The first quarter has ended and we keep working to achieve our goal of impacting 250,000 farmers in 2023; therefore, we are pleased to share our Q1-2023 highlights.
- Our 2022 Annual Report is available now
- Female Empowerment! Our LATAM and East Africa Directors are among the most influential businesswomen
- Sistema.bio signs an MoU with the National Dairy Development Board, and the MNRE, Government of India, approves our modern biogas technology
- In India, Sistema.bio celebrates five years of operation
- India achieving new levels in Sales, Technical operations and Manufacturing
- Sistema.bio Kenya signs an agreement with ABC- RBF
- Price Discount in Kenya: Thanks to Carbon Credit Finance
- Expanding our presence in LATAM: Sistema.bio distributors
- Investors and allies field visits to Mexican farmers
Our 2022 Annual Report is available now
Definitely, 2022 was a great year for Sistema.bio. Our team had a lot to celebrate, but one of the most exciting achievements is that Sistema.bio closed the year with our best impact numbers ever, crossing 20,000 units installed in one year and over 50,000 farms benefited since Sistema.bio’s foundation in 2010.
India reached more than 36,600 biodigesters driven by partnerships with the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) and Infosys. In Africa, there was an expansion and professionalization of our commercial team to serve our farmers directly, and with the support of the global team and key international (Native) and local partners, Sistema.bio initiated operations in Uganda. Finally, Mexico and the rest of the LATAM region were restructured after the pandemic. Such changes were made thanks to the arrival of Almendra Ortiz-Tirado, the new LATAM director.
In case you did not have the opportunity to go through our 2022 summary, we invite you to read it now!
Female Empowerment! Our LATAM and East Africa Directors are among the most influential businesswomen
Placing the name of Sistema.bio at the top, our two directors from East Africa, Madrin Maina, and Latin America, Almendra Ortiz-Tirado, were listed as one of the top 40 women under 40 in Kenya and one of the top 30 business promises in Mexico, respectively.
Both appointments came around the emblematic International Women’s Day, which is becoming more and more notorious in demonstrating that women in leadership positions are just as capable as men. At Sistema.bio we are not only convinced of this, but we also love to break stereotypes, and we have these two examples:
Being an Engineer, an area where the participation of women is even lower than in other sectors, Madrin began her career at Sistema.bio Kenya as Technical Manager in 2018, and at the end of 2022 she took the position of Director for East Africa. Madrin is already a reference in Africa on the subject of Clean Cooking and biogas.
On the other hand, Almendra joined Sistema.bio just 10 months ago, enough time to revolutionize the region, using the power of teamwork, energy, and latino pride. The nice surprise is that a sociologist with more than 15 years of experience in the NGO sector would be a promise in the mexican business world, but Almendra has proven it. “I definitely feel convinced that there is no other way of doing business without placing social and environmental impact as a central axis” – Says Almendra.
Sistema.bio signs an MoU with the National Dairy Development Board, and the MNRE, Government of India, approves our modern biogas technology
We began the year with two major milestones: signing a MoU with the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB Mrida Ltd.) and receiving approval for our technology from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) of the Government of India.
The collaboration with the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB Mrida Ltd.) is to promote biodigesteres and create a value chain that will enhance dairy farmers’ livelihoods in India. This partnership aims to improve the socio-economic stature of dairy farmers, particularly smallholder women dairy farmers, through the usage of biodigestores.
The plan is to reach more than 25,000 farmers this year and reach 300,000 dairy farmers in the next 2-3 years. Sistema.bio, through carbon financing, will provide affordable modern biogas plants to dairy farmers in the NDDB’s rural network. Sistema.bio and NDDB will work jointly with various farmer centric institutions to install modern biogas plants and disseminate knowledge on manure management and biofertilizer application.
Our modern and innovative biogas technology has been accredited under India’s National Biogas Programme after a rigorous field performance evaluation conducted by Sardar Swaran Singh National Institute of Bioenergy (SSS-NIBE). This accreditation allows us to participate in the government’s programme, making our biodigesters affordable for millions of dairy farmers with government subsidies of US $118 per unit for smaller systems and US $630 per unit for larger ones. This measure promotes sustainable development and encourages farmers to adopt our innovative, cost-effective, and modern biogas system.
In India, Sistema.bio celebrates five years of operation
The Sistema.bio team is delighted to announce that we have successfully completed our first five years of operations in India. Since the beginning of our operations in April 2018, we have established Sistema.bio as a leader in the Indian biogas industry and achieved an impressive success rate.
We have an active presence in more than 21 states in India with a workforce of 700+ people. Several prestigious organizations have welcomed our modern and innovative biogas technology and have joined hands with us to empower dairy farmers with a renewable energy source. Our company has registered its first carbon project in Gold Standard to make our biodigesters more affordable and accessible to farmers.
As a result of our efforts in the past five years, we have impacted more than 50,000 farmers, treated 3 million tons of waste, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 170,000 tons.
We have experienced incredible growth and success over the last five years, making an exhilarating journey. Looking ahead, we remain highly optimistic and are committed to working hard and dedicating ourselves to doubling our impact numbers by 2023. We are confident in our capacity to make an even more significant impact in the years to come with our unrelenting focus.
Watch our 5-year celebration video here
India achieving new levels in Sales, Technical operations and Manufacturing
Our start for 2023 was marked by outstanding milestones across the Commercial, Technical, and Manufacturing areas.
The goal for this year is to deliver 40,000 units. During the first three months of the year, we expanded our reach across India by signing collaborations with 15 new organizations across the country. We sold 10,000 units in the first quarter, with 6,000 biodigesters sold in March alone. We broke our previous record for selling the most units in a month. A majority of our sales, i.e. 60%, comes from Maharashtra state, followed by Tamil Nadu and Gujarat at 25% and 15%, respectively. We are confident that with our new collaborations, and the steady growth in sales, we will be able to reach our goal and deliver 40,000 units by the end of the year.
Over the first quarter, our Technical team has successfully installed over 5,000 units, which is approximately twice as many installations as the previous quarter. The installation of 9,000 units under the India Dairy biogas carbon program was another groundbreaking accomplishment for us. We also started another carbon project in the southern region, Tamil Nadu, in January. In addition to this, we also strengthened our after-sales services by resolving more queries at a much faster rate.
As a result of the manufacturing team’s efforts in the first quarter, we produced over 8,000 units at a daily capacity of 150 units. The production capacity increased by 40% in this quarter. This trend will continue into the second quarter, where we plan to increase daily production capacity by investing in the latest machinery and training our staff on evolving technologies in order to accomplish this.
East Africa News
Sistema.bio Kenya signs an agreement with ABC- RBF
On February 20th, 2023, GIZ-EnDev Kenya signed a 3 year ABC- RBF agreement with Sistema.bio Kenya. The Energising Development (EnDev) programme is a strategic partnership of like-minded donors to promote energy access.The programme is implemented in close cooperation with leading international organizations and key local stakeholders; and co-managed by the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ).
The ABC intervention in Kenya (2022 to 2025) aims at facilitating a shift of the biodigester market from its pioneering to the expansion phase with focus on the installation of over 20,000 small-scale and 250 medium scale biodigesters. Through the provision of result-based financing, the Project expects to provide the last push needed for the biodigester market to reach a critical mass of clients within Kenyan farmers.
According to the World Bank, about 70% of Kenyans still rely on biomass fuels such as wood and charcoal for cooking; with an estimated 23,000 Kenyans dying annually from cooking with these fuels. This disproportionately affects women and girls from poor backgrounds due to the differences in exposure.While these emissions are negligible in the context of global consumption, some estimates suggest that total greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions from residential cooking are equivalent to approximately a third of total Kenyan GHG emissions. Besides emitting GHGs, the use of these fuels also contributes to deforestation and land degradation.
This is where the Sistema.bio solution comes in. With the US$509,582 3 year RBF grant, an estimated 6,600 digesters will be installed; targeting vulnerable Kenyans from marginalized communities, who would have otherwise not been able to afford clean energy. This impact will not only affect their quality of life, but will also help mitigate climate change, conserve the environment, improve health conditions, and increase income opportunities for these communities.
Sistema.bio Kenya continues to work with partners and investors, with a goal of reaching more farmers as we strive towards our mission to create value from waste.
Price Discount in Kenya: Thanks to Carbon Credit Finance
The last few months have been marked by an alarming rise in the cost of living for Kenyans; with the prices of most basic commodities going up by even more than 50%; and the Kenyan shilling sliding steadily against the USD. In fact, there have been demonstrations with Kenyans taking to the streets demanding a reduction in the price of commodities.
The move by Sistema.bio Kenya to lower biodigester prices by up to 23%, even with the rising cost of the business operation, has therefore been huge, and a surprise to many. As our East Africa Director Eng. Madrin Maina put’s it: “farmers are the backbone of our economy and are the hardest hit during these tough economic times; and yet, they remain resilient”.
The motivation to see our farmers thrive again and Financing from the Carbon Program in Kenya has enabled us to lower our costs. The discount runs from April 1st to June 3oth. We hope that through this move Sistema.bio will make clean energy accessible to a wider portfolio of farmers. As a ripple effect, we hope that empowering our smallholder farmers will see increased harvests; which will translate to lower prices of everyday commodities and a stable economy in the long run. With the savings on their energy costs, every shilling counts in these times and we want to walk this journey with the farmers.
The company remains committed to promoting clean and affordable energy, sustainable development, and reducing carbon emissions; and sees this as a positive step towards achieving these goals.
Expanding our presence in LATAM: Sistema.bio distributors
2023 is the execution year for Sistema.bio LATAM and this quarter was particularly good for sales and installation efficiency. With the consolidation, organization and new goals of the regional team led by Almendra Ortiz-Tirado, partnerships for distribution of our services are more important than ever. This means looking for allies and distributors who share the same strategic vision as we do and collaborate as a team in the scalability of Sistema.bio.
In this regard, in this first quarter of the year we expanded to El Salvador in alliance with Genus as our distributor. We are also starting talks for possible distribution in Costa Rica. With these alliances, we are getting closer to our annual goal of selling and installing more than 2,100 biodigesters throughout the Latin American region, with the objective of impacting more than 10,000 people who will have access to biogas, clean cooking, and a powerful biofertilizer.
As Sistema.bio grows, we are constantly looking for more distribution partners and B2B alliances to help us understand and grow our market in the region. Our goal is for Sistema.bio technology to reach as many people as possible.
Investors and allies field visits to Mexican farmers
During the first months of the year, Sistema.bio hosted the visit of some of our main investors and allies; among them were The Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship, Beneficial Returns, and CO_Capital. Some of the activities were learning about the biodigester demo and the orchard at the Puebla offices, as well as visiting farmers to see their biodigesters and talk about how they work.
In addition, they also visited the Sistema at the Casasano Shelter, an installation that is a result of a project started in July 2022 as a tripartite agreement and investment between Sistema.bio, Nestlé Colombia, and Ingenio Beta San Miguel, one of the biggest sugar cane organizations in the country. The shelter in the state of Morelos, Mexico hosts more than 180 laborers and their families that work in the sugar cane harvest. With the biodigester, the shelter now has clean energy for cooking, reduced their LP gas expenses, and commercializes the biofertilizer.
Another event that served to connect with key allies was the presence of Sistema.bio at FLII 2023, the leading impact investment meeting in Latin America, which this year was held in Mérida, Yucatán. The event was useful to connect with Technoserve, Heifer International, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
It is always a pleasure to talk and show “live” how Sistema.bio’s technology works and transforms the lives of Mexican farmers.