Gold Standard Registration

With income generated from the carbon credits we will be able to continue to provide efficient and longlasting cookstoves to Lao families


SNV Laos is very proud and excited to share the news that our Improved Cookstove Programme has successfully been registered with Gold Standard.


The Improved Cookstoves programme (ICS), implemented by SNV, Oxfam and ARMI, and funded by the European Union (EU) Switch Asia Programme, marked a milestone in the project recently celebrated a huge milestone after selling its 100,000th cookstove. And now there’s more to celebrate with the international organisation, Gold Standard, recognising the work of the project in and its future potential to reducing carbon emissions.


This registration, adding to an increasing list of the programme’s achievements, with the support of Nexus for Development will be able to sell carbon credits to individuals and organisations. The income from these carbon credits will then be put back into the project to ensure its sustainability.


To view our project documents, please click on the link below: 


Should you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us


1. Association For Rural Mobilisation and Improvement (ARMI)

Latsavongsirk road, House No.046/05,  Sounantha village, Kaysone Phomvihan district, Savannakhet province Lao PDR


Tel/Fax: (856-41) 252717

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


2. SNV Laos

P.O. Box 9781

Ban Nongbone, Vientiane Capital, Lao PDR

Tel: (856-21) 414091

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  


3. Nexus Carbon for Development

Ha Hoang Thanh

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mobile: +840904009985


4. GS secretariat:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and +41 22 788 7080

Improved Cook Stove Testing Laboratories Help to Tackle National Smoke Hazards

In Laos, 5,716 people die each year from diseases caused by the smoke from burning wood for cooking; globally this figure is 3.8 million. When using traditional cookstoves, a similar amount of smoke is produced to lighting 400 cigarettes! And all this burning takes place in kitchens, two to three times every day, mainly in front of women and children, who as a result, risk dangerous heart and lung diseases.


A recent piece of research in rural villages in Savannakhet Province showed that the air quality levels are indeed very poor, largely due to smoke from cooking. With an average concentration of 439 μg/m3 of fine particles, this is comparable to alarming peak levels of smog in cities like Beijing. In contrast, the guideline values by the World Health Organisation are set on 10 μg/m3.


However, not all wood stoves are this harmful, and therefore several initiatives are starting up in Laos to introduce advanced clean cookstoves that are safe to use and also fuel and time efficient. By just the looks of the stoves, however, it is not apparent which stove is safe, therefore these need to be verified by following proper testing protocols and by the use of precise air monitoring equipment.


SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, ARMI Association for Rural Mobilisation and Improvement, and the Renewable Energy Institute, REMI, have worked together since 2011 on the establishment of stove testing laboratories, and ever since hundreds of stoves have been assessed (and improved).


Based on this fruitful collaboration so far, this Friday the inauguration took place of the new Laboratory Emission Monitoring System (LEMS).  This high-tech equipment, financed by SNV, allows for standards, regulation of the market, and the ability to provide information to the people on the levels smoke emission. The system also enables Lao authorities to test stoves according to the international (ISO) standards.


“Still, substantial work needs to be done in the field of testing and research and development, to determine stove efficiency and emissions and improve existing stoves.” says Bastiaan Teune of SNV. Invaluable data and results are provided by REMI to the EU-funded Improved Cook Stoves project, and other clean stoves initiatives supported by World Bank, EnDev and the Green Climate Fund.


ICS lucky draw 2015

ມາແລ້ວໆໆໆ ບັນດາຂອງລາງວັນທີ່ຈະມອບໃຫ້ແດ່ຜູ່ໂຊກດີຂອງເຕົາປະຢັດໃນປີ 2015 ນີ້



Mr. Khammai and his wife Ms. Chitsana run a stove-making business out of their home in Champassack Province in Lao PDR. Ms. Chitsana manages the finance and five employees at their home, while Mr. Khammai takes responsibility for delivering stoves, along with his son. The family started their stove business in 2005 and in 2012 joined theEU-funded SWITCH-Asia project "Improved Cook Stoves" (ICS).

"We joined the project because we saw that there is an opportunity to sell ICS in the market," states Ms. Chitsana. "We were told about the project one day through the project staff while delivering stoves. We wanted to join the programme because we wanted to learn how to produce different stoves than we did previously. We thought this would be a way to increase our revenues."

Khammai and Chitsana passed their production accreditation in 2013 and were then certified to produce ICS. In March 2014, they took out a loan to improve their production capacity by purchasing more raw materials and hiring more workers.

"If the market demand continues to be high, we would like to increase production, and increase our workforce," states Mrs. Chitsana. "We have the potential to produce a lot, but sometimes we still have challenges to pay for production costs or find labourers."

The couple's workshop currently produces an average of approximately 300 stoves per month, with a total of 5,811 since joining the project. Word of mouth among producers is a key factor, as with consumers and retailers, and the pair recommended their acquaintance, Mr. Amphone, living in a nearby village, to join as well. As he already knew about the potential benefits and support provided, he was eager to do so.

As with many enterprises in Laos, cook stove production is often run as a family business. Many families who make cook stoves set up small workshops in their compound, with a few staff or family members to help out. Prior to the start of the SWITCH-Asia ICS project, most stove producers made their own ceramic stoves, with no particular consistency in quality or durability.

Currently, the project works with 19 active stove producers in the Vientiane Capital area, Savannakhet Province, and Champassack Province, three of the most populous areas in the country. At the start of the project in 2013, representatives visited existing stove producers who were recommended by retailers or other producers in target areas to introduce the project and stove design and ask if they were interested in participating.

The ICS is designed to use traditional materials and lend itself to traditional cooking methods, to make it more acceptable to both producers and consumers and more easily integrated into the market.

Some producers continue to make traditional stoves alongside ICS, while others have converted their workshops completely to ICS production. Once stove makers are able to meet a series of quality standards, the project signs cooperation agreements and the producer gets an accreditation certificate. The stove accreditation is a process between producers and the NGO ARMI (a local Lao NGO and implementing partner for the project). The stove standards have recently been endorsed by theMinistry of Science and Technology, which is the designated authority to test the stoves and assess if labels can be issued to a certain batch of stoves, based on a laboratory test that determines the efficiency rates according to a specific testing protocol.

The project helps producers create business plans, and take out loans to finance improvements to their workshops, such as better roofing for their kilns, if necessary, providing valuable business management skills to the entrepreneurs along with technical training.

New producers receive training from their peers, to increase skills in proper operation of the tools and moulds that ensure the right dimensions are met and that the production process is done according to standards. Some necessary materials are provided by the project, including moulds, tools, kiln components, clay mixers, and stove display units. Although the design of the stove does not require any difficult or expensive technologies compared to traditional stove-making, it is important that the producers are able to employ the same techniques to ensure a consistent and high-quality product, which users and retailers now expect. Producers who stand out as models are recruited by the project staff to train newcomers to the project.

In the three provinces where the project works with producers, monthly meetings are held with project staff from SNV and ARMI and representatives of each producer. They share challenges they are having with production and network with one another to share knowledge of the market and strengthen ties as fellow businesspeople.

From the start of the project, 50,000 ICS have already been produced.

In each province, the project is beginning to set up both formal and informal business associations for the producers to share ideas about further developing the sector and helping members adhere to quality production standards and fair pricing. In so doing, the interventions of the SWITCH-Asia ICS project not only support technical skills but focus explicitly on the enabling environment of the stoves sector as a whole.

Author: Bastiaan Teune 
Editor: Silvia Sartori


SNV Netherlands Development Organisation in Lao PDR and ARMI, in partnership with Nexus Carbon for Development, are pursuing validation with the Gold Standard Foundation for the "Improved Cook Stoves Programme" in Lao PDR".

We are inviting local stakeholders, including government authorities, NGOs and the general public to provide feedback for the Stakeholder Feedback Round (SFR) of our project, starting from 22 May 2015. 

Please find the project documents at the following links:

Project Design Document PDD
Gold Standard Passport
Local stakeholder consultation report: English language version
Local stakeholder consultation report: Lao language version

If you have any feedback, comments or questions, please contact:

1. Association For Rural Mobilisation and Improvement (ARMI)
Latsavongsirk Road
House No.046/05
Sounantha Village
Kaysone Phomvihan District
Savannakhet Province, Lao PDR
Tel/Fax: (856-41) 252717
Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2. Nexus Carbon for Development
Ha Hoang Thanh
Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Mobile: +840904009985

The Improved Cook Stoves Programme in Lao PDR aims to become financially sustainable by the revenues of carbon credits. The programme develops and promotes stoves that use up to 25% less charcoal or wood than traditional stoves, thus saving fuel and lowering greenhouse gas emissions. 

Such improved cookstove technologies are eligible for carbon financing. Developing the carbon credits under Gold Standard the ICS programme can become a unique and economically sustainable initiative, which significantly improves livelihoods and reduces green house gas emissions and environmental pressure at the same time.

As a first step in the Gold Standard Carbon application, the ICS Programme invited local stakeholders to a consultation meeting on carbon finance, held on November 26, 2014.  Participants of the consultation discussed the positive and negative impacts of the Improved Cookstove Programme and gave stakeholders an opportunity to express their views. No fewer than 40 participants from the government sector, NGOs, the private sector and the general public attended.  A copy of the Local Stakeholder Consultation (LSC) report is available hereSNV LSC Report 20 Mar 2015 LAO


On 22nd Oct 2014, Vientiane Mai Newspaper published an article about the handover prizes to the winners who are using ICS and who won the 2nd and 3rd prize. 

In nearly every Lao kitchen, families use stoves burning charcoal or wood for cooking.  Unfortunately, many stoves are poorly designed, with low efficiency. In partnership with SNV, Oxfam, Blue Moon Fund and ARMI, the European Union finances the Improved Cook Stoves (ICS) programme to improve efficiency and durability of cook stoves on the market in Laos. This action operates under the European Union’s SWITCH-Asia programme, which is to promote economic prosperity and help reduce poverty in Asia by encouraging a sustainable growth with low environmental impact from industries and consumers.


The programme works closely together with the Ministry of Energy and Mines, the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Lao Women’s Union, and with local producers and retailers to implement their programme. It aims to develop the cook stove market through a value-chain approach, improving the market and its enabling environment. 


The ICS programme in Laos has successfully set new standards for cook stove design, introduced innovative production methods, and imposed quality control measures.  Three test laboratories have been set up under the Ministry of Science and Technology to check stove quality, and conduct research and development.  Newly designed cook stoves save 25% in fuel compared to traditional stoves, providing economic benefits to consumers.  Demand is very high, making the stoves profitable for producers. Between 2013 and mid-2014, already 14,500 stoves were distributed.


Last month, ARMI organized an ICS multi stakeholder meeting in Pakse.  At this event, a lucky draw took place among ICS customers who had left their name on raffle coupons after purchase.  This exciting lottery is an added incentive for purchasers of Improved Cook Stoves.  The lucky grand prize winner is Ms. Chit of Salavanh District, who was pleased to receive a bicycle.  The second and third prize winners were Ms. Maa of Ban Sidamduan, Chamthabury District and Ms. Viengson, of Ban Donokhum, Sisatanark District , winning a water boiler and rice cooker at a prize giving ceremony on Friday, October 17. The prizes were proudly presented by Ms. Pheng, representative of Lao Women’s Union from Chamthabury District, Ms. Khamven, representative from Lao Women’s Union of Sisattanark District and Mr. Ignacio Oliver Cruz, attaché for Development Cooperation the European Union Delegation to Lao PDR.

The goal of the ICS lottery is twofold, both providing the programme with valuable consumer data to improve production and marketing, and also rewarding customers for their investment in the new product.  

During the Boat Racig Festival in 3 Provinces Vientiane Capital, Savannakhet and Champasak. All Promotion Officers and the representatives from Lao Woman’s Union help promote the ICS programme by giving information, brochures, handbills…etc. Explain on how the ICS is produced step by step. Other than that, the Promotion team conducted some activities to entertain the audiences such as: Cooking Demonstration to compare the efficiency between Tao Dam and ICS, playing quiz game to win ICS T-Shirt and Aprons.

Savannakhet can sell up to 157 stoves in 5 days.

Champasak Province can sell up to 87 stoves.

Vientiane Capital can also sell up to 77 stoves.

The Activities end at around 19h00 of the 9th October 2014 with the happy on the face of ICS Fan and The Promotion team.

From 8-9 September 2014, a Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) training for Improved Cook Stove (ICS) producers was held at Pakse Hotel in Champasack Province.

The main objective of the training was to provide support to improve the ICS value chain, and to build the capacity of the ICS technical team. Many aspects were covered in the 2-day training from developing business skills and investment and business plan writing to providing a solid understanding of ‘franchise business models’ and SME registration requirements.  The workshop also detailed methods for increasing access to finance to improve production and how to establish a producers association.


The capacity building components also aimed to develop SME practices including how to apply for and manage a loan from local banks. This was identified as the primary skill needed for all producers to develop their business and to be able to build and improve their financial management, producing and marketing skills.

In total, 54 participants attended the workshop of which 24 were female.

The next plan is to follow up the Business Plan that link to the establishment of the SME Entrepreneur in all three provinces.  

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Gold Standard Registration

Gold Standard Registration

With income generated from the carbon credits we will be able to continue to provide efficient and...

Improved Cook Stove Testing Laboratories Help to Tackle National Smoke Hazards

Improved Cook Stove…

In Laos, 5,716 people die each year from diseases caused by the smoke from burning wood for...

SWITCH-Asia builds capacity for production of improved cook-stoves

SWITCH-Asia builds capacity…

Mr. Khammai and his wife Ms. Chitsana run a stove-making business out of their home in Champassack...

This programme is funded by European Union