Clean technology innovators and entrepreneurs from India, Morocco, Pakistan, South Africa, Thailand and Turkey were honoured last night at the 2018 GCIP Global Week and Cleantech Open Global Forum.
The Global Cleantech Innovation Programme (GCIP) award winners joined top entrepreneurs from around the world to celebrate the progress, achievements and successes of clean technology innovation in addressing global environmental and sustainability challenges.
GCIP is a joint initiative of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), and is conducted in partnership with the Cleantech Open (CTO), a Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator programme. Each startup involved receives training, mentoring, and promotion, and is put in contact with potential investors, customers and partners through participation in the programme. Each national GCIP receives $1M to $2M in funding from the GEF, which is matched by $2M to $6M+ in co-financing (including in-kind) from in-country public and private-sector partners.
“Today, GCIP is the cornerstone of GEF support for small and medium enterprises. Innovation is critical to solving today’s global environmental threats. And, recognizing the central role of the private sector, we hope to do even more in the future. We need scalable, innovative ideas that embrace the opportunity that new technologies provide us with,” said Naoko Ishii, GEF CEO and Chairperson, in a video address to the GCIP Global Week and Cleantech Open Global Forum participants.
This year’s Global Cleantech Innovation Award winner, Saathi Eco Innovations of India, has developed a technology to produce 100% biodegradable and compostable sanitary pads made from waste banana tree fiber. No water is used in the production process, and use of the pads is projected to reduce 1,011 MT of CO2 emissions and 1,323 MT of plastic waste annually. Saathi Eco Innovations’ low-cost decomposable sanitary pads, and hygiene and health awareness campaigns, also contribute to women’s empowerment in India, where only one in six women have access to sanitary pads, constraining their ability to work and attend school during menstruation.
The Global Runner-Up award went to TOM-CASAVA of Thailand, which manufactures activated carbon products from cassava stump. Using the cassava stumps, which otherwise would be burned, is projected to reduce emissions of CO2 by 42,000 MT. The product will also contribute to the local economy by providing an extra source of income for cassava farmers and employment opportunities throughout the activated carbon value chain.
A Special Commendation was given to ModulusTech of Pakistan, which has developed affordable, flat-pack housing that can be assembled by three people in three hours, costing just $3,000 per unit. This alternative housing produces five times less greenhouse gas emissions compared to concrete buildings, and thus has the potential to address climate migration issues.
The Global Category Award winners included NavAlt Solar and Electric Boats, and Aspartika Biotech from India, Delphisonic and Biolive from Turkey, and GROW from Thailand. A Special Commendation by the judges was given to South Africa’s Gracious Nubian.
The 2018 GCIP Global Week and Cleantech Open Global Forum, co-organized by UNIDO and the Cleantech Open, a programme of the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), is a confluence of the cleantech industry and the climate movement that aims to create new business opportunities by cultivating partnerships within the cleantech innovation space.
Addressing the Forum on behalf of UNIDO, Director General, LI Yong, thanked the entrepreneurs and innovators “for the transformative impact that your innovations are having, and for their contribution to the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals relating to clean energy and to green industry, innovation and infrastructure.”