It’s no secret that when it comes to the environment, India still has a long way to go. In fact, thirteen of the world’s twenty most polluted cities and two of the world’s most poluted rivers are located in India. Thankfully, there are many organizations across the country that are working to change all that.
In honor of World Environment Day, we’re highlighting five of our investees who are working to create sustainable environmental change.
Elrhino Eco Industries: Founded by Nisha Bora, Elrhino was started as a wildlife conservation-linked waste recycling project, built around the one horned rhino. It has a micro-level handmade paper making unit in Assam that uses vegetative natural waste, non-traditional raw materials like elephant and rhino dung and Assam’s traditional Muga and Eri silk to make paper. The paper is further converted to products by rural artisans trained by Elrhino. Nisha is the recipient of the 2015 Femina Women’s Award in the environment category.
Sampurn(e)arth: Debartha Banerjee and Jayanth Nataraju were inspired to transform was collection and disposal in Mumbai. They envisioned a solution that would be good for the planet and good for the people that collect waste. Their venture, Sampurn(e)arth, provides context-based decentralized solid waste management solutions that are environmentally friendly. The organization actively engages waste pickers, providing them with dignified employment. Sampurn(e)arth plans to scale up to process 500 Metric Tons per day in next five years which will result in the employment of 1,000 to 1,500 waste pickers.
Greenway Grameen: Ankit Mathur and Neha Juneja founded Greenway Grameen to co-create BoP products for rural consumers that are low cost as well as pro-health and productivity and environmentally friendly. While poverty limits access to good products and services, the lack of good products and services cause the BoP population to be trapped in poverty and vicious economic cycles. Today, Greenway Grameen produces India’s best selling biomass stove and has recently opened what is expected to be India’s largest factory for the production of biomass stoves.
Ecoad: Rohit Nayak and Sudhir Deshpande aim to transform the cities of India to be polythene-free by replacing polythene bags with ones made from recycled newspaper. They work with womens’ Self Help Groups to train them in the making of the paper bags and then sell them to various retailers.
Green Souls: Julius Rego, Sabita Rajendra and Trupti Kedari aim to address urban environmental, health and community issues by practicing sustainable urban farming. Currently, they have 4 organic community farms across Mumbai that provides access to healthy food and nature therapy to underprivileged children.