This lab aims to act as a platform for intermediaries who are working to support entrepreneurs and innovators looking to tackle environment-related issues and climate action with the overarching goal of increasing on-ground entrepreneur support towards a more sustainable tomorrow. It will launch in the second half of 2021.
India has a mixed history when it comes to progress on environmental topics; while it has made significant progress in certain areas, its growing economy and accompanying pressures threaten some of these gains. There are 21 Indian cities in the list of top 30-most polluted cities across the world, and transportation sources account for about a third of the particulate matter pollution in India and a high proportion of the nitrogen oxides in the air. Recycling rates in India are well below international benchmarks of around 90% set by Scandinavian countries. In India only 27% of packaging paper, 60% of plastics and 20-25% of metals are recycled. Only 90 GW of the country’s planned 450 GW total renewable energy (RE) potential of the country has been tapped, leaving a huge gap between the potential and installed capacity.
Climate change is affecting every country on every continent. Erratic weather patterns have become commonplace and sea levels are rising to unprecedented levels, disrupting economies and negatively impacting lives and livelihoods. Unpredictable monsoons and unsuitable increasing temperatures will affect farmers, particularly the small landholder farmers living in regions with weak infrastructure and less irrigation. Millions who inhabit the coastlines of the country are already being affected by rising sea levels and extreme weather conditions, with these conditions adding stressors to already strained central and state public support services. Thus, the role SGBs play in addressing environmental challenges through their operations, products and services, and supply chains has become all the more important.
This learning lab will seek to provide a space for comprehensive discussion, knowledge sharing and creation. We aim for it to act as a platform for intermediaries who are working to support entrepreneurs and innovators looking to tackle environment-related issues and climate action with the overarching goal of increasing on-ground entrepreneur support towards a more sustainable tomorrow.
We will focus on renewable energy (including mobility), circular economy (encompassing textile and agriculture waste-to-value), and water and sanitation (primarily the conservation and efficiency in water usage as pertaining to circularity. These sectors have been selected on the basis of multiple conversations with relevant ANDE members and other stakeholders in the ecosystem as to where the majority of innovation is happening in the country and where entrepreneurs need greater support to grow and scale impact.
This brief aims to contextualize the findings and strategy regarding ANDE’s key urgent issues and the SGB sector as outlined in ANDE’s globally focused issue brief, Climate and Environmental Action in the SGB Sector. The brief is meant to serve as a starting point for conversations on environmental action, and was developed in partnership with Villgro Innovations Foundation, Enviu and Green Artha.