International Workshop Agreement on Cookstoves Unanimously Approved

An International Standards Organization (ISO) International Workshop Agreement (IWA) was finalized and unanimously affirmed by more than 90 stakeholders present at the ISO International Workshop on Cookstoves February 28 – 29, 2012 in The Hague, Netherlands. The IWA provides guidance for rating cook stoves on four key performance indicators: fuel use/efficiency, total emissions, indoor emissions, and safety.

As part of our commitment to developing globally recognized standards for clean and efficient cookstoves, the Partnership for Clean Indoor Air (PCIA) and the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (“the Alliance”) jointly organized the Workshop with the support of the American National Standards Institute.

Prior to the workshop, we circulated a draft International Workshop Agreement (IWA) to PCIA and Alliance members and posted it on the PCIA website, four interactive webinar presentations were held, and a feedback form posted on the PCIA website to give those not able to attend the workshop an opportunity comment on the draft. The draft IWA was based on the “Lima Consensus” (, developed at the 5th Biennial PCIA Forum in February 2011 in Lima, Peru, where participants reached an agreement to establish an interim rating system for the evaluation of cookstove models “that reflects the varying tiers of performance in the areas of fuel efficiency, indoor air quality, emissions of particulate matter and carbon monoxide and safety.”

At the International Workshop, participants closely reviewed supporting background materials and the draft IWA itself. The group, consisting of 91 participants from 23 countries, painstakingly edited the draft line by line, until its technical content and language clearly reflected the intentions and priorities of the group. By the end of the second day, the revised IWA was unanimously approved.

Participation in the International Workshop was encouraged from all stakeholder categories, including standards setting bodies, stove manufacturers, implementers, researchers, academics, stove testers, and other cookstove community members, all of whom were represented at the Workshop. A full participant list will be included in the final IWA.

The IWA provides a framework for rating cook stoves against tiers of performance for a series of Performance Indicators including: Fuel Use (Efficiency), Emissions (Carbon Monoxide and Particulate Matter 2.5), Indoor Emissions (Carbon Monoxide and Particulate Matter 2.5), and Safety. Rather than select a single laboratory protocol to determine cookstove performance, the IWA will enable stove testers to utilize laboratory protocols most appropriate for the stove and performance indicator being tested. Tiers of performance for each protocol will chart all stove test results on the same page in order to ensure equivalent results regardless of protocol used.

In addition to affirming tiers of performance, workshop participants developed seven resolutions which provide recommendations for the development of additional test protocols for a range of stove and fuel types and additional performance indicators, and recommendations that future standards and protocols address differences between laboratory and field testing and reflect revised WHO indoor air quality guidelines.

The final IWA approved at the workshop will be circulated to all workshop participants for editorial review only (grammatical errors, typos, etc)—all technical content will remain as agreed at the workshop. Once finalized the IWA will be published by ISO and communicated publically and internationally to standard setting bodies and cook stove stakeholders. It can then serve as a guideline for the household energy community, and the basis for continued development of protocols and performance indicators. The IWA may also serve as the basis for developing an ISO standard.

PCIA and the Alliance are working with more than 570 Partners in 117 countries to achieve the adoption by 100 million homes of clean and efficient stoves and fuels by 2020. We expect that developing globally recognized standards that are widely accepted by the stove community and adopted by country governments will spur wider deployment of clean cookstoves, and are proud to support the standards development process. PCIA and the Alliance would like to thank all of the participants of the International Workshop on Cookstoves, especially those responsible for developing the draft IWA, and the American National Standards Institute for their role in serving as Secretariat for the workshop.

To access the workshop proceedings and a draft of the IWA, please visit: