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Hydrologic - Ceramic Water Purifiers
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Hydrologic - Ceramic Water Purifiers

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For the first time in Asia, a sustainable and market-based water filtration business has been registered under the voluntary Gold Standard scheme, and will benefit from carbon offset funding, showcasing that carbon markets can support sustainable technologies that improve the lives of poor populations.

Cambodian social enterprise Hydrologic manufactures ceramic water purifiers which provide clean water to rural households, reduce the amount of wood burnt to boil water, create local jobs and bolster economic development. Hydrologic’s business model, which was named a winner of 2012 Ashden Award, attracted the interest of private sector companies, including an impact investor (Impact Finance) and a multinational company purchasing the first carbon credits (Deutsche Post DHL). Start-up resources for Hydrologic came from several sources including the USAID WaterSHED project in form of grants and technical assistance.

Nearly 40% of rural Cambodians still have no access to safe drinking water. Untreated water and poor sanitation result in about 10 million cases of diarrhea and 10,000 deaths per year in Cambodia, mainly affecting children in rural areas. Hydrologic Social Enterprise produces and sells ceramic water filters that provide safe drinking water to rural households of Cambodia. By displacing water boiling practices, the filters are helping Cambodian households to avoid the unsustainable burning of 18,000 tons of wood per year, saving 41,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions yearly. Thanks to this impressive environmental impact, the project has completed its registration under the voluntary Gold Standard scheme, the award winning certification standard for carbon mitigation projects.

The project has two major features:

1. It uses a market based approach: Hydrologic Social Enterprise believes that sustainable business is a powerful way to provide clean water for as many people as possible. It created a market for water purifiers in Cambodia by selling affordable filters to NGO programs, and via shops and rural sales agents. Households benefit from a low cost water filtration technology, and the local economy is bolstered by the establishment of production and distribution facilities.

2. Carbon offsets ensure a sustainable business model, as the carbon revenue is directly re-invested into further scaling up project activities.

Hydrologic was also named a winner of a 2012 Ashden Award, a prestigious award that champions and promotes practical, local energy solutions that cut carbon, protect the environment, reduce poverty and improve people’s lives.

Hydrologic joined Nexus, a nonprofit cooperative of NGOs and social enterprises that scale up development solutions by leveraging sustainable funding from the sale of high-quality carbon offsets, a concept referred to as "Carbon for Development". Nexus provided financial and technical assistance with the carbon certification process, and is supporting the commercialization of carbon credits by engaging companies and public institutions on a fair approach to offsetting.

Hydrologic’s sustainable business model and its numerous benefits for the environment, the economy and poor populations successfully attracted private sector support. An impact investor, Impact Finance, provided a loan to support the development of the project, and a multinational company, Deutsche Post DHL, has committed to purchase carbon credits originating from the project.











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