The Indian startup ecosystem is well along the way on its 'go-green' journey, and the latest to join the bandwagon is MakeMyTrip.
MakeMyTrip announced that it has supported the plantation of one million trees through MakeMyTrip Foundation in Rajasthan's Rajsamand and Udaipur districts, as part of its efforts to support responsible travel.
At the 'Responsible Tourism' event held in Delhi, the company said that the drive has been carried out in partnership with Seva Mandir, an NGO that works with local communities on development projects, especially focusing on sustainability. The tree plantation, which was started last year, covers 2,350 hectares of land at present. The drive has been carried out with the contribution (Rs 5) made by customers to MakeMyTrip foundation each time they have booked their flights and hotels on the platform.
The MakeMyTrip Foundation has been set up to actively contribute towards issues of broader social impact such as environmental sustainability and ecological balance, promoting healthcare and sanitation, propagating gender equality and women empowerment, protecting national heritage, art and culture and undertaking measures to make education more widespread.
The foundation has recently signed a MoU with Sonam Wangchuk's Himalayan Institute of Alternatives (HIAL) in Ladakh for a first-of-its-kind carbon offsetting project. The others initiatives include installation of plastic crushing machines in India, maintaining a biodiversity park in Gurugram, training guides, drivers and hotel staff on sustainable travelling.
K.J. Alphons, Minister of State for Tourism, who was present at the event, said, “If we are to make tourism sustainable in India, all stakeholders including Industry leaders need to step up and co-create innovative solutions to make responsible tourism the norm and not an exception.”
MakeMyTrip is not the only startup to go green. The Indian startup ecosystem has begun its journey to reduce its carbon footprint and the environmental harm caused by plastic and other non-biodegradable waste.
Last year, in June, UN Patron and Founder of financial services company Paytm Vijay Shekhar Sharma, along with seasoned venture capitalist Shailesh Vickram Singh of Seedfund, had pledged to invest close to $150 million in support of environmental protection.
The fund, called Massive Fund, targets problems like food, agriculture, air and water pollution, including renewable energy, as well as areas of recyclables like electronic and plastic waste, mobility, and sustainably built environment.
Other prominent startups too are going green in their own ways. Swiggy, for instance, launched ‘Swiggy Packaging Assist’, in September last year to help restaurant partners access a range of innovative packaging solutions. The marketplace lists some 30 products across eco-friendly and food-grade-certified materials. This includes breakthrough packaging suitable for various functions - leakproof, sturdy, stackable, eco-friendly and heat-insulant, among others.
Around the same time, Zomato too launched an initiative concerning eco-friendly packaging. It has a feature on its app that enables customers to opt out of cutlery when they order, thereby reducing the use of plastic.
Further, ride-sharing companies like Uber and Ola are adopting electric vehicles to save on fuel as well as reducing carbon emissions.