Khmer Green Charcoal
KGC was established in 2010 – initially as an NGO – to produce premium eco-char briquettes made from coconut shell char and wood-char residues. In 2012, KGC transformed into an enterprise with clear growth and bottom-line return expectations. Thanks to its advanced technology and industrial approach, KGC produces high-quality char-briquette made from organic waste that are 100 per cent sustainable.
KGC’s business model is inclusive, as it provides a relevant and affordable good to low income people. Given the highly relevant product of the company for the poor, and the strong IB intent, and despite of the still small commercial returns, the company can be considered a social enterprise initiative. KGC has a stronger commercial return; a more effective, cheaper and technologically advanced product; better labour standards and higher pay than its competitors. However, the company has a low systemic impact in the large energy for cooking sector.
Customers of the company are mainly poor (20 per cent) and low-income families (50 per cent), while the very poor (20 per cent) still use wood, and those with higher income (10% of customers) use LPG gas provided by other companies. The charcoal is sold at a price slightly more expensive (KHR 1,700/kg) than traditional wood (KHR 900/kg) or charcoal (KHR 1500/kg). However, KGC’s product is much more energy efficient (i.e. 400% more than wood and 150% more than other charcoal products). In result, KGC charcoal provides a saving of $23 per month against buying firewood and $19 against using other charcoal products.