Drinking tap water instead of bottled water makes sense and a difference. Here you will find a summary of the most important arguments as to why exactly – featured by a tip: tap e.V., a Berlin-based association that does strong work for tap water consumption. A tip: tap offers educational and counselling services ranging from day-care centre visits to assistance for businesses. They create new public drinking places together with the water suppliers of Wasserwende, but also by winning cooperators for new refill stations. And last but not least, they are a strong voice through their public relations and lobbying work.

That is why we at Panterito have decided to become a funding partner of the associationin addition to the project funding of Wasserwende. This is particularly important, among other things, because a tip: tap has to make a contribution of its own in order to receive public funding for its projects. Each donated euro can thus be increased tenfold on average.

What do they intend to do with it? The new edition and further development of their project Wasserwende. In this way, the association will spread its work further beyond Berlin and offer regional initiatives tools and assistance in adopting the tried and tested concepts that work. You can find out more about the interim status and outlook for Wasserwende, as well as many direct links to what a tip: tap has to offer, here.

The “Wasserwende” (water transition) project was launched in May 2019. Two thirds of the project’s duration are now behind the team of a tip: tap e.V.. Time for a look at what has happened since then.

Tap water is climate protection

It all started with a water neighbourhood in Berlin Kreuzberg in 2017. This model project was to be rolled out nationwide at 12 locations with educational offers, public drinking places, on-site actions and support for the activities in social media. And just when things were about to really get going… Corona came. A big setback, because the “Wasserwende” was especially designed for personal contact with people. No visits to schools and daycare centres were possible, no information stands, shops were closed, companies were in their home offices, and the construction of public drinking fountains was out of the question for the time being. a tip: tap didn’t let it get them down, but reoriented itself in large parts:

 

“The Corona pandemic has made us focus our project activities more on digital communication media. This has also opened up a lot of new perspectives and opportunities to get people excited about tap water.”

 Lisa, communications manager at a tip: tap

 

The new concepts are a complete success and the goals set by the “Wasserwende” team are expected to be just missed in some cases at the end of the project – but also exceeded in others.

 

Interim status of the “Wasserwende” in figures (as of the end of May 2021)

  • 14 new water districts (project goal 12)
  • 167 new drinking locations (project goal 500)
  • 79 companies awarded as tap water friendly (project goal 50)
  • 106 education and counselling events (project goal 264)
  • 241 media coverages (project goal 55)

And: their follower numbers on social media have increased extremely. The message that tap water is climate protection is getting through. In particular, the charming photo campaign #Leitungswasserliebe (Tap Water Love) for World Water Day this year was a success with a great response. More than 300 people and organisations participated – we at Panterito also showed our tap water love, of course.

 

Wasserwende goes Franchise

It is already clear that the functioning concept of Wasserwende will be continued beyond these first three years and that further water quarters will be developed. However, there will be slight modifications. Two further Water Quarters have already been launched in a new partnership model, in which the activities on site are implemented independently by the partners: Cologne-Nippes with Rheinenergie and Freiburg-Waldsee with RegioWasser, badenova and Parents for Future Freiburg.

 

Getting thirsty? 

Everyone can be part of the “Wasserwende”. Besides reaching for the tap, there are big and small things to do:

Tap water at work?

It makes sense to make the switch especially where there is a lot of drinking. Get advice on options, cost savings and steps to think about.

You already drink tap water in the office? Then let a tip: tap label you as tap water friendly, like soon 100 other organisations.

Inspire and inform

Follow a tip: tap on social media and participate, for example, in the current campaign #trinkdensommer (drink the summer) on the tastiest tap water recipes for summer. You can already find a collection of delicious summer drinks under the hashtag or on the campaign page

Get involved

You can get involved in the project and the association in various ways. a tip: tap is looking forward to hearing from you: wasserwende@atiptap.org

 

8 of many more tap water love affirmations to be found in the a tip: tap gallery

The latest IPCC report has underlined it once again: We must achieve a clear change of direction in order not to miss the 2 degree target as well – and we must do it now.
The message of the campain The Climate Bet is that we as a society are ready to do this. Together with a wide variety of actors, the goal is to achieve a saving of one million tonnes of CO2 by the UN Climate Conference in Glasgow at the end of October. Participants can be private individuals as well as companies or municipalities – and not only in Germany.

It can be neutralised through various selected projects for the current CO2 price of 25€ per tonne. But you can also actively save it yourself through various easily realisable measures. It is worth taking a look just for the classification of the measures: What CO2 price tag is attached to changing one’s bank account or the tyres on one’s car?

The initiative has just cracked the first 10,000 tonnes. Is the million still realistic then? No matter, the important thing is that the sign in the direction of politics has as many exclamation marks as possible. That’s why Panterito is on board! Are you with us?

By the way, the campaign is supported by the small association 3 Fürs Klima e.V. and backed by the Federal Environment Agency and countless other organisations and individuals.

https://www.dieklimawette.de/1ZTN1LEV

Since mid-May, Panterito is now member No. 3323 of The Generation Forest cooperative. Unlike the Remscheid forest cooperative, it is not active in Germany, but in Panama – what they have in common is the goal of creating healthy, species-rich commercial forests and managing them sustainably. At The Generation Forest, the focus is on climate impact alongside biodiversity. In tropical areas, the potential impact is much greater, as plants grow much faster and costs are lower than in Germany. But let´s start at the beginning.

The story behind the organization

In 1994, Iliana Armièn, a forestry engineer, and Andras Eke, a forestry investment expert, founded Futuro Forestal. The business objective of the Panamanian company is the reforestation of fallow land or pastureland into species-rich mixed forest. The money for this comes from investors, because precious woods are also planted, which are removed after about 20 years, sold and replanted. The project is thus self-financing and generates interest for the investors. This makes Futuro Forestal a pioneer in impact investment for tropical forestry and solves two problems at once:

  1. How can reforestation and forest protection be financed in the long term?
  2. The forest maintains a value for the people. It creates jobs and thus alternatives to agricultural forms such as soybean cultivation or cattle breeding, which compete with forest protection.

Responsible for marketing the forest investment in Germany is Forest Finance – until 2008. After that, the two companies go separate ways: Forest Finance takes over the entire individual customer business, including land management. While Futuro Forestal concentrates on forestry services, institutional clients and strategic partnerships. The company expands to Nicaragua and reorganizes itself according to sustainability criteria (social business and B-Corp certificate). To this end, the non-profit Generation Forest Foundation is established, into which all company profits flow. In order to offer again small investors an opportunity to participate, a cooperative is founded – initially under the name Waldmenschen (ger. for woodland people), later renamed The Generation Forest.

Slow finance and a generational forest

So, behind the cooperative are the pioneers of forest investment and near-natural reforestation in Central America. In a way, the cooperative model fits better to this concept than a pure investment, because you have to have staying power due to the long-term perspective: First profits are expected from 2040 on. A tree needs time to grow and becoming a forest cooperative member is an investment in the future and for the coming generation – climate change issues reverse. Nevertheless, it remains an investment: The value of a share is continuously increasing and an average annual return of 4.5% is calculated – over 100 years. This is because the development of the value of the forest is not linear by nature, because logically the harvests cannot be made from the beginning. Larger distributions are due after 50+ years.

Based on reforestation to date, this forecast of distributions for the next 100 years is the result.
Image source: The Generation Forest

That requires trust. Slow Finance is what The Generation Forest calls it, and it works. When ARD featured the organization in January 2021, there was another strong influx of members, says Sales Manager Lukas Mörchen. In the meantime, The Generation Forest owns and manages 7 areas with a total of 374 ha for 3209 members (as of May 2021).

In return, the result is not a plantation, but a forest that has been independently inspected and found to be of ecological value. Per cooperative share (1,369 € corresponds to 500 m2 area) 0.7 t CO2 are bound annually. The development of the fallow pasture areas or former monoculture plantations can be easily followed on the project pages of the cooperative. Approximately 800 trees are planted per hectare – this is less than in many other reforestation projects. This leaves room for further generations to spread naturally or be replanted. In the end, there are more than 12,000 trees of various ages on one hectare – and here it is again, the generational forest.

The dots are holes where the seedlings are placed. Preparation for planting on La Ponderosa.

The rights to the images used are held by The Generation Forest.

Interview with Pam Haigh, UK General Manager of Ripple Africa

For seven years Pam Haigh has worked for Ripple Africa as one of five members of the small team based in the UK – three paid employees and the two founders. The rest of the “family”, as Pam calls them, is the 142-member operating team in Malawi. The story of Ripple Africa goes back almost 20 years to when the founders, Geoff and Liz Furber, were travelling around Africa and a wrong turn led to its creation:

 

The record of the interview was actually not meant to be published. But it’s so much nicer to hear Pam tell the stories than only to read the shortened version, so I highly recommend you to listen to the audio on our project page (if you can stand my uhms). 

 

Panterito (Kristina Huch): What was the motivation of Ripple Africa when it started and so what is the aim of the organization? 

Pam Haigh: It’s really interesting actually, because Geoff is a businessman. He has never been involved with charities until he founded Ripple Africa. He and his wife were travelling around Africa, and were in Malawi trying to find their way for a lodge to stay for the night – and they got lost. Somebody said, `it’s getting dark, there is something down the road, why don’t you go down there´. They arrived in the dark, it was literally on the shores of Lake Malawi and when they woke up the following morning, and saw the beauty of where they were, they were completely bowled away. And they discovered that this lodge was actually for sale. So, on a whim almost, they decided to buy it. But the owner had an existing arrangement with local schools for teachers to come and volunteer. And they said, `we’d like to honour that and therefore we better set up a charity so that we could do it properly´.

So, when we started up, we were really only supporting a few local primary schools. And then – as happens with most of the projects we do – you start talking to the local people, and you discover that actually there’s no secondary school within easy walking distance. And so therefore we built a secondary school, which we handed over to the government. And we then thought, there are no government preschools. So we now run eight preschools.

We then supported some of the health clinics. From there we started talking to some of the people and discovered that a lot of the issues they have are environmental issues. And so over the years we’ve become much more an environmental charity, and we mainly do that on a very large scale. But we’re still supporting the local community near our base in Nkhata Bay District. So it’s very much a mixture of different types of projects. But that makes the job so much more interesting and so much more fun.

 

 

So, it’s a very big focus on community work, and you already mentioned some advantages, being able of having so many facets of projects. What are other advantages of this approach, and perhaps what are problems? 

Every time we go over there we are usually approached by people who say `we need help with this, we need help with that´ and it’s very easy to get sucked into too many different areas and we have to be very focused, because that would take our focus to far away from the main things that we’re doing.

But because of the way we’ve grown we have got to know all levels of the community very well, so we work with everybody from the district governance people right the way down to individual villagers. And by involving all of them in everything we do, you get the buy-in of the people that really are able to help you make your projects work. And that I think strengthens what we do because we’re able then to really identify what are the real problems that are affecting people.

And our strength I think is that we come up with cost-effective and simple solutions based on what people can actually do themselves. For example our cook stoves project: we know an awful lot of organizations in Malawi who give a metal cook stove to a household and say, `there’s your cook stove and that’s gonna save you wood´. And they then walk away because most funding from organizations is only for one or two years. And often the cook stove will break or the householder will forget how to use it, and so they’ll put it to one side and go back to their traditional way of cooking on a big three stone fire, which uses huge pieces of wood.

Whereas the way we work is we sit down, and we say, `okay, what are you going to cook and how are you going to cook it and what’s important to you and let’s design something together and let’s design it out of local materials. Let’s help you to build it rather than us give you something. This is going to be yours, and you’re going to have ownership of it.

 

Is this what you call a charity run like a business? 

Yeah, very much so. I think a lot of charities start with the very best of intentions but don’t operate in a business-like way. So a lot of aid-funding I think is wasted. If you have a product, and you are selling a product to a customer, you have to deliver that product and the customer has to be happy with it. Then everybody is fine. But a lot of aid organizations don’t involve people in the decision-making, so it isn’t a product that they want or understand. And I think that’s the difference with us than a lot of organizations. And it means that we can do a huge amount for quite a small amount of money really.

 

Don’t you get problems because the effort of supporting the communities for such a long time means ongoing cost for staff?

Yeah, absolutely. And that is a problem with our funding. Because as I said before a lot of aid funding is only for one or two years. You know, we had some fantastic support from some very big trusts and foundations, but they sort of expect that after a year the problem is solved. And that patently isn’t the case.

And I think there has been a problem with a lot of organizations almost bribing people to do things. For example, we went to one particular area up in the hills around where we are with the cook stove project, and we said, `this is the cook stove, that is what we want to do´ and talked to them about it, and they said, `well, where are our free pots and pans?´ and we said, `what do you mean?´ and they said, `somebody came the other week, and they were going to give us free pots and pans with their cook stove, where are ours?´. And we said: We don’t do that. You know what you’re benefitting from is you gonna have trees on the hills around where you live rather than cut them all down for the wood. And you’ll going to save time, because you don’t have to collect all the wood. And that I think is one of the big issues really – there is an expectation that things will be given for free without them to actually invest anything themselves. And we’re trying to change that mindset really.

 

I have another question going in this direction. We want in our next report to include a failure report. So thinking about what did not work, identify the problems and then try to do better the next time. Could you name problems for Ripple Africa and perhaps not only for the stage you’re in now but also for earlier stages?

One of the things we are very strong about as an organization is admitting when things go wrong. One of the things that we found with the people we are working with in Malawi is they like to say yes all the time, and they like to satisfy you, and they don’t want to say anything that they think is going to upset you. So we started off by going in and saying, `how are things going?´ and they said, `oh, everything is fine´. And then we weren’t seeing that in the results that we were getting. And we’ve had to actually almost change the culture in encouraging people to admit when they’ve made a mistake and then learn from it and change what they do.

One example is when we started our Changu Changu Moto cook stove project, we wanted to have people based in local villages who are going to be coordinators who could help the householders to introduce the stoves and learn how to use them. And so we approached the local chief and said, `can you suggest a person in your village?´. And because there’s not very much employment, they were suggesting mainly young men. Now the problem with that is, a young man doesn’t do the cooking so doesn’t understand how women cook. He has just watched it from a distance and then eaten the food. So we weren’t getting that relationship building that we really needed. And we completely changed the way we did things: When we started to go into new villages we said, `can you introduce me to a woman that everybody has respect for?´. And then we went and worked with her, and she then became almost champion of the new way of cooking. But you only learn things like that by doing it wrong in the first place.

 

Another big problem for us all at the moment: How is Covid changing your work?

Well it’s really interesting actually, because we thought it would have a much more devastating effect than it actually has. Luckily, Malawi has had much fewer cases and I think it’s basically because first of all they have a much younger population – over 50% of the population is under the age of 18. And also they were very good at shutting down all the borders very quickly. But they are now seeing a spike in cases because of the South African variant, because a lot of Malawians travel to South Africa to earn money for their families. And they’ve come back into the country and brought the disease with them.

But Malawi doesn’t have any sort of social security system. So if people aren’t working, they starve. And so most business has carried on. And we’ve done quite a lot of work with our conservation volunteers to help spread the message about the importance of handwashing and social distancing and how to recognize the symptoms and what to do then. And mask-wearing in public is compulsory, but obviously unless you’re spotted, you get away with it. But we ask all our staff and volunteers to set a good example by wearing their masks.

But one of the interesting things is that when we started talking to the district council about Covid, one of the things we discovered  – which we didn’t realize – is how many broken boreholes there are. I think just in our district alone there were about 800 broken boreholes. Which meant that the boreholes working had a lot more pressure on them. Each borehole is on average used by 150 different people. So if you think the three around you are all broken then all of those people are using one, which exacerbates the problems of infection being spread.

So we’ve actually now moved into repairing boreholes. Which is a project that we would never have been involved in before Covid. Actually all we’re doing is providing the funding for the spare parts and the transport. Because the District Council has a team of maintenance people, whose job it is to repair boreholes, but they don’t have the money to actually buy the spare parts.

And we are now discovering that none of our local hospitals have oxygen facilities. So we have now managed to raise some funds to supply our local hospital and clinics with oxygen concentration machines which hopefully will not only help them with Covid but also for years to come. So it’s been an opportunity as well as a tragedy for us.

Panterito supports via One Crew | One Tree the planting project of Ripple Africa via One Crew | One Tree.

Read more on our project page >

The program for fuel-efficient cook stoves, Pam mentioned several times, is also approved as carbon offsetting project by the UN. So perhaps you keep it in mind as an option for the next offsetting you want to make.  

2020 is now behind us. Time to take stock. No, I don’t mean Corona, but my carbon footprint. At some point I had started offsetting my air travel, in the meantime I buy my household of three free. To do that, you can just go to one of the sites Google suggests. Or you can give it three more thoughts and see what’s available.

 

On what we´re taking a look here:

  • How to calculate my emissions?
  • What am I acutally buying, when I offset?
  • In which ways can be compensated and which projects are particularly useful?
  • Impact investment as an alternative

Note: Some Links forward to pages only available in german, marked with (GER).

 


How can I calculate my emissions?

According to the latest figures from the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA), the German average is 11.17 t CO2e – this will certainly go down a bit in 2020 thanks to the elimination of vacation flights and significantly reduced mobility. However, in order to find out more about one’s own footprint, it is worthwhile to make a more precise calculation. One recommendation is the calculator of the Federal Envirnoment Agency (UBA, only GER), which on the one hand is very detailed and yet can be completed in no more than 10 minutes, either with exact data or averages. What comes out is an orientation (each calculator will spit out a different total, it depends strongly on the methodology), but a solid orientation.

Results page CO2 calculator Federal Environment Agency

 


What am I actually buying?

Offsetting or compensation simply means that I pay money for someone else to save or bind the emissions that I have caused. There are various options for how this is implemented and guaranteed.

The most common in the private sector are Verified Emission Reductions (VERs): emission reductions that have been verified by an independent body according to a certain standard. The UBA´s very detailed brochure on voluntary emissions (GER) summarizes all the important questions and answers.

In addition, there is the so-called commitment market, where only emission reductions certified under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Joint Implementation (JI) under the Kyoto Protocol are permitted. Individuals can also donate to projects directly through the UN without any intermediary costs. Despite seemingly higher-quality certification, their quality is not without controversy (GER). In addition to traded emission reductions, there are also emission rights in the commitment market. The EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) is the first cross-border and largest in the world. As the name suggests, it is not about reductions, but about emission rights for the largest emitters, the volume of which is limited and continuously scarce. If a certificate is now purchased and cancelled without the emissions being emitted, defacto one ton less must be emitted. The startup ForTomorrow is based on this principle.

And, of course, there are also offers that are not officially certified or verified. They are not in principle less trustworthy, because as with all seals: It is usually (especially initially) associated with high costs for the projects. I know of several initiatives that simply have their reduction calculations approved by a competent party and offer them directly.

 


How can offsetting be done and which projects are particularly useful?

ClimatePartner clearly breaks down the options into three areas:

⚡ Green Energy
any form of replacement of fossil or nuclear energy with sustainable energy sources

🌳 Nature Based Solutions
Forest conservation, reforestation, blue carbon, agriculture

🔥 Social Impact
Fuel-efficient cookstoves, Clean drinking water, Small-scale biogas plants

The respective approaches are highly controversial. For example, atmosfair, which is certainly the best-known provider in Germany, does not offer any planting projects.

I would like to highlight two project areas in particular: Forest Conservation and Clean Cookstoves.

 


Forest Conservation

We are convinced that projects work especially if they are economically viable. This may be the case for most of the emission reduction options mentioned above – but not for forest conservation at present (this is precisely where REDD+ comes in). It is dependent on external financial support. At the same time, existing virgin forests provide many environmental services in addition to their value as CO2 reservoirs, and their destruction is irretrievable once a certain level of destruction is reached. This makes forest protection projects particularly sensible in my eyes.

However, it is not easy to find forest protection projects as a direct compensation offer. I know it for companies (e.g. via ClimatePartner) and otherwise only indirectly: as a donation for rainforest protection projects without specifying an associated offsetting (e.g. NABU (GER), Rainforest Rescue oder Oro Verde (GER)) or else in the form of planting projects designed to reduce pressure on forests (e.g. fairventures).

Fog over landscape in panama

Landscape in Panama

 


Fuel-efficient cookstoves

Around half of the world’s population cooks at home using solid fuels such as wood, charcoal or agricultural waste. On the one hand, this leads to increasing deforestation in many regions; on the other hand, the WHO estimates that almost 4 million people die each year as a result of exposure to household air pollution. AAccording to computer models, the world’s most common infectious disease, malaria, accounted for 1.8 million deaths in 2004.

Changu Changu Moto cookstove from Ripple Africa in use

The long-term goal, of course, must be to use fuels that burn cleanly and conserve resources, such as biogas or solar energy. An intermediate step is cookstoves that require less energy and are lower in smoke. This is where certification makes double sense, because I keep hearing about projects that fail as soon as the support goes away. The annual spot checks mean that the projects are continuously monitored. Ripple Africa, who work in the north of Malawi, need virtually no money for their clay stoves – it all flows into the community managers and so an extremely high level of stability can be achieved (also UN-certified).

 

 


Impact investment as an alternative

An alternative to buying free is the investment of companies that implement reduction projects economically. The advantage here is, on the one hand, that the problem of the failure of the projects after the financial support has dried up is eliminated by the economic action. And on the other hand, of course, that the money was not donated once, but – hopefully – invested profitably. Two examples:

  • Africa GreenTec builds and operates off-grid solar systems in eastern sub-Saharan Africa. In doing so, they replace diesel generators and enable SMEs to emerge and scale up. For scaling and further innovation of their solution, the company awards shares in the crowdfunding model. 250 € investment saves about 70 kg CO2e per year with a 20-year guarantee, according to the company (GER). Offsetting 10 t CO2e thus requires an investment of €1,800 – but with CO2 credit for 20 years.
  • enyway works similar to fairventures with fast growing plantations in Indonesia, but offers a participation of 4,25%. 140 € investment compensate one ton each for 5 years. Correspondingly, for 1,400 € one compensates 10 t CO2e for five years.

At betterplace and bettervest, there are many other ways to directly support small and large projects. However, you have to look closely here: At bettervest, for example, you can find the company burn, , which produces energy-efficient cook stoves in Kenya and is also represented in the ClimatePartner portfolio I.e. via a loan to burn it is possible to earn money from the sale of the VERs – but then of course the neutral position is missing, which was sold on.

 

Author: Kristina Huch

The Panterito Foundation celebrates its anniversary. 10 years or 3,653 days – our panter can now look back on a small history that can be roughly divided into three phases:

2010-2016

The impetus for the foundation was the desire of founder Simon Stürtz to create something lasting and to become actively involved in forest protection in particular. The reforestation project in Panama, which was subsequently financed as the first project of Panterito, has grown over time to 6.5 hectares. Parallel to the forest theme, with Local Soda the first project in the field of water, more precisely: promotion of tap water consumption, was realized.

2017-2018

Reforestation activities in Panama were to be significantly expanded. Due to setbacks in the search for partners on site and for personnel reasons, the preparation for the large-scale project slipped over into a brief phase of inactivity.

2019-2020

In 2019, the foundation became active again with a slightly expanded team and laid the first foundations for the new construction. Two more projects in the forest-section, connected in the program One Crew | One Tree, as well as the funding partnership of the ´Wasserwende´ (water transition) have been added. Currently, we are working on the next step: to start a self-initiated project again after several project sponsorships.

What has not changed in the ten years is the decision to remain a small organization with a small, close-knit team and direct links that does not want to be overfomalized and -bureaucratized. At the same time, this is exactly the reason why things sometimes don’t move as fast as we would like, as volunteer time capacities are simply limited. Corona Year 2020 has meant additional time constraints for our team.

Therefore, what we are giving Panterito first and foremost as a birthday present is that the next annual report should also include a ‘failure report’. The logical next step after joining the Transparent Civil Society Initiative this year, with the aim of identifying (especially structural and procedural) traps, making them transparent and ensuring further development.

And we hope the second birthday present will follow at the beginning of next year – all the groundwork for the project has already been laid, but we have decided not to push it through on schedule, but to give it the time it needs. If you can look back on ten years, you can also wait another month ;O)

Happy birthday, Panterito!

Most of us will buy Christmas presents. And very many of us will do so online during this time. A small detour makes it possible to create added value:

Who goes from the portal WeCanHelp to the respective onlineshop, generates automatically donations for a non-profit organization of her or his choice. More than 6,000 online stores – including most of the big ones – are involved, so there is a high probability that the shop where you want to buy something is listed there. The donation is comparable to the referral bonus if you click on recommendations in a blog. The amount varies depending on the store and the purchase price, but averages out at 6%, which is quite a lot when we think of the sales that come together during the Christmas business. Everyone should decide for themselves when the little detour is worthwhile.

There are no additional costs this way. You do not have to register. I did not have to block any advertising blockers during my test. And there are many organizations to choose from, both the big ones like WWF and Oxfam and most likely the gymnastics club or the local red cross association around your corner.

Just a little warning: The site is unfortunately infinitely ugly, but since you don´t want to stay there…*

Instruction:
– Click on the link above (Panterito is already preselected)
– Find the online store where you want to shop, select it and shop normally. The only condition: the shopping cart must not be filled before, but that is clear…

We would be happy if you remember that when buying your christmas presents and take the small detour!

 

*Maybe a worthwhile task for a frontend designer in short-time work… Do you know one?

We have joined Transparency Germany´s Initiative Transparente Zivilgesellschaft (initiative Transparent Civil Society) and are now publishing basic information about our work. Why? Because openness is the cornerstone of every good relationship.

Civil society organizations are tax-advantaged if they benefit society, i.e. if they are charitable. In order to maintain this privileged status, reports must be made at regular intervals – but only to the relevant authority or tax office. There is no obligation to make basic information such as funding and activities of the organizations available to the public.

Because this endangers the credibility of NGOs, Transparency Germany launched the Initiative Transparente Zivilgesellschaft in 2010. Signatories of the initiative publish standardized information such as statutes, source and use of funds, activity report, personnel structure and responsible persons – and keep it up-to-date. The requirements are deliberately kept low in order to make the additional effort manageable and also to avoid putting obstacles in the way of small organizations. Larger organizations are explicitly requested to provide more detailed information.

It is important to note that the ITZ logo does not guarantee the accuracy of the information provided, as no checks are made, nor does it say anything about whether the funds are being used in accordance with the statutes and in a responsible manner. Rather, it is a sign of openness and willingness to communicate, because the interested public can inform itself and ask questions – if these are not answered and information is corrected if necessary, the logo can be withdrawn.

> Go to our transparency page

Driving forward the energy transition, creating infrastructure as foundation for value creation, fighting the causes of migration – and earning money with it. Africa GreenTec combines all these aspects and invites you to participate in its (social) enterprise through crowdfunding. Panterito followed the call and therefore presents the work and goals of the company.

Core are the Solartainers: Plug & Play solar systems – PV panels with a total of 50 kWp plus battery – in containers. They bring electricity to areas in sub-Saharan Africa that are not connected to a public grid. Africa GreenTec is mainly active in Mali and Niger, plants in Senegal are currently in preparation. These countries are at the lower end of the Human Development Index and have to struggle with political instability and strong influence of terrorist groups. The difficult situation in particular means that a large impact is achieved if the project is successfully implemented.

Impact_Site_Foh_Mali.jpg

The cost of purchasing solar power from Africa GreenTec is significantly lower than the cost of diesel and is therefore attractive for everyone. However, the company mainly targets companies, small and medium-sized enterprises, which can be founded or increase their productivity through the new possibilities. The handicraft business, which can now use a welding machine with 3 kW. The Internet café, which benefits from the supplied connection to the worldwide web. These medium-sized businesses create added value, growth and jobs. Africa GreenTec empowers them and thus, in its secondary effect, also helps to fight poverty and migration. The Social Business presents their SDG impact on the website. But it explicitly does not want to be seen as a development aid organization:

“Africa GreenTec does not position itself as a charity organization, but we demand money for our services. This means that in Mali and Niger we sell electricity, Internet access and cooling systems, and people have to pay money for them – a fair price that is significantly lower than what they have to spend on diesel. But we have been living this partnership at eye level, which is often propagated in politics, right from the start.”

Torsten Schreiber, founder and CEO (interview only available in german)

20 plants with 5-7 km of power grids each supply already nearly 25,000 people with electricity almost around the clock. According to the company, its real expertise lies in the planning, control, measurement and operation of the island networks in the extreme regions. Technically, they are far ahead with smart meters that can be configured flexibly by remote access. Africa GreenTec thus offers exactly the know-how and technology that, according to a World Bank study, is needed for the upcoming expansion of off-grid systems. The study states a worldwide demand for 210,000 minigrids – in mid-2019, around 5,500 were either built or in planning in Africa, and the trend is rising rapidly. There are already agreements with Niger for a further 50 plants. Overall, 600 million people in sub-Saharan Africa still have no access to electricity.

For this coming scaling up capital is needed. From Torsten Schreiber’s story, the crowdfunding approach is obvious (this is how he and his wife Aida came up with the idea for Africa GreenTec → an unforeseen detour and a story worth hearing, for example, here (only available in german)). The campaign started in May. According to the current status, 284 investors have contributed 650,000 €. Still room for increasing and the campaign duration is unlimited. For your investment you receive profit participation rights and thus you participate directly in the growing value of the company and the balance sheet profit. You just have to have a little patience. A sale of the profit participation rights is possible in 2035 at the earliest – unless there occours an exit event.

In order to spread the idea as widely as possible, Africa GreenTec is engaged in very active communication: Torsten Schreiber seems to jump from interview to interview. But also the company’s facebook and linkedIn channels regularly offer interesting background information even beyond the scope of the company’s own projects. Both worth a glance.

pictures: Africa GreenTec