In a bid to boost the start-up ecosystem and promoting the transition to a LowCarbon Lifestyle in the Asia Pacific, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in collaboration with Massive Earth Foundation (MEF) has announced the launch of LowCarbon.Earth.
A first of its kind unique initiative of Industry-Academia Partnership, the program will provide a platform for start-ups to interact with established corporates, leading technology companies and industry mentors to build collective capabilities for the industry in the cutting-edge areas of advanced sustainable technologies.
The (late) Nobel economist of the 1970s, Milton Friedman, argued that the primary purpose of a business is to generate profit for shareholders and that by focusing on sustainable practices, businesses would be less competitive and unable to act in their shareholders’ best financial interests.
However, running a purely profit-motivated business is no longer an option in the 21st century.
The Earth can absorb no more than 3 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year for every person on the planet if we are to keep temperature and rainfall change within tolerable limits. Yet from cars and holiday flights to household appliances and the food on our plates, consumer lifestyles leave each of us responsible for over 12 tonnes of CO2 a year – 4 times what the Earth can handle.
MEF along with the UNEP, through the LowCarbon initiative, aims to tap the potential of emerging technologies like Low Carbon Energy, Low Carbon Mobility, Low Carbon Agriculture, Low Carbon Packaging, Low Carbon Buildings and Low Carbon Consumption to uncover start-ups and seed a culture of innovation, entrepreneurship and product development amongst young professionals in the region.
Speaking about the program, LowCarbon.Earth Fellow Aditi Balbir says, “The program is especially important for sectors like hospitality which forms the end use case for all such focus areas.”
The program will further provide an opportunity for start-ups to interface with corporates, leading technology companies and foundations to find innovative solutions and get an understanding of problem-solving and other challenges in building scalable businesses. Nurturing in the form of strategic consulting, incubation, leadership coaching at every growth stage will be provided along with access to markets and support in raising funds.
Sumeet Singh, Partner, Climate Angels Fund says, “Climate investing is one of the largest alpha opportunities for investors in the decade. As 1.3bn youth enter the consuming society in this geography, solutions need to be sustainable to be able to curb the climate impact. Startups across Asia Pacific are developing solutions that will hugely reduce the carbon footprint of the now developing global south.”
Providing a platform for promising start-ups to innovate, scale and solve for challenges of the future, the program will forge strategic partnerships with global Leaders in Start-up Acceleration and Mentoring, such as Mitsui Chemicals, Institute of Global Environmental Strategies, Asian Institute of Technology and The Ministry of Environment, Japan.
As a part of a four-month program, LowCarbon.Earth will go live in every region in the Asia Pacific with a Demo Day – a confluence of Investor groups, industry leaders, academicians, startups and policymakers. Imparting a focused push across key functional domains such as Clean Energy, Clean Mobility, Clean Agriculture, Clean Consumption.
There are more benefits for participating teams and entrepreneurs, besides the chances of winning a prize:
• Feedback from an international expert jury
• Possible access to test markets with the industry partners
• Possible access to funding
• Possible cooperation with one of the industry partners
• Increasing the visibility of the product or service
• Gaining reputation within the sustainability ecosystem
LowCarbon.Earth is calling for applications from sustainability startups across Asia-Pacific to register at lowcarbon.earth
About Massive Earth Foundation:
The Massive Earth Foundation (MEF) is a non–profit organization, with the vision to effect actionable policy, research, and project for the Pollution Reduction / Climate change Industry. MEF is also working to build a vibrant ecosystem to support innovation & scale through partnerships, investments, and ecosystem building in the area of Clean Cities, Clean Energy, Clean Mobility, Smart and Sustainable Agriculture, Waste Management and the sustainable built environment.
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