Top Third Ventures

Last updated

Top Third Ventures
Privately Held Company
Industry Carbon offset projects,
Data Analysis and
Carbon Credit trading
Founded2011, Mauritius
Area served
149 countries of operation
Key people
Lucas Belenky (CEO) [1]
Björn Hammar (Chairman) [2]
ServicesData Tracking
Customer Data Analysis
Carbon Credits

Top Third Ventures is a limited liability company headquartered in Mauritius with a subsidiary registered in Kenya that deals mainly with carbon credits and Bottom of the Pyramid consumer segmentation. The company provides financiers, manufacturers, and distributors of efficient cook stoves access to carbon finance through its carbon credit programme, which is accessible though a mobile app.



Top Third Ventures was founded on 9 November 2011, by Lucas Belenky [1] and Björn Hammar [2] in Nairobi, Kenya. Björn Hammar, a Finnish national, met Lucas Belenky, a United States national, several months before during a professional hiatus while traveling through sub-Saharan Africa. A chance meeting with an efficient cook stove designer led to an introduction to Lucas who was a senior associate with KPMG East Africa’s Sustainability Advisory Services at the time. Björn and Lucas had their first meeting at the Westgate shopping mall. [3]

Top Third Ventures original business was to design, market, and sell an efficient cook stove with brand name Baker [4] for the rural consumer market in Kenya. Two additional business divisions grew out of the direct sale of the Baker cook stove: the Business-To-Business division providing other cook stove manufacturers and distributors access to carbon finance and the Big Data division. The retail sale of the Baker cook stove below cost of production was possible through carbon financing. Top Third Ventures registered the Top Third Ventures Stove Programme, a program of activities under the Clean Development Mechanism of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The programme was registered on 27 December 2012 [5] and allows Top Third Ventures to earn Certified Emissions Reductions from cook stove activities for a 28-year period. To streamline the realization of carbon credits, track sales, and achieve market segmentation, a mobile app was set up on Android and linked to a backend data visualization and data analysis tool. The aggregation of large amounts of cookstove user data is the foundation of Top Third Ventures’ Big Data division.

Top Third Ventures market entry strategy was through its own Baker cook stove. Claesson Koivisto Rune developed the design of the Baker cookstove to emphasize aesthetic appeal, usability, and cultural conformity. In early 2013 the first 200 Baker cook stoves were manufactured In Nairobi and sold through Top Third Ventures’ flagship store in Laikipia County, Kenya. [6] The cook stoves were sold from a refurbished shipping container and the sales team was composed on local village motorcycle taxis that were given sample products. The Baker cook stoves were sold for a retail price of $25. [7] Sales data and customer information was recorded through Top3 Tracker.

After encountering quality problems in the domestically produced Baker cookstoves and unable to raise working capital to establish production overseas at sufficient economies of scale, Top Third Ventures focused on the Business-to-Business and Big Data divisions of the company by working with existing financiers, manufacturers, and distributors of cook stoves around the developing, to provide them access to Top Third Ventures’ carbon credit programme.

On 12 September 2012, Top Third Ventures Global was incorporated in Mauritius as a limited liability company. The restructuring reduced the exposure of Top Third Ventures’ operations to political risk from the upcoming Kenyan General Election, 2013.

Business model

Through TTV’s carbon credit programme the company reduces the cost of accessing carbon finance and lowers the time required to certify an efficient cook stove activity for carbon finance.

Related Research Articles

Stove Device that burns fuel to heat items or a space

A stove is a device in which fuel is burned to heat either the space in which the stove is situated, or items placed on the heated stove or inside it in an oven.

Kitchen stove Kitchen appliance designed for the purpose of cooking food

A kitchen stove, often called simply a stove or a cooker, is a kitchen appliance designed for the purpose of cooking food. Kitchen stoves rely on the application of direct heat for the cooking process and may also contain an oven, used for baking. "Cookstoves" are heated by burning wood or charcoal; "gas stoves" are heated by gas; and "electric stoves" by electricity. A stove with a built-in cooktop is also called a range.

A carbon credit is a generic term for any tradable certificate or permit representing the right to emit one tonne of carbon dioxide or the equivalent amount of a different greenhouse gas (tCO2e).

Clean Development Mechanism

The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is one of the Flexible Mechanisms defined in the Kyoto Protocol that provides for emissions reduction projects which generate Certified Emission Reduction units (CERs) which may be traded in emissions trading schemes. The market crashed in 2012 when the value of credits collapsed and thousands of projects were left with unclaimed credits. The struggle about what to do with the old credits sank the 2019 COP 25 in Madrid.

Carbon offset reduction in emissions of carbon dioxide or greenhouse gases made in order to compensate for or to offset an emission made elsewhere

A carbon offset is a reduction in emissions of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases made in order to compensate for emissions made elsewhere. Offsets are measured in tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent (CO2e). One tonne of carbon offset represents the reduction of one tonne of carbon dioxide or its equivalent in other greenhouse gases.

European Union Emission Trading Scheme greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme

The European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), was the first large greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme in the world, and remains the biggest. It was launched in 2005 to fight global warming and is a major pillar of EU energy policy. As of 2013, the EU ETS covers more than 11,000 factories, power stations, and other installations with a net heat excess of 20 MW in 31 countries—all 27 EU member states plus Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and United Kingdom. In 2008, the installations regulated by the EU ETS were collectively responsible for close to half of the EU's anthropogenic emissions of CO2 and 40% of its total greenhouse gas emissions. By 2020 the EU hopes to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20% compared with 1990 and to increase energy efficiency by 20%. A 2020 study estimated that the EU ETS had reduced CO2 emissions by more than 1 billion tons between 2008 and 2016 or 3.8% of total EU-wide emissions.

Cook stove type of stove

A biomass cook stove is heated by burning wood, charcoal, animal dung or crop residue. Cook stoves are commonly used for cooking and heating food in rural households. Nearly half of the world's population, approximately 3 billion people, use solid fuels such as coal, wood, animal dung, and crop residues for their domestic energy needs. Among those who use indoor cooking stoves, the poorest families living in rural areas most frequently use solid fuels, where it continues to be relied on by up to 90% of households. Households in developing countries consume significantly less energy than those in developed countries; however, over 50% of the energy is for cooking food. The average rural family spends 20% or more of its income purchasing wood or charcoal for cooking. The urban poor also frequently spend a significant portion of their income on the purchase of wood or charcoal. Deforestation and erosion often result from harvesting wood for cooking fuel. The main goal of most improved cooking stoves is to reduce the pressure placed on local forests by reducing the amount of wood the stoves consume, and to reduce the negative health impacts associated with exposure to toxic smoke from traditional stoves.

Indoor air pollution in developing nations is a significant form of indoor air pollution (IAP) that is little known to those in the developed world.


ClimateCare is a profit for purpose environmental and social impact company known for its role providing carbon offset services, with a particular focus on using carbon and other results based finance to support its 'Climate+Care Projects'. It also provides businesses and governments with sustainable development programmes, environmental and social impact measurement and project development.

EcoSecurities is a company specialised in carbon markets and greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation projects worldwide. EcoSecurities specialises in sourcing, developing and financing projects on renewable energy, energy efficiency, forestry and waste management with a positive environmental impact.

Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation

Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries (REDD+) was first negotiated under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2005, with the objective of mitigating climate change through reducing net emissions of greenhouse gases through enhanced forest management in developing countries. Most of the key REDD+ decisions were completed by 2013, with the final pieces of the rulebook finished in 2015.

Program of Activities (PoA) is a modality of project development under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The Adaptation Fund is an international fund that finances projects and programs aimed at helping developing countries to adapt to the harmful effects of climate change. It is set up under the Kyoto Protocol of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The Clean Cooking Alliance is a non-profit organization operating with the support of the United Nations Foundation. According to the World Health Organization, 4.3 million people a year die from health problems attributable to household air pollution from the use of polluting open fires and inefficient fuels for cooking. The Alliance was announced in 2010 by then-U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Dymphna previously working as CEO for Clinton Climate Initiative organization.

Renat Heuberger Swiss businessman

Renat Heuberger is the CEO and co-founder of South Pole, a global company specialising in sustainability solutions. He has been engaged as a social entrepreneur in the fields of sustainability, climate change and renewable energies since 1999.


BioLite, a startup based in New York City, develops and manufactures off-grid energy products for both the outdoor recreational industry and emerging markets. The company is most well known for their flagship wood-burning stoves that use thermoelectric technology to produce usable electricity from the heat of their fires.

EcoZoom is a certified B Corporation that makes charcoal, wood and biomass cook stoves. The company has offices in Portland, Oregon and Nairobi, Kenya. EcoZoom holds the exclusive license to distribute stove technology designed by Aprovecho in developing countries and a second license to distribute in the United States.

InStove is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 2012 with the goal of reducing climate damage, deforestation, indoor air pollution, and respiratory diseases by the manufacture and distribution of highly efficient institutional rocket-style stoves in the developing world. Their cook stoves are used in large institutional settings such as refugee camps and schools, and empower those who cook with them through implementation of safe and efficient cook stove technology to minimize personal and environmental health risks. InStove's mission is to relieve suffering, improve health, and reduce harm to the environment through the placement of highly efficient biomass cook stoves in vulnerable communities worldwide.

Atmosfair is an independent German non-profit organization which offers offsets for greenhouse gases emitted by aircraft, cruise ships, long-distance coaches, and events. The organization, founded in 2005, develops and finances small-scale energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in developing countries, which lead to reduced carbon emissions. Atmosfair has repeatedly won acclaim for operating with a high degree of transparency and accountability, as well as efficient use of funds.


CO2balance UK Ltd is a British profit-for-purpose carbon management consultancy and project developer founded in 2003. It is known for developing carbon finance projects in developing countries that reduce carbon emissions and support the Sustainable Development Goals. CO2balance also provides businesses and individuals with carbon footprint calculation and reduction services, bestowing the label of ‘CarbonZero’ on those organisations that completely offset the footprint of their operations.


  1. 1 2 "CMU Alumnus Launches Cookstove Project Empowering Rural Women in Africa; Crowdsource Funding Underway -Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship - Carnegie Mellon University". Archived from the original on 29 April 2014. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  2. 1 2 David South, E.W.; Rolfsdottir, S. (2014). Southern Innovator Magazine Issue 5: Waste and Recycling: Improving Human Development with Finite Resources. p. 47. ISBN   9780992021719 . Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  3. Mathew Juma O (Athias Avians). "About | What We Do | Top Third Ventures". Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  4. "Baker : Energy Efficient Cookstove". Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  5. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. "CDM: Top Third Ventures Stove Programme". Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  6. "The first Baker Stove store opened on March 29th, 2013 in Kenya, specifically…" . Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  7. "A Simple, Elegant Stove To Make Cooking Safer In Africa | Co.Exist | ideas + impact". Retrieved 5 March 2015.