Sweden-based H&M Foundation and Social Alpha have launched Techtonic – Innovations in Waste Management. Its a nationwide grand challenge to identify and curate locally designed, disruptive innovations addressing problems in waste management and improving the livelihoods of waste pickers.
The two organizations, through their latest initiative, hope to create an enabling ecosystem stack for innovators and entrepreneurs developing waste management solutions with a focus on supply chains efficiencies, logistics traceability and waste to value systems.
Karl-Johan Persson, Board Member of H&M Foundation, said through the company’s entrepreneurial heritage and spirit, they see it as essential and inspirational to use technology and innovation to create social change. “New ideas are needed for positive development, and waste management and material recycling are fundamental components of a circular economy.”
Manoj Kumar, Founder and CEO of Social Alpha, said they believe that climate action can be catalyzed by accelerating entrepreneurial solutions to waste management challenges. “Deep science and technology innovations will provide the much needed impetus to create circular economic models and enhance livelihood opportunities for millions of waste warriors engaged in this sector,” he said. “We are delighted to partner with H&M Foundation to nurture entrepreneurship for social economic and environmental impact, which represents a unique triple bottom-line paradigm.”
Techtonic – Innovations in Waste Management has been announced in view of the rising amounts of waste generated from rapid urbanization in India. According to the World Bank, India is the largest producer of waste in the world, and this is attributed to its population size. As per a 2016 estimate, India generates 277 million tonnes of municipal solid waste every year. Lack of proper waste management has led to Indian cities grappling with overflowing landfills, which are hotspots of greenhouse gas emissions, oceans filling up with plastics and leachate from landfills leaking into the soil and ground water.