Being environment friendly is more than just ensuring you look after the environment. It’s about taking the necessary steps as well as making a conscious effort to change your lifestyle to help conserve resources.
The effort to go green has been felt by many industries, as companies are beginning to realise how their operations impact the environment.
From using recycled or renewable resources to reducing energy consumption and waste, there seems to be a universal effort by companies and startups in India to protect our planet, and do what we can to live a sustainable lifestyle.
Social Story spoke to five startups that are striving to make a difference by going eco-friendly.
ZunRoof is a home-tech startup bringing smart and clean energy choices to homeowners. The startup helps generate electricity through solar energy by making use of unutilised rooftops.
Started in 2016 by Pranesh Chaudhary and Sushant Sachan, the Gurugram-based startup is aiming to become the largest solar rooftop provider in India. It claims to have assessed over 150,000 homes, made designs for 17,000 plus homes, and has installed solar rooftops in over 5000 plus homes.
Speaking about how environmentally conscious their office is, Pranesh says:
“We ensure our employees always follow the best environment practices. As a result, any electronic appliance that is not in use in the office is switched off by the last person leaving the room. There is absolutely zero food wastage, and every employee waters the potted plant on their desk daily.”
Apart from this, ZunRoof does not use any paper in the office for printing, and ensures it takes full advantage of the fact that it is a tech startup and opt for communication via technology.
“Technology is a key-differentiator for home-tech startups like ours. Going paperless is not something we have enforced, but was rather inevitable as it supports easy collaboration within and across teams, ensures confidentiality, maintains a historical record, and keeps our employees connected irrespective of where they are working from,” says Pranesh.
Speaking about their other eco-friendly initiatives, Pranesh says, “Our office is well lit with natural lighting and we do not use any artificial lights till 7:00 pm, and only energy efficient LED lights are installed in the office. We have a strict no-plastic policy within the company, as a result of which all the employees have been provided with metal water bottles and only reusable mugs and plates are used. All the customer facing processes are also digitised and executed through our mobile app”.
TrulyMadly is an Indian dating and matchmaking app with over five million users on the platform. Started in 2014 by Snehil Khanor and Sachin Bhatia, the company claims to have made over 20 million mutual matches in the last five years.
According to the startup, it is the only dating app in India to use trust-based scores to verify its users.
The Delhi-based startup is extremely conscious when it comes to protecting the environment, and has adopted many practices to enable this.
“Personally, I believe in reducing our carbon footprint whenever we can. We can do small things to achieve that. For example, I don’t use my personal vehicle for daily work commute. I either travel via metro or car-pool with friends and colleagues. Now, with electric vehicles coming up, I try and use it whenever I can,” says Snehil.
With pollution levels skyrocketing and ground water levels decreasing in New Delhi, TrulyMadly also took a conscious step to address the groundwater issue and opted for waterless urinals. Speaking about taking this step, Snehil says:
“We were horrified to hear that Delhi was among other major cities in India that is running out of groundwater. A normal urinal uses around eight litres of water per flush, which comes to about 1.5 lakh litres of water per year per urinal. So, it was an obvious choice to opt for water-less urinals.”
Apart from this, the startup has removed all plastic stirrers from the pantry, and stopped using plastic cups at the water cooler. It has also reduced using the printer, unless it is absolutely necessary, and has restricted over-printing.
“We are also encouraging young employees to maintain plants. So, every quarter, along with a cash prize, we have started giving indoor plants to the winners. It’s little things like these which bring bigger impact in the long term,” says Snehil.
The Man Company
Gurugram-based 'The Man Company' is a male grooming startup that was launched in 2015 by Bhisham Bhateja.
According to the startup, besides giving customers products that are beneficial to their aesthetic improvement, they are meticulous about the ingredients they use as well. Their entire product range is free from harmful chemicals, and is infused with essential oils.
“We use 100 percent natural essential oils that are extracted from herbs, flowers, seeds, and fruits. The manufacturing of SLS has a drastic effect on the environment and using products containing SLS pollutes groundwater and results in bio- accumulation. All our products are free of this harmful chemical and parabens. We are also strictly against animal testing and our containers are recyclable.”
The startup also refrains from using plastics as much as possible in their office space, and all its packaging products are recyclable.
Speaking about being eco-friendly, and how other startups can do the same, Bhisham says:
“Eco-friendly for us means reducing the impact we have on the environment as much as possible. While we do have certain practices in place, the key one being not using any SLS or parabens, we know there is still a long way to go in this regard. Each company can decide the process for themselves, and what best suits their values and ethos. As long as we stay honest, authentic, and true to the values and commitment to our customers, we will see success.”
Ahmedabad-based EcoRight sells eco-friendly bags with an emphasis on design to attract customers. Founded in 2017 by Udit Sood and Nikita Barmecha, who launched the brand in India and the US via Amazon, the startup has now expanded to other countries, including Europe, Australia, and Canada.
The startup, which sells eco-friendly jute bags, is environmentally conscious in the office space as well. Employees do not use any plastics in the office space, and instead use biodegradable bags.
The startup also practices rainwater harvesting and runs on solar power. The company segregates its daily waste into dry and wet waste.
The excess fabric used in its products are sent from the factory for recycling. Apart from this, they have reusable utensils in the office so that employees avoid using disposable cutlery that comes along with food orders.
GEM Enviro Management
Delhi-based GEM Enviro Management was founded in 2013 by Dinesh Parikh, Sachin Sharma, and Aditya Parikh. GEM collects pre- and post-consumer packaging waste from factories, offices, hotels, motels, and institutes. The waste is then recycled into products such as T-shirts, caps, and bags, selling the products under its brand ‘Being Responsible’.
The company also organises various programmes to raise awareness about environmental sustainability and the importance of recycling in corporates, universities, and institutes.
(Edited by Megha Reddy)