Gujarat is one of India’s fastest growing states with petrochemical, chemical and pharmaceutical small and medium enterprises (SMEs) at the forefront of major industries. Growth has resulted in job creation and prosperity, but also risks to human health and safety, through pollution brought about mishandling of hazardous chemicals. For a sustainable future, the state and its SMEs require safe, secure and environmentally sustainable development by implementing a responsible production approach in Gujarat.
SECURE Gujarat is a public-private partnership programme, established by DEG, UL-DQS India and ASSIST that aimed to initiate a switch to a Responsible Production framework and build capacity for target SMEs. Using UNEP’s Responsible Production approach, the project provided SMEs with the necessary tools to engage businesses, supply-chains, distributors, traders and buyers in accident prevention and emergency preparedness. The focus was to increase overall chemical safety and consequently reduce environmental impact in the operations of SMEs.
A clear demand for Responsible Production was identified in the chemical industries operating in Gujarat, and through the project, immense value was generated for companies. 395 key representatives from the chemical industries across two states participated in the CEO forums, and 64 professionals trained to become experts in Responsible Production implementation. Moreover, 8 organizations were provided with technical assistance to successfully implement Responsible Production, with 500 self-assessment toolkits distributed to local trainers, professionals, and organizations.
The energy crisis in the Philippines incurs up to 23 billion pesos (0.17% of the GDP) in economic damages and has affected small and medium-sized buildings (SMBs) that struggle to address increases in power cuts. The crisis also affects public buildings like schools and hospitals. The accessRE project responds to the problem through the adoption of sustainable power systems, particularly solar panel installations in selected community-relevant SMBs.
The project introduces small-scale solar power solutions with capacities ranging from 3kWh to 7kWh that can save SMBs PHP 3,900 to PHP 9,100 per month with a return on investment period of about 2-5 years and an average lifespan of 20 years. Specific project activities include the conduct of (1) multi-sectoral dialogues and facilitation of local alliances; (2) pilot installations within SMBs amounting to 100kWp capacity; (3) establishment of a Technical Training Center; and (4) community awareness and promotion of low-cost energy alternatives. The project also seeks to achieve sustainability by building local capacity and providing education and employment opportunities for solar technicians and consultants through training and job placement sessions.
By the end of the project it would have reduced the stress on conventional energy sources through increased adoption of solar technology among SMBs, improved productivity within key establishments through uninterrupted power supply, established a regular pipeline of local green (solar) technicians for affordable solutions, and created positive impact and contributed to the National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Road Map of the country.
A WHO-UN joint report in 2015 found that as many as 8.4 million Filipinos don’t have access to clean drinking water. These people collect water from unsafe and untreated sources and as a result, many are highly susceptible to water-borne diseases. SOURCe is a partnership with DEG and Vestergaard that aims to prevent waterborne diseases posed by untreated water sources in vulnerable rural areas through the provision of modern technology, training, and capacity building.
It was first implemented in Nepal after the 2015 earthquake and is now being replicated to remote villages in the Philippines. The goal is to distribute over 2,000 free water filters and to create awareness on safe drinking water and proper hygiene practices. The project has the following key interventions: (1) multi-stakeholder engagement with local government units, local organizations, and other organizations; (2) training of Community Clean Water Advocates (Philippines) and establishment of customer care centers (Nepal); (3) community awareness sessions; (4) school awareness programs on WaSH; (5) installation and distribution of LifeStraw Water Filters.
The project is still running in the Philippines and similar to the experience in Nepal, expects to result in increased demand for clean drinking water and strong community support meeting this basic need.
The Philippines is a regional leader in terms of establishing legal frameworks that protect the environment. Laws related to sustainable consumption and production (SCP) in the country include the Clean Air Act, Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, Clean Water Act, Biofuels Act and the Renewable Energy Act. Because SCP is a cross cutting issue, the implementation of SCP has remained challenging. The main objective of this EU-SWITCH project has been to support the government in implementing SCP related policy instruments including SCP related laws.
This project aimed to promote SCP in the country (i.e. environmentally and socially equitable development decoupling growth from resource use and pollution) and strengthen national and regional policy frameworks to promote the shift towards more SCP patterns and resource efficiency. ASSIST provided project management, visibility, communications, capacity building and technical assistance to the Department of Energy and other relevant agencies on renewable energy, energy efficiency and green procurement. ASSIST supported the development of an Energy Efficiency Roadmap, the DTI Green Public Procurement Action Plan, Life Cycle Assessment and a National Energy Efficiency Action Plan for the Philippines.
Tourism in the Philippines is a major contributor to the economy and creates local employment. It has grown rapidly and with its high demand for energy, it is also responsible for a large amount of carbon emissions. The project worked on reducing energy consumption by using locally available carbon-neutral resources, reducing the carbon footprint of the tourism industry in the Philippines.
The Zero Carbon Resorts project funded by the European Commission aimed to influence numerous tourism SMEs to operate their facilities in energy-efficient ways and increase their guests’ awareness of energy-saving behaviors. The project also built the capacity and knowledge of intermediaries, engineers, consultants, architects, planners and SME owners and managers on how to diagnose problems related to energy consumption and how to solve those using appropriate solutions. It also prototyped and tested possible solutions (i.e. small-scale solar energy and biomass devices), and influenced policy related to building regulations vis-à-vis energy standards.
ASSIST handled project promotion activities to convince more tourism SMEs to use energy efficient practices. It included the design and development of three training manual handbooks, training toolkits, project website with a database, content management experts with technical expertise on resource efficiency, organizing of two large events for project promotion and promotion of success stories of hotels/resorts.
Acute shortage of electricity is a major problem that India faces currently. About 71% of electricity is generated from non-renewable resources which results in death from indoor pollution and carbon monoxide burning. However, India simultaneously possesses a huge potential for solar power generation. However, developments in the field of solar energy are met with the challenge of finding people with expertise in the field.
Co-financed by DEG and Phocos, and implemented by ASSIST, ENACT aimed to set up a solar academy to develop skilled technicians from among women and youth of rural areas through a well-structured training program. The larger aim of the project was to take a step towards addressing the problem of acute shortage of electricity in India through renewable energy alternatives.
Over the course of two years, ENACT has created mass awareness among the public on the use of solar energy and its efficiency when compared to other energy sources through various mobilization and awareness campaigns. This project informed more than 800 students in the fields of IT, science and engineering on solar energy and technology. Moreover, ENACT trained 141 students, of which 45 were women, as solar technicians and more than 50 trainers. Dealership was given to several solar technicians who started their own enterprises.
Tourism and agro-based industries are important sectors in Nepal and Bhutan as they contribute significantly to their GDP, employment generation, and foreign exchange earnings. However, the rise in tourism has put extra pressure on developing additional infrastructure and has contributed directly to environmental degradation, waste generation, and environmental pollution.
The project SEID is designed to directly address several issues faced by both tourism and agro-based industries of Nepal and Bhutan, by emphasising on optimisation of energy and water usage; environmental protection through proper waste and chemical management and judicial use of resources. In addition to this, the project also provided support for the development and enhancement of a framework for sustainable tourism in the two countries. The ultimate aim of the project (in addition to the benefits of sustainability that they would get) was to help the target industries and regions maximise their economic profits, enhance their foreign exchange dealing potential, optimise their resource use and new job creation.
Key interventions from ASSIST included training of trainers on responsible consumption and production; delivering awareness campaigns on resource efficiency and technical assessment / consulting support to 200 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs); showcasing appropriate technologies promoting sustainability and developing linkages with academic institutions, facilitating Focus Group Discussions and creating Green Clubs and execution of awareness campaigns such as inter-school competitions.
Plastic bags create a significant environmental impact and lead to economic burdens. About 25 million tonnes of plastic were produced in 2010 alone and 90% of trash floating in the ocean consists of plastic, which is 46,000 pieces of plastic per square mile. Over 100,000 marine mammals and one million seabirds die each year due to plastic. Sri Lanka, being an island country, faces the serious concern of oceanic pollution.
One successful way to reduce the number of plastic bags in circulation is to replace them with biodegradable bags which offer a suitable alternative. REPLACE, co-financed by DEG and implemented by BASF Lanka and ASSIST, demonstrated the ease and benefits of switching to biodegradable materials for plastic production. The objective of this project was to encourage the use of compostable bags and effectively manage organic and biodegradable waste in Sri Lanka. The project aimed to do this by increasing awareness among government policy makers, major stakeholders and users on the environmentally harmful and damaging consequences of non-degradable plastic and the importance of waste segregation at the source.
As part of the project initiative, an awareness station was inaugurated on World Environment Day (June 5) in Good Market, Colombo to create awareness among the public about the need to switch to certified compostable plastic bags. University students / volunteers were engaged to facilitate the educational session and conduct surveys to collect feedback from the participants. Apart from Good Market, awareness stations were also set up at some of the prominent retail stores in Sri Lanka. Other activities included the conducting of road shows and seminars. These activities drew more than 15,000 participants from hotels, shopping malls, retailers and government agencies. Two producers / converters to biodegradable plastic bags were identified and were given trainings to produce the biodegradable bags while many more were encouraged to make the shift.
Sri Lanka generates an estimated 6,700 metric tons of waste daily – out of which only 2,800 is collected. The absence of an efficient system to clean up the waste has brought about a need to create a well-organized waste management system in Sri-Lanka to avoid the spread of toxic chemicals and pollution in the environment.
PROMISE is a private sector partnership (PSP) project between DEG and Holcim (Lanka) Geocycle Limited, in partnership with ASSIST, that aimed to provide an appropriate solution to the unorganised dumping and burning of waste in Sri Lanka. Thus, a waste management complex was set up at the Seeduwa dump site – which is surrounded by two key industrial zones called Katunayake and Biyagama, the country’s largest housing scheme called Raddolugama and the main airport in Sri Lanka (Katunayake Bandaranaike International Airport).
ASSIST undertook various interventions to ensure the sustainability and effectiveness of PROMISE. The waste management complex included a fully operational material receiving and segregating site. Training was facilitated for the surrounding communities, municipal / government offices, and urban councils. Green clubs promoting proper waste management and green bank facilities for collecting waste were set up in local schools and universities. Involving households and neighbourhoods in the establishment of a waste management ecosystem was essential to the project’s success.