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Main picture: some of the E-Idea winners (British Council’s Huw Oliphant at the back under the raised hand); Arif Nugroho (inset, above) employs 100 female workers in Indonesia converting waste coconut husks into biodegradable netting

Register Asia (LRQA is member of the

Lloyd’s Register Group), concurred with Mr Hague adding: “As a not-for-profit organisa- tion, Lloyd’s Register invests time, money and resources to fulfil its charitable mission to enhance the safety of life, property, the environment and make a difference to society. Whilst other organisations do something to make money; we make money to do some- thing. If we can help these young eco-entre- preneurs achieve their goals, by association we achieve ours.”

Successful E-idealists

In each country, a jury of climate and sustain- ability specialists selected the winning initia- tives against five key criteria: • ability to produce behaviour change amongst a defined target audience • focus on a specific community or industry • capacity to be replicated or expanded over time • clarity of communications • prospects for future commercialisation and investor/donor appeal

Examples of the winning E-idealists Arif Nugroho has developed a company that converts waste coconut husks into biodegrad- able netting in Indonesia. He says: “E-idea is like a bridge that has enabled me to commu- nicate and promote my coconut fibre waste utilisation programme.” Arif’s clients include

multinationals such as Chevron and Total and his project employs 100 female workers, reduces waste and mitigates the ecological damage caused by resource extraction. Huang Ke has been creating rooftop gar- dens in Shanghai to promote local sustainable food production and to enhance the quality of life. By September 2012, her organisation ‘V-Roof’ will have planted rooftop gardens over an area of about 10,000 square metres in three Shanghai Project neighbourhoods. Khwankhao Sinhaseni, an E-idea winner from Thailand, has established an organisation that will convert organic waste into fertiliser.

“E-idea is like a bridge that has enabled me to communicate and promote my coconut fibre waste utilisation programme”

She says: “E-idea is an opportunity for a new generation to embrace environmental protec- tion and winning will enable us to enhance the scope and professionalism of our project.” Winning engineering solutions were sub- mitted by Seungjae Lee of South Korea, who has designed a solar-powered rubbish com- paction bin, Michael O’Brien of Australia, who has devised solar-powered medical lights for use in remote field hospitals and Satoshi Yanagisawa from Japan who has developed a hand-cranked power generator called Cyclus

which can be used to recharge hand-held digital devices.

In spring 2012, one E-idea representative from each country will enjoy a study trip to the UK to foster ties and exchange infor- mation and best practice with British eco- entrepreneurs and community-based groups. A final event staged in November 2012 will bring together successful eco-entrepreneurs from each country to showcase the most notable E-idea achievements in each country. Plans for a wider geographical rollout of the competition are still being addressed, as British Council CEO Martin Davidson explained. He said: “I think the big challenge for us now is how do we take these fantastic ideas and turn them into something that’s practical, which can go to market and can become used in nor- mal day to day life? So what we want to do is work with LRQA to actually find a way of taking those ideas and making them generally practical and useful.”

Paul Phyall, senior vice president LRQA Asia, said: “One of the greatest benefits of the E-idea is that it is empowering these young eco-entrepreneurs to realise their dreams. It is also helping society to recognise the con- tributions that young people can make and I hope that through the experience and support provided by the British Council and LRQA, these individuals will inspire others so that the benefits of sustainability will be cascaded throughout their communities.”

Sustainable Business | January/February 2012 | 33

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