Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Four sustainable businesses to fight poverty

On October 23-24, the 16th International Business Forum took place in Istanbul. The goal of the conference was to promote green and inclusive businesses. Such businesses contribute to sustainable development in regions of intensive economic transformation, as is the case in the Central Asian, Southeast European, and Middle East and North African regions. Apart from respecting the environment, these businesses also help to lift people out of poverty. Here is a closer look at the four award-winning businesses highlighted by the conference.

Waste to wealth

TARA Machines and Tech Services is a social enterprise that develops small business packages for micro-entrepreneurs containing production technologies and machinery for green building materials. TARA Machines helps to set-up these micro-enterprises across the country. The company ultimately converts industrial waste into green building materials. This method decreases the need for natural resources and makes building materials more affordable. 

One of the products TARA Machines offers is a pressing machine to produce bricks from fly-ashes (a waste product of power plants) without using electricity. With this technology, one man can produce cheap, energy efficient and ecological bricks to build a house. Furthermore, he can sell these locally produced bricks to people in his community. TARA Machines received the Changing Markets Award IBF 2013.

Waste picker to entrepreneur

Ciudad Saludable creates efficient solid waste management systems. By enabling the development of micro-enterprises that collect and recycle waste in Peru, this initiative empowers and improves the livelihood of waste pickers. These micro-enterprises reduce waste volume in municipal landfills and generate income by separating recyclables.

To date, Healthy City has organized over 11,500 waste collectors, creating employment and improving health and living conditions for more than 9 million people living in rural and poor urban regions in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela, and India. Ciudad Saludable received the Changing Markets Award IBF 2013.

Affordable eco-friendly toilets

Banka Bio Loo provides affordable, eco-friendly bio-toilets. The company tackles the health hazards of sanitation facilities in India by creating toilets that can be installed anywhere without the need for any external support. The bio-toilets do not require energy or heavy infrastructure and relieve the pressure put on groundwater resources.

The sanitation situation in India has been alarming, with more than an estimated 100 million households not having access to toilets, more so in rural areas. The people are forced to defecate in the open, posing health hazards, raising environmental concerns, and leading to water contamination. Banka Bio Loo offers an increasingly recognized solution to this problem. Banka Bio Loo received the Changing Markets Award IBF 2013.

Go to school during menstruation

Technology for Tomorrow (T4T) develops and produces a wide range of products which are more resource-efficient and cost-effective than those used conventionally. Many of the products work with the culture and behaviours of the people, allowing the technologies to easily assimilate into communities. The results have not only been successful but also changed the behaviors of the impoverished to sustainably increase health and safety.

T4T offers a wide range of products, from building materials, cooking and heating systems to a water filtration system. Another product is T4T’s sanitary napkins. T4T produces its MakaPads from local papyrus and paper waste without using electricity. The product sells for 50% less than other brands and allows young women to go to school instead of staying at home during menstruation. Technology for Tomorrow was awarded the Public’s Award IBF 2013.

Source: IBF
Credits pictures: IBF

This article also got published on, the green living platform in Turkey. Joris Depouillon is doing an internship there. 

No comments:

Post a Comment