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India is solving the world’s No. 1 problem: climate change

by Vanaaisha Pamnani

It’s no secret that Climate Change is negatively impacting our world.

In recent decades, the increase in droughts, forest fires, flooding, sea level rise, and extreme temperature fluctuations has severely impacted our environment and created negative economic and social implications to countries located in the Global South -- especially India.

According to a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ( IPCC) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ( IPCC), the impact of a 1.5 degrees Celsius change in global temperature will affect India drastically by “disproportionately affect disadvantaged and vulnerable populations through food insecurity, higher food prices, income losses, lost livelihood opportunities, adverse health impacts, and population displacements.” With an estimated climate temperature increase of 4 degrees Celsius by the end of this century, we need to find solutions now more than ever. Luckily, several Indian startups are dedicating their business to do just that.

Let’s take a look at three Indian startups who are combating climate change now --

Banyan Nation

Banyan, located in the heart of Hyderabad, is one of the first Indian startups to aid global brands --such as Tata Motors and L’Oreal Paris -- to invest and utilize recycled plastic, rather than virgin plastic. In India, recycling plastic is usually informal and illegal, and not a huge priority. With climate change on the rise, investing in recycled plastic is essential and Banyan has found a solution.

Their plastic cleaning, thermal technology converts collected post consumer and post industrial waste from various materials -- metal, labels, auto paint, ink, dirt, oils, and adhesives -- into high quality recycled granules named Better Plastic™. Better Plastic™ creates an impactful environmental solution without the diminution of integrity, quality, and performance.

While creating recycled plastic is their primary concern, they also have integrated a holistic waste management platform driven by IoT. With their new data-tracking platform, it allows Banyan and their respective clients to monitor waste-flows, the amount and transportation of wastage, as well as map over 1,500 stationery recyclers. By providing a more efficient, effective, and economical way to regulate waste management, they are providing a solution to a desperate problem.

Selco

Established in 1995, Selco has dedicated itself to finding sustainable energy solutions to improve the quality of life and socio-economic development for lower-income communities. Selco allows lower-income households to invest in sustainable appliances including, solar water heaters, milking machines, indoor & outdoor street lighting, power equipment for health centers, and much more. All installation and maintenance are provided by doorstep servicing.

Additionally, Selco’s tailored doorstep financing system provides households the opportunity to pay off their purchases with ease as Selco matches a customer’s individual cash flow. As a result, Indian communities are able to invest in sustainable solutions without the fear of debt.

Presently, Selco has installed over 450,000 solar solutions to low-income communities across India and has been able to sustain themselves as a company. Over the last 8 years, they have maintained profits with a growth rate at an annual average of 20%, and have reinvested their profit for further growth within the sustainable industry.

Greenway Appliances

Greenway Appliances is one of the fast growing consumer appliance companies in India focused on reducing emissions.

In India, the use of “mud chulhas,” also known as open gas fires contributes to about 2% of the world’s GHG emissions. Four million deaths per annum are attributed globally to the negative health impact of using traditional chulhas, and a quarter of these deaths occur in India alone. While modern fuels are available, there is a low adoption of clean stoves due to affordability and culture, inducing the impacts of climate change. Thankfully, Greenway has found a solution through their invention of the Greenway Smart Stove.

Their stoves -- patented with air regulation technology -- deliver 65% fuel savings and 70% in smoke reduction. By solely using solid biomass fuels, rural communities can cook with a smaller carbon footprint.

Presently, they are expanding their product line, introducing the Little Sun Solar, a solar-powered lamp. With 5 hours of charging, it can provide up to 50 hours of light on the dimmest setting or 5 hour of light on the highest setting and is made out of weather, UV resistant, and recyclable material -- creating innovative ways to meet necessity with sustainability.

We may not find a solution for climate change overnight, however we can mitigate its devastating effects -- and its starting with these Indian startups.

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