BioLite Wins Cooper Hewitt’s National Design Award
The renewable energy social enterprise is recognized for innovation and impact in Product Design.
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Brooklyn, NY (September 1, 2021) — BioLite, a global leader in off-grid personal energy solutions, is honored to receive the prestigious 2021 National Design Award from Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. Winning the Product Design category, this award celebrates BioLite’s role in using the power of design to change the world through its physical consumer products.
Launched in 2000 as an official project of the White House Millennium Council, the Awards seek to increase national awareness of the impact of design through education initiatives. Winners are selected by a jury of experts who carefully review submissions against the following criteria: extraordinary originality in identifying, shaping, and solving problems, perspectives that significantly broaden the conventions of a nominees’ discipline, and work that introduces formal innovation and exhibits consistently high levels of imagination and insight.
On a mission to empower people and protect the planet through access to renewable energy, BioLite has designed and manufactured a robust portfolio of products that deliver clean cooking, charging, and lighting solutions to individuals living off-grid. Using a unique business model termed Parallel Innovation, BioLite develops core technologies that serve two distinct markets united by a common need for remote energy: households in emerging markets where traditional grids are unreliable or do not yet exist, and outdoor enthusiasts looking to power life away from an outlet.
Using this model, BioLite has reached over 2.9 million individuals across Asia and Africa and offset over 400,000 tons of CO2e emissions with its renewable energy solutions. The organization is on track to realize its vision of providing 20 million people with access to clean energy and avoiding 3 million tons of CO2e by 2025.
“For our emerging market customers, we have the humbling opportunity to be the first step in accessing essential energy that powers daily life safely and affordably,” says BioLite CEO Jonathan Cedar, “For our outdoor customers, BioLite shows what a renewable energy future could look like, a life beyond the fossil fuels and disposable batteries we are used to. This award means so much to us as it sits at the core of our work and our impact: a solution is only good if people actually use it – and that ultimately comes down to excellent product design.”
In addition to developing physical products, BioLite is a co-founder of Climate Neutral Certified, an independent non-profit that enables brands to quickly and efficiently measure, reduce, offset, and certify their carbon footprint. More than 300 brands have certified their products through Climate Neutral, representing $4 Billion dollars a year of carbon-neutral consumer spending and directly offsetting more than 1M tons of CO2e.
“This is a tremendous honor for our entire team,” says Cedar, “from design to engineering to operations, everyone at the organization plays a key role in delivering products with beauty and soul into the hands of our users. In an especially challenging time, this award affirms the passion and dedication of this group, and we celebrate this win, together.”
More about BioLite’s parallel innovation business model and company mission:
BioLite is a social enterprise that develops, manufactures, and markets advanced energy products for off-grid communities around the world. The renewable energy company creates novel cooking, charging, and lighting solutions that serve both rural communities and outdoor enthusiasts without access to modern grid energy. The company has been the recipient of numerous recognitions, including Popular Science’s Best of What’s New, Fast Company’s Innovation by Design Awards, BusinessWeek’s Most Promising Social Enterprise, and a nomination for Outdoor Retailer’s Inspiration Awards. Headquartered in Brooklyn, N.Y., the company was founded in 2009 by Jonathan Cedar and Alec Drummond. Discover more about BioLite at BioLiteEnergy.com
About Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Cooper Hewitt is America’s design museum. Inclusive, innovative, and experimental, the museum’s dynamic exhibitions, education programs, master’s program, publications, and online resources inspire, educate, and empower people through design. An integral part of the Smithsonian Institution—the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex—Cooper Hewitt is located on New York City’s Museum Mile in the historic, landmark Carnegie Mansion. Steward of one of the world’s most diverse and comprehensive design collections—over 210,000 objects that range from an ancient Egyptian faience cup dating to about 1100 BCE to contemporary 3D-printed objects and digital code—Cooper Hewitt welcomes everyone to discover the importance of design and its power to change the world.
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