Berkeley Air is a vetted technical partner for energy, health, environmental research, and development programs.
In 2008, Berkeley Air was established as a social venture dedicated to protecting global health and climate. Our high quality data, collected both domestically and abroad, has supported cleaner air, safer cooking solutions, and reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. High-impact initiatives around the world rely on Berkeley Air to provide independent, state-of-the-art evaluation of home energy appliances and their impacts on people and the environment.
Berkeley Air is independent. We do not promote any technology, appliance, fuel, or implementation approach. Further, we commit to disclosing any potential biases and conflicts of interest.
Inside or outside of the house, Berkeley Air tracks the impacts of air quality and cooking technologies. Our services include:
What We Measure
Health and Safety
Exposure to household air pollution is the most important environmental risk factor for ill health in developing countries and is responsible for four million premature deaths per year. Breathing the smoke from low quality fuels and incomplete combustion is associated with increased rates of pneumonia, lung cancer, tuberculosis, cataracts, cardiovascular diseases, and other diseases.
Although directly measuring the health benefits of household energy interventions can be relatively complicated and expensive, assessing changes in kitchen concentrations or personal exposure to key pollutants such as particulate matter (PM) and carbon monoxide (CO) can provide a strong indication of whether a program is having a positive impact on health. Berkeley Air Monitoring Group is a leader in field monitoring of household air pollution and personal exposure.
Berkeley Air’s most commonly tracked health and safety indicators and metrics:
Air Pollution and Landscape Impacts
Poor combustion of fuels burned to meet household energy needs releases substantial amounts of black carbon, methane, and other pollutants that contribute to climate change. Unsustainable fuel harvesting and production can lead to deforestation, loss of biodiversity, soil erosion, desertification, flooding, and other environmental impacts.
The emissions from household fuels also impact outdoor air quality. These emissions pollute the ambient local and regional environment.
Berkeley Air has assessed the environmental impacts of stove programs in several countries, including emissions of climate-forcing pollutants and fuel sustainability.
Berkeley Air’s most commonly tracked air pollution and landscape impact indicators and metrics:
- Fuel consumption
- Fuel renewability
For almost all household energy projects, how well a cookstove or other technology performs in homes is fundamental to the success of the program.
With our network of partners around the world, we can measure the most critical indicators of technology performance in the field. We have extensive experience using standardized protocols such as the Kitchen Performance Test and the Controlled Cooking Test, as well as customized research methods to meet the needs of specific projects.
Berkeley Air’s most commonly tracked technology performance indicators and metrics:
Gender and Economic Outcomes
Gender and economic outcomes play a crucial role in sustainable development. A cleaner and more efficient cooking technology has the potential to create significant positive outcomes for both the female cook and her household. The outcomes are frequently nuanced and interrelated, and their exploration and measurement require specially-designed data collection tools adapted to reflect the local context.
We have significant experience and expertise in collecting the necessary data to measure and understand the potential gender and economic impacts of a cleaner cooking technology.
We aim to ensure all expected and unexpected outcomes are identified and, if possible, measured. To do this we advocate the use of mixed methods that combine: quantitative surveys, stove use monitoring, and qualitative methods (group discussions, photo elicitation).
Berkeley Air’s most commonly tracked gender and economic indicators: