Stoves that change lives

Among the five fundamental values of Coval, we find the environment and the human being. We are pleased to be associated with a social cause that puts these two concepts forward. Thanks to the StoveTeam International (STI) organization, the stove and fireplace community can do more to support vulnerable families and protect the environment. We invite you to learn more about this cause and the involvement of Coval and its partners.

1000 Stove Challenge

One thousand stoves to change the face of communities in Latin America. This is the first challenge that STI has launched in our industry to help the planet. Mindful of this cause, Coval has decided to do its part to achieve this goal by engaging Quebec’s specialty retailers.

As a promoter of clean wood burning technologies, it is our responsibility to share our knowledge and make our technologies available where they have the greatest impact. I am proud to partner with STI to help improve the lives of women, children, and communities in need. — Jean-François Fauteux, president, Coval


According to studies that have been conducted, between three and four billion people rely on a wood fire to cook, boil water for daily use and ultimately to feed themselves.

Open fires are not controlled, so families are exposed to harmful smoke. Unfortunately, in order to protect themselves from the weather, people cook inside their homes. As a result, they are exposed to the equivalent of 4 packs of cigarettes per day. The WHO estimates that about four million people die each year from smoke coming from cooking fires.

It is estimated that the poorest people live on average with eight people per household. Having an unhealthy environment thus affects a large number of people at once.

The socio-economic situation in poor countries means that a majority of women are affected by this situation. As the mainstay of the family home in these regions, women must spend approximately 20 hours a week collecting fuel and cooking in unfavourable conditions, which exposes them to the risk of burns and a large quantity of harmful smoke. This lost time is an additional barrier to their development as individuals and to achieving a better quality of life.


STI’s dream is to eradicate open cooking fires around the world. Indeed, their goal is to give families and communities back their health and time. In their vision, “cooking stops being a major contributor to climate change and deforestation.” In addition to creating entrepreneurs who are catalysts for sustainable change in their communities, STI is on a mission to foster education so that “there is universal global knowledge that cooking over open fires is dangerous to health and the environment.”

The most dangerous activity a woman in the developing world can undertake is cooking for her family, and most of them have a baby on their front or back. For that baby, it is the equivalent of smoking three packs of cigarettes a day. — Nancy Hughes, Fondatrice, StoveTeam International


Since we learned about STI, Coval has made it its mission to raise awareness and engage the Quebec stove and fireplace industry through its many partners. To do so, we have set up a donation system to finance and raise funds for the cause.

Concretely, each time a consumer buys an appliance worth $1,000 or more at a participating retailer, the latter will offer a thank-you card worth $10 as a donation to StoveTeam. For each donation, Coval will match it to double the contribution. So, for every purchase, a $20 donation will be made to the organization.

For every $100 donated, a stove is funded for a family in need. This same stove also provides work for a small local manufacturing company that is mostly run by women entrepreneurs with the help of StoveTeam.


StoveTeam’s cause directly and indirectly addresses the 17 United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals. For example, it improves the socio-economic situation of women and the health of populations by reducing polluting emissions with a removal of 3 tons of CO2 per year for each appliance, in addition to promoting and strengthening local economies.

Given this demonstration of the benefits brought by this initiative, we wish to take advantage of the distribution network, i.e., retailers, manufacturers, and consumers, so that Quebec can do its part for the cause. Here are the results of our efforts to date.

Dollars raised
Funded stoves
Improved lives
Tons of CO2


Prior to construction, a technician visits the home to ensure that the Justa stove is placed correctly, and that the family maintains it properly. The family then builds a base for the stove using the StoveTeam building guide. The family must also find a local person or family member to help the StoveTeam technician build the stove.

StoveTeam provides all materials and employs a local technician to build the Justa stove inside the home. The materials include bricks, a cooktop, ceramic pieces for the fireplace and a chimney. At the time of installation, StoveTeam geolocates the stove with GPS and provides the family with a proper use and care guide with the contact information of a local technician or stove factory. They then re-examine the stove six months after installation, and again after one year, to ensure that it is working properly and being used correctly.

Finally, StoveTeam:

  • Empowers local people to build homes in their own communities. This provides a local perspective that is crucial to development.
  • Engages families in the process of building their own stove. This ensures adoption and encourages families to share the stove with their friends.
  • Records over a dozen data points for each family, including the exact GPS location of each stove. This allows them to visualize data from each region, understand trends, and analyze approaches.
  • Carefully documents all strategies and policies in an open source manual, available to anyone interested in becoming a stove technician or starting a stove project in their area.


Coval (Varennes, Qc)
Le Centre du Foyer (St-Jérôme, Qc)
HPBA (Arlington, Va)
ICC (St-Jérôme, Qc)


My stove has become like a good friend to me, and it’s a wonderful thing in my life. It saves me wood, and is great for cooking. — Rosita de las Cruces, El Salvador
I had no words, I was so excited and thankful that God was giving me back all the effort I had put in by letting me own my own business. I have to work very hard but I thank God that I am creating my own business. I know that with the support of StoveTeam International our factory will get ahead. I am so grateful because ever since I have been with the factory, StoveTeam has never stopped supporting us. — Elida Olivas, Owner of StoveTeam’s partner factory Avanza in Nicaragua
StoveTeam does great work to connect volunteers in the US and beyond with real people in Latin America who cook over open fires, leading to a genuine cultural exchange and educational experience for all involved. Their innovative model of funding factories that make stoves instead of [giving] stoves themselves increases their impact and enables them to do more work in the community and benefit local communities. I’ve been impressed by the amount of impact StoveTeam has made by empowering local entrepreneurs! — Kimberly Forrest, Board Member and Donor

StoveTeam International helped me start a factory in El Salvador. We now employ 22 local workers and our factory has produced over 20,000 stoves that improve the lives of more than 150,000 people. — Gustavo Peña, Stove Factory Owner, El Salvador
Now that my mommy has a stove, she doesn’t cry from the smoke anymore. Thank you for the opportunity of the Justa stove. — Ruth Ester Zamora, Justa stove recipient
The StoveTeam stoves are enormously safer, produce much less smoke, and require much less wood than open fires. The StoveTeam project improves the lives of these families while benefiting the environment and providing local employment. In this day of increasing hostility to immigrants from Central America, StoveTeam also provides a real service by giving people like me an opportunity to learn about our neighbors in person rather than from tweets. — Jeff Oxley, Volunteer Trip Participant