Founded in 2009, BioLite, the innovator in off-grid energy solutions, has been named as one of six companies on FORTUNE’s ‘Change the World: Ones to Watch List’ for 2019. BioLite is being recognised for its work in emerging markets with the HomeStove and SolarHome 620, two products designed to provide safe and affordable cooking, charging and lighting to families living in energy poverty.
BioLite is a social enterprise that develops, manufactures, and markets advanced energy products for off-grid communities around the world – both outdoor enthusiasts as well as rural families – and is a carbon neutral company.
BioLite CEO Jonathan Cedar commented, “Over the past ten years we’ve gone from a single prototype to reaching over half a million people in 2019 – this recognition from FORTUNE is an affirmation that we’re on the right path and it motivates us to go further, faster.”
It has been the recipient of numerous recognitions including Popular Science’s Best of What’s New, Fast Company’s Innovation by Design Awards, BusinessWeek’s Most Promising Social Enterprise and the Red Dot Design Award.
BioLite’s technologies address the health, environmental, and economic challenges of smoky, open-fire cooking and kerosene lighting. To date, BioLite has positively impacted over 515,000 people, generated nearly 382m watt hours of electricity and offset over 216,000 tonnes of CO2.
The BioLite HomeStove reduces toxic smoke emissions by 90%, uses 50% less wood and generates electricity from fire from which a mobile device or LED lights can be charged. The BioLite SolarHome 620 generates electricity from the sun, providing mobile phone charging, up to 24 hours of multi-room light and is pay-as-you-go enabled.
Of the ‘Ones to Watch’ list, FORTUNE states, ‘These smaller companies don’t have enormous reach yet, but they have made technological breakthroughs that may pave the way for much bigger achievements, and greater revenue, down the road. Just as important, each is already having an outsize influence on its communities, its customers, and the planet, and each is worth keeping an eye on.’
FORTUNE states that companies are ranked on each of four criteria for its annual ‘Change the World’ list:
- Measurable social impact: We consider the reach, nature, and durability of the company’s impact on one or more specific societal problems. This category receives particularly close attention.
- Business results: We consider the benefit the socially impactful work brings to the company. Profitability and contribution to shareholder value outweigh benefits to the company’s reputation.
- Degree of innovation: We consider how innovative the company’s effort is relative to that of others in its industry and whether other companies have followed its example.
- Corporate Integration: We consider how integral the initiative is to a company’s overall strategy, and how well that strategy is communicated through the ranks and elsewhere.
The initial solicitation and assessment of nominees is conducted in partnership with the Shared Value Initiative, a global platform for organisations seeking business solutions to social challenges, and FSG, a non-profit social impact consulting firm. A team of journalists from FORTUNE then investigates each of the candidates independently. The final list is selected and ranked by its editors, based on the magazine’s own reporting and analysis.