Wonderbag, the South African company responsible for the innovative non-electric heat-retention cooker that has made international headlines, has announced a commercial partnership with independent financial advisory firm Bastion Advisory.
Wonderbag, voted one of the world’s Top 50 Genius Companies Leading Into The Future by Time Magazine, offers an award-winning solution that allows food that has been brought to the boil using conventional methods to continue to cook for up to eight hours without using additional energy sources. Bastion Advisory, a specialist group of treasury professionals with a wealth of financial markets experience in both local and international banks, offers expert and independent advice and guidance to organisations looking to optimise their financing and financial risk management activities.
Together, the two organisations are offering companies a new avenue to enter voluntary carbon offset markets. The use of a Wonderbag saves an average of 1 ton of carbon emissions per year, making the company’s voluntary carbon credits under the Voluntary Carbon Standard (“VCS”) an ideal vehicle for businesses looking to purchase carbon offsets. The partnership between Bastion Advisory and Wonderbag enables Bastion to package and sell the VCS generated by Wonderbag heat retention cooking initiatives in communities in Africa, helping the organisation to reach its goal of creating 5 million tonnes of carbon offset per annum, while enabling customer businesses to meet their emission targets.
“We are extremely pleased to be able to announce this partnership with Wonderbag, the latest initiative from our Carbon and Commodities division. The global push to reduce carbon emissions calls for creative solutions, and we believe that this is what we provide. To ensure the effectiveness of carbon offsetting, it is important to support projects that are guided by science and executed with integrity, and Wonderbag certainly fits the bill,” says Craig Williamson, Director at Bastion Advisory.
“Wonderbag had humble beginnings, aiming to empower grandmothers who were cooking over open fires, and today we are proud to be known as the business to partner with for sustainable solutions across the supply chain. Paul Polman of Unilever was instrumental in our evolution, identifying Wonderbag’s potential, stating that it was the very innovation he had been looking for to halve Unilever ’s carbon footprint and double the company’s income when presenting to his chairpersons across the globe. After increasing ROI by 247% following Unilever’s collaboration with Wonderbag, we established a reputation as a partner that can instil purpose while generating results, leading to alliances with many other multinational organisations such as Pfizer,” explains Wonderbag’s founder and CEO, Sarah Collins.
Bastion Director Jayson Dunne explains that with ESG an essential topic in boardrooms, and with Wonderbag’s potential to help solve global environmental and societal problems, this partnership provides an additional avenue through which companies can operationalise ESG strategies to achieve sustainable value creation. “ESG is becoming the defining challenge of the 21st century, and the environmental, social and governance value of a solution like that offered by Wonderbag and Bastion Advisory – not to mention the impact on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the countries they operate in – is huge,” he says.
“Now that we have Bastion as our commercial partner, we are able to scale and have top notch financiers driving the business, ensuring we have a far more commercial approach. This will enable us to get more Wonderbags into homes, at prices people can afford, while supporting all 17 SDG goals, the ESG goals of corporates, as well as enterprise development solutions with measurable socio- economic upliftment in communities. I am so thrilled to have Bastion by my side! Exciting new deals and partnerships are already happening. I do love a win/win/win for all,” Collins says
Bastion has already seen a great deal of interest for the spot and forward sales of Wonderbag’s VCS, and signed the partnership’s first deal within weeks of the agreement being signed. “As the offset market grows, we will see a variety of new products being introduced, and we are proud to be leading the charge.”
Behind the scenes: Wonderbag was founded in South Africa in 2008, by South African entrepreneur and social activist, Sarah Collins. The product was developed as a solution to support women who need to cook over fires each day. The Wonderbag journey through the years has been nothing short of inspiring and is an innovative solution for Africa’s most vulnerable communities and the environment. This award-winning non-electric heat-retention cooker allows food that has been brought to the boil by conventional methods to continue to cook for up to 8 hours without using additional energy sources. The bag is covered with durable polyester cotton blend fabric and filled with chipped (recycled) foam for dependable insulation.
Bastion Advisory is a specialist group of Treasury professionals with a wealth of financial markets experience in both local and international banks, as well as corporate treasuries. They are regulated by the FSCA. FSP number: 50711