OSRAM is one of the two leading light manufacturers in the world. The company’s portfolio covers the entire value chain from components – including lamps, opto semiconductors like light-emitting diodes (LED) – to electronic control gears as well as complete luminaires, light management systems and lighting solutions. The company, which is internationally oriented, had around 39,000 employees worldwide at the end of the fiscal year 2012 and generated a revenue of 5.4 billion Euros in that year. More than 70% of its revenue comes from energy-efficient products. The company’s business activities have been focusing on light – and hence on quality of life – for over 100 years
OSRAM has a strong sense for its Corporate Social Responsibility. The company also seeks to develop practicable and affordable lighting solutions for areas where grid-electricity is not given. With the WE!Hub off-grid project, a solution has been identified where OSRAM and its partners can provide affordable, modern and environmental friendly lighting technologies to people who usually have no access to electrical light. About 1.3 billion people worldwide depend on “fuel-based lighting”. Kerosene is the most common form of lighting in off-grid areas. It is burned in wick-type kerosene lamps or hurricane lanterns. Besides being a very inefficient light source, kerosene lighting is expensive, dangerous and poses a health hazard for its users. An amazing 25 billion liters of kerosene and 1.4 million tons of candles are burned every year for lighting, resulting in emissions of 74 million tons of CO2.
In 2006, OSRAM decided to analyze the Off-Grid market and developed a sustainable solution for all kerosene users. The result was the OSRAM “Umeme Kwa Wote” – “Energy for all” Off-Grid project which was inaugurated on April 1st 2008 in Nairobi. A pilot project with three Energy Hubs in Suba District/Kenya around the shores of Lake Victoria was launched, addressing local fishermen and their communities.
“Umeme Kwa Wote” – “Energy for all” fulfills several requirements of the UN Millennium Development Goals, also because the purification and supply of drinking water and recharging of mobile phone devices are an integral part of the project. After almost four years of operation, the results show that the partners are on the right track, with high acceptance by local users and stakeholders.
Out of the experiences made in the pilot phase OSRAM designed and developed the lighting products for the WE!Hubs, putting special emphasize on the applicability and high quality. The company supports the preparation and construction of the WE!Hubs and is the project’s technical and conceptual expertise.
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