India features strongly again in Ashden shortlist

  • Prasun Sonwalkar, Hindustan Times, London
  • Updated: Mar 18, 2015 01:32 IST

A company selling solar heaters to India’s tea and spice makers and a developer of low-carbon homes in India’s urban areas have been shortlisted for the 2015 Ashden Awards, one of the most prestigious green awards.

Tamil Nadu’s SunBest and Mahindra Lifespaces are two of 10 organisations shortlisted for the Awards, which will be announced on 11 June.

Another Indian company shortlisted is lantern company Greenlight Planet, which originated in Orissa, organisers of the awards announced on Tuesday.

Mahindra Lifespaces is focussing on urban landscape by creating sustainable communities by developing attractive low-carbon homes in Mumbai and other urban areas in India.

Said Anita Arjundas, Managing Director & CEO, of Mahindra Lifespaces: “We are delighted that our commitment to sustainable development is being recognised at an international forum.”

SunBest is focussed on how Indian tea and spice makers can save money and reduce their carbon footprints by using solar energy in their production processes. Typically, fresh tea and spices are dried using air that’s heated by burning large amounts of fossil fuels or wood.

SunBest sells solar heaters to large agricultural businesses that do the exactly the same job, but with much less damage to the environment. The large heaters are easily accommodated on the roofs of processing factories.

Said Palaniappan, Managing Director of SunBest: “Solar air heater and solar dryer have proved as a powerful tool to combat the food waste as well as help job creation in developing countries, as well as helping to reduce the use of fossil fuels. Winning an Ashden Award would help raise our profile and show the rest of the world how effective our products are in helping improve nutrition, cut food waste and reduce fossil fuel use.”

Global solar lantern company Greenlight Planet, which originated in Orissa and has now sold 2.9 million lamps worldwide, has also been shortlisted for the 2015 Ashden Awards.

The company is pushing up the quality of solar lighting around the world with its durable, affordable ‘Sun King’ range of solar lamps.

Now in their 15th year, the Ashden Awards celebrate pioneering businesses and organisations that are helping tackle climate change and improving people’s lives. Over 20 organisations in India have won Ashden Awards since 2001.

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