NAME: Carlo Figà Talamanca
COMPANY: Sustainable Green Fuel Enterprise (SGFE)
ADDRESS: Phlove Lom, Phoum Russey, Sangkat Steung Meanchey, Khan Meanchey
CITY: Phnom Penh
PHONE: +855 97 8159256
Sustainable Green Fuel Enterprise (SGFE) is an international award winning social enterprise in Cambodia, which produces environmental friendly char-briquettes from recycled biomass waste (e.g. coconut shells).
Compared to the traditional charcoal, which in Cambodia derives from illegal logging, SGFE’s char-briquettes are made from 100% recycled biomass and they offer to the Cambodian end-users a product which is:
• healthier – less smoke
• safer – no sparks
• better– burns up to 3 times longer than traditional charcoal.
Through its activity, SGFE achieves both, an environmental and social impact.
• It saves Cambodia’s natural forests by providing an alternative to traditional charcoal, hence reducing CO2 emissions by avoiding deforestation
• It creates socially fair jobs for the poorest segments of the population. Previously, all SGFE’s production workers were waste pickers on Phnom Penh’s municipal dumpsite.
This implied the work on the dumpsite of the entire family, including the children. Today all the children of SGFE’s employees go to school!
Up to date, SGFE was able to produce and sell over 1,700 tons of its environmental friendly char-briquettes, corresponding to saving a forest area of about 165 football fields, hence reducing CO2 emissions for 28,000 tons.
SGFE has 31 employees and all are provided with 13 months of salary per year, health and accident insurance, and schooling for their children.
Sustainable Green Fuel Enterprise (SGFE) is a Cambodian foreign owned sole proprietorship company, which has developed a type of clean energy that replaces the traditional charcoal on the local market and that creates new socially fair jobs for the poor. SGFE manufactures and sells high quality char-briquettes made of biomass waste.
SGFE is the result of a joint project implemented by two NGOs, GERES (Group for Environment, Renewable Energy and Solidarity) and PSE (Pour un Sourire d’Enfant).
The company was initially registered in 2008 by the two NGOs and the factory was opened (operational) in December 2009.
GERES has then continued running and subsidizing the business for the entire years of 2010 and 2011. At the end of 2011 SGFE was still not financially sustainable and the two NGOs, who had exhausted the funds allocated to the project, where looking for an entrepreneur to take over the business.
Carlo Figà Talamanca, the current owner and CEO, who was working as a consultant for GERES since July 2010, decided to take over the business starting from January 2012.
His motivation was mainly driven by his strong belief in the concept of a social and green enterprise.