Cookstoves, Mexico


A young family gather round a newly installed ONIL cookstove from the ONIL cookstoves project, Mexico

Project name
Distribution of ONIL Cookstoves
Project location
San Felipe, Mexico
Funder and supplier
Supplier: C Quest Capital. Developers: Helps International AC, C-Quest Capital LLC and Fuego Limpio.
Clean Development Mechanism (CDM); Verified Carbon Standard (VCS)
Project status

All project information is sourced from the supplier – correct as of July 2018

About the project

According to World Bank reports, in 2002 approximately half of the population in Mexico was living in poverty and a fifth in extreme poverty.

In Mexico, approximately a quarter of the population (27 million in rural and indigenous communities) uses firewood for cooking. These are often the most disadvantaged households. Firewood is the main energy source for approximately 80% of rural households, and the majority of households still use open fires which are inefficient in regards to fuel usage.

These fires cause respiratory problems and burns, and because they are inefficient, the high demand for fuel to supply them contributes to deforestation .

Between 2012 and 2016 the project’s supplier, C-Quest Capital, and its partners installed 25,000 high-efficiency cookstoves. They are now targeting 35,000 installations a year by 2019.

Each stove is expected to eliminate close to 3 tons of CO2 per year, depending on the model and state of repair. This will reduce deforestation and land degradation and support conservation agriculture. It will also improve maternal, child health and wellbeing.


Left: A new ONIL cookstove – made of cast concrete, manufactured in Mexico, and assembled and installed locally. Right: The ONIL cookstoves replace a traditional three-stone open fire and burn much more efficiently with less fuel required.

Who is behind the project?

C-Quest Capital and its partners are working to provide high-efficiency plancha style cookstoves to families in rural Mexico.

Contribution to carbon reduction

Each project includes approximately 13,800 improved cook stoves which translates into a reduction of 40,000 tCO2e per year.

How do the projects contribute to carbon reduction?

The ONIL Stove is a fuel-efficient stove that reduces the amount of firewood required by households by as much as 58%, compared to the baseline. The stove is made of cast concrete, manufactured in Mexico, and assembled and installed locally. The average firewood consumption for cooking is 2.1 kg/hab/day or 5 ton/family/year. Each ONIL Stove in Mexico saves 2.893 tons of CO2e per year.

Key benefits

  • Environmental
    Mexico lost 6.9 percent of its forest cover between 1990 and 2005 (4,778,000 hectares).

    ONIL cookstoves use less fuel wood and therefore less fuel wood is needed from forests which has a positive impact on biodiversity

  • Financial security
    The increased efficiency of the cook stoves vs open fires has a direct financial benefit on families. The reduction in fuel wood requirements means savings are available. This is important since fuel wood prices have risen around 4-fold between 1990 and 2005 as relative scarcity increases.
  • Health & well being
    Indoor air pollution from open fire cooking can contribute to increased likelihood of illness, including acute lower respiratory infections such as pneumonia in young children, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer in women (and to a lesser degree in men).

    ONIL ICS use chimney flues to exhaust cooking gases outside of the building.

  • Empowering Women
    The inefficient burning of wood for three-stone fires requires women and children to gather huge amounts of wood on weekly basis (around 18,000 lbs per family per year).

    There are also safety issues for women whilst gathering the wood and a health impact carrying these heavy loads.

    A whole day per week is spent on average gathering wood which has ramifications on women and their families.

    More efficient stoves require less wood which means less time gathering wood, less weight to carry and more time for other activities/family time.

  • Economic and social sustainability
    The project contributes significantly to Mexico’s economic sustainability through the more efficient use of firewood. Energy savings at both individual household and national levels make important contributions to their economic efficiency and sustainability. In Mexico, households spend up to 15 to 20 per cent of their income on firewood purchases. The use of efficient stoves will have a significant impact on reducing these household expenditures.

    Saving time which would have been spent gathering firewood will free up time for households for more income generating activities.

    Through demonstration, training and implementation, the project will also improve social outcomes in education and awareness.

    This programme will build awareness of the health problems associated with open fire pits traditionally used for cooking and create an opportunity for collective action on the climate challenge, enhancing a sense of community, and empowering individual households.

Added value benefits

Carbon management projects are able to contribute to improving the livelihoods of local their communities in significant ways. These benefits are a vital part of the broader aims of creating lasting social and environmental sustainability. The benefits are in support of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and include improvements to local economies through employment, higher value produce and infrastructure upgrades. Many projects will have health benefits, education improvements and a positive impact on gender equality. Different types of projects will carry different benefits. Research commissioned by ICROA and carried out by Imperial College in 2014 set to quantify the impact of voluntary carbon market investments.

For every one tonne of carbon emission reduction, cookstove projects deliver additional added value equal to $7241:


  1. Source: Figures from ICROA survey Kountouris, Y., Makuch, Z., Tan Loh, E.F. (2014) ‘Quantification and Evaluation of the Voluntary Carbon Market’s Co-benefits’, Imperial College London University June 2014
  2. For further information: