Best Out of Waste

The Sustainable Green Company

8. Decent Work and Economic Growth 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure 12. Responsible Consumption and Production

Overview

The Sustainable Green Company uses eco friendly products such as waste paper and mud to create innovative products like paper pulp trays and compressed stabilized earth blocks. These innovations would act as a replacement for thermocole and cement blocks. The SDGs supported by the Sustainable Green Company are: SDG 8-Decent Work and Economic Growth , SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure and SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production.

Authors

Surabhi Gupta

Surabhi Gupta

HITEN TALWAR

HITEN TALWAR

Sonali Sahoo

Sonali Sahoo

Shubham Ahuja

Shubham Ahuja

Shinjan Bhattacharya

Shinjan Bhattacharya

School

Goa Institute of Management

Goa Institute of Management

Professor

DIVYA SINGHAL

DIVYA SINGHAL

Innovation

Mr. Ajay Gramopadhye had a very strong connection with the environment since childhood. This connection helped him to innovate the products which could use the waste material that is being generated to create something useful. His innovation can broadly be categorized in 2 phases. The first innovation done by Mr. Ajay was to make construction blocks using the mud that was generated during the mining process. He was quite successful in this innovation. His business started running smoothly just when mining was banned in Goa and he had to take his business off the shelf.

The second phase of innovation started when Mr. Ajay used waste paper such as cartons and boxes to make a replacement for thermocole and plastic. This waste paper is used to prepare bio-degradable paper pulp tray. These trays are useful for storing glass bottles, delicate machinery parts and packaging of appliances such as washing machine, etc. This phase also marked the innovation of Compressed Stabilized Earth Blocks (CSEB). These blocks are made by compressing the mud and stabilizing it with lime or cement (95% mud and 5% cement). Mud and cement are mixed in the mixer and water is added in the optimum quantity. Mixture is then compressed and dry blocks are ready. Unlike clay bricks, these blocks do not require fire to harden them. Instead, water has to be poured on these blocks and then wrapped and left untouched for 21 days to let it stabilize with the cement. The life of these blocks is estimated to be around 400 years whereas age of normal cement blocks is around 75 years.

Best Out of Waste

Inspiration

Mr. Ajay Gramopadhye was always keen to know more about nature. He said that "he was inspired by the logo of World Wildlife Fund and joined Nature’s club at a very early stage of his life". Following his interest, he started reading and learning about wildlife. Within 2-3 years, he started conducting his own wildlife programs. He went to the University of Strathclyde for higher studies and conducted various awareness programs to provide simple tips like switching off the light, closing water taps properly there. Sometime later he realized that he’s just imparting the knowledge but he himself is not doing anything for the environment. This is when he wanted to start something of his own. He said that " I used my past experiences and came up with a solution wherein I could make something out of the waste paper".

Over the years, he realized that quality, ethical practices and determination to contribute to the environment are the only things that could take him a long way forward. His project was hurdled multiple times by the electricity department and pollution control board but he never gave up. He did not give a single penny as a bribe to get a green signal for his project. He followed his principles and continued his business in an ethical manner.

Very soon Mr. Ajay started getting projects from various companies. He says,” If you give the right solution to the business, your business will always flourish”.

Overall impact

The Sustainable Green Company introduced paper pulp trays from the waste paper which is a replacement for thermocole used for packaging by various industries. The company is also making Compressed stabilized earth blocks which do not require fire to harden the blocks. The Sustainable Green Company has created a sense of awareness amongst the businesses regarding the usage of products which are formed out of the waste material. Businesses have started shifting to these biodegradable products rather than choosing the products which might harm the environment.

At present, the price of the products sold by the company is slightly higher but Mr. Ajay justifies this by saying that if we calculate the overall cost incurred by the customers, it would be definitely lower than the cost that they incur by using cheap and harmful products. The long-term plan of the company includes manufacturing a wider range of innovative products which would rule out various harmful products that we use in our daily lives.

Business benefit

The impact of the products on environment is safe and so is the business on the state like Goa. They started with Crompton as their first client providing them with the sustainable packaging solutions and now have managed to get various other clients too. They believe that any business that gives a “solution” to the existing problem can never get low in the market irrespective of the market demand. The products are tailor-made and so companies that are their clients have specifications regarding their respective products and accordingly get their part of solutions. The raw materials are usually from Goa, and mostly are the scrap generated by the companies that are the existing clients, so it saves up much on the supply-requirement chain and it gets economical for the business too, making it a win-win for both the companies. Siemens, another client of The Sustainable Green Company used to order the same materials from UK, but now orders from The Sustainable Green Company as the quality it used to get from UK is same as the quality of products of The Sustainable Green Company, making it a pro for the company in terms of growth by recommendations from clients through word of mouth. In the Early years, the profit used to be less but these days due to the demand of sustainable packaging options, their profits have been going up. The business is growing day by day and the company is involved in R&D for more options of packaging.

Social and environmental benefit

The Sustainable Green company is majorly contributing to the below SDGs:

SDG 8-Decent Work and Economic Growth

SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

The employees are mainly from Goa which serves as great social impact in terms of giving employment to state where it has its units. It is achieving high levels of economic productivity by upgrading in technology and as well as innovation that benefits the ecosystem at the same time. Through the production of paper pulp tray, the company is extensively promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization and thus helping to achieve Goal 9.

Being a small-scale industry, this company is involved in reducing waste generation through recycling and reusing waste papers. Interesting thing is that there is no generation of waste water or sludge. Another interesting fact is that there is no generation of smoke at all thereby playing a major role in achieving Goal 12 by such sustainable practices.

Major advantage of its product is that they meet ISO 14000 environmental standards as well as the European Dots. The existing packaging paper pulp tray is biodegradable and eco-friendly with moulded pulp material. This packing method is used by various manufacturing industries as well as e-commerce companies. They just accumulate in the form of litter in the environment. Another factor is its lower cost of production by usage of waste paper for manufacturing purposes. It also dampens vibrations up to three times more effectively than EPS.

Interview

Ajay Gramopadhye, Founder and Owner

Photo of interviewee

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The Sustainable Green Company

The Sustainable Green Company

Goa, Goa, IN

Business Website: https://sustainablegreencompany.com/

Year Founded: 2011

Number of Employees: 11 to 50

The Sustainable Green Company has introduced paper pulp trays and compressed stabilized earth blocks (CSEB) which can be used as a replacement for thermocole and normal clay bricks respectively. The company is targeting SDG 8 - Decent work and economic growth, SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure and SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production and is continuously working towards the betterment of the environment.