Chennai – A student’s network called S-Net has been initiated at the IIT-Madras and assigned the task of maintaining a sustainable campus. This information was disclosed by Professor Sudhir Chellarajan of IIT-Madras during the valedictory function of The Al Gore Sustainable Technology Venture Competition.
The network, comprising students and teachers, will come up with initiatives and sustainable ideas to maintain the green cover in the campus. Speaking at the function, industry experts stressed on the need for sustainable development and the need to monitor one’s carbon footprint.
“It is essential for every individual to keep a track of his/her carbon footprint and strive to reduce it,” Chellarajan said. “We cannot afford to wait for governments and institutions to come up with policies.”
“For instance, a trip from Chennai to Delhi by air will leave a carbon footprint of one tonne per person,” said K. V. Sajay, Head of Sales and Marketing at Gamesa India, a wind power generation company.
The Al Gore Sustainable Technology Venture Competition is being held every year from 2008 in honour of Vice President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore for Planet Earth & Future Generations. The competition is for MBA, Science & Technology undergraduate (final year) and graduate students who create new, sustainable and clean technologies and bring them to the market through innovation and entrepreneurship.
Sajay said that his company, with an installed wind power capacity of 21,000 MW, was offsetting 31 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually. “Our Indian team has researched and discovered that for every turbine that is manufactured, 130 saplings need to be planted to make the manufacturing carbon neutral. We have been planting so many trees across the world in a bid to neutralize it,” he said.
“The competition aims to bring new and sustainable technologies to market through innovation and entrepreneurship to combat climate change and enhance energy security. It will also make the planet sustainable for future generations,” said Prof. Oopali Operajita, Chair and Founder of The Al Gore Sustainable Technology Venture Competition.
The team from University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, comprising Muhammad Saimum Hossain, Badhan Mazumder, Hasanul Qader Mirza and Mahadi Hasan Sagor, won the first place. “Our business is about producing an eco-friendly cost-effective housing material named GreenTin which has the capability to solve the acute homelessness problem all over the world, specially for people in the bottom of the economic pyramid, as it would bring down the cost of building a house to a mere 200 USD. This GreenTin is produced from jute and polymer and the technology which has a high degree of sustainability impact on mother earth is patent protected,” said the winners.
Sampurn(e)arth, a team from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, came second. One of the team-members, Jayanth, said, “Our mission is to provide context-based solid waste management solutions which are environmental friendly. We propose to provide a holistic solution to handle both biodegradable and non-biodegradable waste through a decentralized approach involving different stakeholders in the process.”
Out of a total 60 applicants, seven teams were short listed for the finals. Two teams from IT BHU shared the third place. Teams from IIT Madras and IIM Shillong were the other finalists.