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The Initiative

Internationally heralded as the cheapest avenue for GHG mitigation, the brick sector carries a huge potential for transformation through adoption of clean production systems for emission reduction and improving energy and resource efficiency by means of industrial waste utilisation and process modifications.

Although technology options exist, evidence of spontaneous adoption of cleaner technologies and practices is lacking. This is due to cumbersome regulatory procedures starting from applying for land to accessing finance as well as inadequate information, incentives and consumer demand for cleaner, low carbon construction material. The challenge is to integrate technology-policy measures to achieve the twin objectives of augmenting supply while lowering carbon emissions. Another challenge is implementing favourable market and non market incentives to accelerate the uptake of clean production over conventional energy and resource intensive systems.

The Development Alternatives Group, supported by Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation has launched an initiative to create a preferential policy regime in order to accelerate the uptake of clean brick production technologies in the country.

The aim is to contribute to India’s capacity in enhancing energy security while mitigating GHG emissions by improving the energy efficiency of the brick sector through enabling policy support, increasing access to finance, and accelerating service delivery. The states of Bihar and Orissa have been chosen for accelerated multiplication in select clusters.

The initiative is working towards doubling the number of clean brick production units while triggering a threefold increase in investment in clean production systems.

Development Alternatives Group

The Development Alternatives Group is a premier research organisation, with a deep understanding of the rural market and a strong presence in the Indian heartland. Its existence has been a credible and visible one – nationally and internationally - in addressing poverty challenges in a climate sensitive environment.

A pioneer in sustainable development and the first social enterprise in India, Development Alternatives (DA) envisions a world where every citizen can live in security, with a dignified job and an assured income. We believe that the key to achieving this is the creation of sustainable livelihoods in large numbers - providing the rural poor with jobs with decent income, giving meaning and dignity to life, producing goods and services for the local market and preserving the environment.

Technology and Action for Rural Action (TARA), a Development Alternatives Group social enterprise has been playing a major role in exploring the process and building systems towards an efficient and environmentally sustainable society. TARA disseminates the “means for creating sustainable livelihoods” on a large scale and facilitates widespread action to eradicate poverty and regenerate the environment.

As an “incubator”, TARA nurtures micro-enterprise based green business solutions for environment and development challenges faced by the poor. Green technology packages field tested by TARA, such as energy-efficient and environment-friendly Eco Kilns for producing fired clay bricks, micro-concrete roofing tiles, fly ash blocks and paper recycling are adopted by hundreds of small businesses nationally and globally each year. Till date, approximately 4,000 of these rural enterprises have been created globally. Green Jobs for over 25,000 people and indirect employment benefits for approximately 75,000 more have been ensured, delivering savings of around 150,000 tonnes of GHG emissions. The outcome is empowerment of over 1.35 million poor households in about 20,000 villages in India reaching to over 6 million persons through information, education and awareness creation.

Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation

Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation, is the only funding organisation in India working exclusively to build India’s energy security. It makes strategic grants to strengthen the design and implementation of policies that encourage the efficient use of existing resources as well as the development of cleaner alternatives.

Given resource and time constraints, Shakti works in policy areas with the maximum potential for energy and carbon savings: Power, Transport, Energy Efficiency and Climate Policy. Shakti is also a part of an association of technical and policy experts called the ClimateWorks Network. Being a part of this group helps Shakti connect the policy space in India to the rich knowledge pool that resides within this group.

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