year showcasing the sector’s fantastic sustainability initiatives and projects. MECS is therefore proud to have made through to the final round.
This is a recognition of the important work the MECS programme, led by Loughborough University, and our partners are doing in generating evidence that it is transforming the debate on clean cooking by promoting an alternative, clean and affordable solution to reach the 4 billion people without access to modern cooking energy. Our work contributes to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 7 of ensuring “access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all” and “universal access to modern energy cooking services”.
More specifically, the programme has led to following environment and social impacts:
Environmental: Scaling up the access to modern energy cooking services through research and innovation has led to the reduction of carbon emissions related to biomass cooking. New innovations such as the use of metered carbon monitoring for energy-efficient cooking appliances, in collaboration with ClimateCare, has the potential to contribute to this end.
Social/Gender equality: Empowering women through the transition to clean cooking is integral to MECS activities. For example, an electric cooking (eCooking) project led by MECS-LEIA Challenge Fund awardee EarthSpark in Haiti has resulted in positive changes to the day-to-day lives of women through reducing the time burden associated with traditional biomass-based cooking practices, freeing up time to spend with family, self-care, income generation and other household chores.
Technological: The programme has invested in innovations in business and market development and products including through the Challenge Fund. Examples of these technologies include the eCooking Power Stations developed by CREST, offering a cost-efficient solution to communities to shift from biomass to eCooking on a meal-by-meal basis. The recently published Global LEAP Awards for Electric Pressure Cookers, funded by MECS and CLASP, will contribute towards more innovative solutions to scale the global eCooking market across Africa and Asia.
The winners of the Green Gown Awards will be announced at the Awards Ceremony taking place in November 2021.