Arch + Eng, Art, Design, Education, Social Impact

Dispatches from the Field: National Energy Globe Award for Challenge Semi-Finalist

2014 Fuller Challenge Semi-Finalist, Fuego del Sol Haiti, has just received a National Energy Globe Award for their work confronting Haiti’s deadly charcoal addiction through development, introduction and adoption of innovative ecological fuel briquettes, presses, stoves, and the training and empowerment of women. Fuego Del Sol, the largest upcycler in Haiti, also collects and separates a wide range of waste materials into sustainable products and plans to include farming, green building, and land reclamation.


From the NEGA press release:


Fuego del Sol designs, co-creates and implements systemic eco-solutions in Haiti and the Dom. Rep. It confronts Haiti’s deadly charcoal addiction through development, introduction and adoption of ecological fuel briquettes, ergonomic industrial manual briquette presses, and efficient briquette stoves. Waste materials are collected, separated and upcycled into sustainable solutions. Over 65 tons of paper, cardboard, sawdust and agricultural waste have been recycled into fuel briquettes, providing fuel for over 600,000 school meals and saving over 9,000 trees. Dozens of volunteers and ecotourists participate in FdS-led cultural, historical, ecological and socially beneficial voyages every year, which also support the developmental programming of FdS.


In January 2014, complete logistical services for 37 volunteer medical professionals who cared for over 2000 impoverished Haitians and Dominicans in the Dominican Republic were hosted and provided. FdS has reduced the number of landfill trips required for the waste removal of the Canadian Embassy in PaP by 90%. One of the first waste-motor-oil recycling and reprocessing centrifuge systems was introduced in Haiti. The process produces clean, efficient diesel fuel that FdS uses to power trucks that distribute ecological fuel briquettes and collect recyclable materials.


Since 2005, FdS has followed the philosophy of creating a multi-sector ecosystem of mutually beneficial, system-based solutions, which went counter to the prevalent paradigm of, “Do one thing. Do it well.” When developmental ‘experts’ warned that it would implode by involving multiple sectors with the goal of creating broader sustainable impact, the FdS principals respectfully ignored the expert advice, in favor of the systemic, visionary approach advocated by Buckminster Fuller. Now a sea-change is taking place in international development, NGOs, agencies, and organizations are being required to implement systemic, transparency, sustainability, and verification of long-term impact, factors that FdS has been advocating and demonstrating since 2005.


Read more here.