Millions of trees are harvested annually for the production of wooden utility poles, contributing significantly to deforestation. EcoPole is a bamboo and composite utility pole with numerous environmental and practical benefits.
In addition to contributing to deforestation, wooden poles need to be regularly treated with toxic chemicals to protect against rot and fungi, and are vulnerable to damage from sun exposure, insects and woodpeckers. Even with proper maintenance, the average life cycle of a wooden utility pole is under 20 years. The use and eventual disposal of these poles contaminates top soil and groundwater, and improper incineration may lead to air pollution.
EcoPole is made from a composite material of bamboo and other sustainable components that have a life cycle greater than 50 years. No maintenance nor chemical treatments are required, as the pole is fully resistant to UV rays, pests, corrosion and degradation.
EcoPole can withstand high winds and vibrations due to its flexible composition. It is 50 per cent lighter than hardwood and 80 per cent lighter than concrete poles, resulting in easier transport and installation.
Building an electrical grid requires utility poles that are durable, convenient to transport and install, and cost-effective over time. EcoPole meets these needs while eliminating environmental concerns such as deforestation and chemical contamination.
In Africa, the rapid growth of technology is bringing with it a rapidly growing demand for electricity – and for electrical grids. Electricity demand in Sub-Saharan Africa, for example, is expected to more than triple by 2040. Throughout the continent millions of trees are used annually for utility poles. There is an estimated annual demand of USD 10 billion for building and maintaining electrical grids in Africa.
Founded in 2011, EcoPole develops and designs utility poles, primarily targeting the African market. The company has partners in both East and West Africa, where its poles are manufactured in local communities.
1. No poverty
EcoPole creates local jobs.
7. Affordable and clean energy
EcoPole helps to electrify rural areas, increasing the proportion of the population with access to electricity.
8. Decent work and economic growth
EcoPole provides decent jobs and promotes economic growth without environmental degradation.
9. Industry, innovation and infrastructure
EcoPole production involves technology and training transfer from Norway to Africa, where the poles can be used to build and upgrade the electricity infrastructure.
12. Responsible consumption and production
EcoPole has a long life cycle and is made from recyclable components.
15. Life on land
EcoPole helps to reduce deforestation and increase the cultivation of bamboo, which grows quickly without pesticides and can be used to prevent soil erosion.