Back 14.01.2013

Sustainable Charcoal – Briquettes for urban Tanzanians and jobs for rural areas

Gaia and ARTI Tanzania have jointly launched activities to scale up charcoal briquette production in Tanzania, thus marking a significant shift towards the sustainability of the charcoal industry.

As a first step Gaia and ARTI have committed to working together to build the capacity of two community based enterprises (CBEs) producing charcoal briquettes in Bagamoyo and Kibaha Districts, with the overall aim to establish a sustainable charcoal briquette company capable of providing Tanzanian urban households and institutions with a more affordable, healthier and socially and environmentally sustainable alternative to wood-based charcoal.

Currently, wood-based charcoal is the primary source of cooking fuel for more than 70 % of households in Dar es Salaam. The consumption of some 500.000 tones of charcoal per annum is the primary reason for severe deforestation contributing to some 350ha forest disappearing daily.

Gaia and ARTI will work together to provide alternative charcoal briquettes produced from agricultural waste and other dry biomass by community based enterprises located on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam. The CBEs also offer critically required employment and new income source for rural area communities. The briquettes can directly replace the wood-based charcoal used for cooking at households, restaurants and other institutions.

“Based on the earlier work of ARTI-TZ, small-scale production of the sustainable charcoal is in place and the initial results from social enterprise are very encouraging. There are good reasons to believe that this could become a major endeavour offering a new and more sustainable cooking energy option for a significant number of households in Tanzania”, states Pasi Rinne.

“The collaboration with Gaia’s will help the ARTI initiated social business partnership to grow and represent a good-quality and affordable energy product for Tanzania”, says Nachiket Potnis from ARTI Tanzania.

The partnership aims to equip the communities with required technology, provide training and help to establish the local enterprises, study the climate and environment impacts of the production, create the brand and marketing strategy as well as to establish strong knowledge base to develop jointly the business further.

“We are making small steps to tackle issues related to raw material, technology, marketing, sales and logistics. At the same time, this partnership between Gaia and ARTI thinks big”, explains Dennis Tessier from ARTI.

“This is one of the most fantastic innovative initiatives for sustainability that Gaia has ever participated. Our joint project is about climate friendly development that has a strong focus on social and health benefits. The partners are proud of this opportunity, and we welcome cooperation from international organizations, finance and national institutions, says Pasi Rinne.

The partnership has today started the implementation of a project financed by the Energy and Environment Partnership Programme with Southern and Eastern Africa (EEP-S&EA). The project supports the equipping the first two community enterprises with appropriate technology, study the climate impacts of the business as well as plan the initial market entry.


  • Pasi Rinne, Chairman of the Board, tel. +41 79 472 6909
  • Dennis Tessier,ARTIEnergy Program Director, email: