The Mission of Solar Cookers International

Solar Cookers International’s mission is to spread solar thermal cooking technology to benefit people and environments.

We work to solve the problem of inadequate household energy facing nearly 3 billion people on our planet.  Since human health, quality of life, and environments are affected by cooking fuel choices, we offer a solution to the difficult choices nearly half of all families make every day: whether to buy fuel, or to buy food and other family needs.  The sun’s free energy is a viable solution for all who live where the sun shines.

Solar cooker technology is a sustainable and environmentally responsible tool which helps families fight poverty and disease, and changes women’s and children’s lives for the better.  

What distinguishes Solar Cookers International is our combination of projects, partnerships, advocacy and outreach to the global solar cooker community.  We engage and energize the Solar Cookers International Network, supporting more than 500 organizations and individuals around the world to share solar thermal cooker knowledge, particularly with those who have the greatest need. 

Early in its history, Solar Cookers International identified an urgent need for refugees and villagers in Africa to cook and pasteurize water, and SCI designed a panel solar cooker, the CooKit, to meet this need.  Today, we work with partners globally to address health and energy needs in a variety of sensitive populations and environments.  Solar Cookers International provides information and connects you to the partnerships you need to bring simple, effective and appropriate solar thermal cooking technology to people who are interested in changing their lives by changing their cooking tools. 

Through our efforts, SCI combats poverty, supports local economies, and preserves human dignity. We are motivated to change and save lives with solar thermal cooking technology. 

The Culture of Solar Cookers International

We are emotionally committed to achieving our mission to harness the sun to benefit people and the environment.  We see this not as just a job, but as a chance to strengthen self-reliance and self-help of the most vulnerable groups, typically women, children, people with disabilities, and those living in extreme poverty. 

We are professional in all that we do in support of our mission. We recognize that we cannot achieve our mission unless we create a successful nonprofit business to support that mission. We run our nonprofit business with care for how we use the resources that donors and customers have given us. 

We develop relationships of trust. We operate Solar Cookers International in accordance with the bylaws, regulations and policies of our state, nation, and our many partner agencies. We protect our donors’ and partners’ privacy and confidentiality. The only information solicited from stakeholders and customers shall be information necessary for Solar Cookers International to best serve their needs. We act ethically in all our dealings. 

Our partners and colleagues need information and tools they can use in a timely manner. When we can’t meet their needs because they fall outside our mission or are beyond our resources at the current time, we clearly say so rather than leave them hanging.

We have a relentless commitment to continuous improvement. We constantly look for better ways to do established things and important new things that can further our mission.

Because we are an innovative institution, mistakes are inevitable. We flush our mistakes, learn from them, and go on. When we do something that hurts another, we apologize rather than make excuses. 

We debate and commit rather than smooth and avoid. When we think there is a better way or a problem to be fixed, we challenge and assist each other. We believe leadership is making our team members better and more productive and we are committed to being leaders, each of us, even when it makes us uncomfortable. Instead of working in silos, team members are willing to pitch in whenever needed, where the need is greatest.

We fill each other’s emotional tanks. We treat ourselves, each other, our donors, our partners, and the people we serve with dignity. We recognize and celebrate our successes with each other. We support each other through disappointments and glitches. We adopt Ernest Shackleton’s motto: “Difficulties are just things to overcome, after all.”