World Environment Day

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World Environment Day

Globally every year on June 6th we recall the day as world environment day. However, it is crucial to remember that being an inhabitant of this planet are we doing the right things to keep our surroundings better for a sustainable lively hood ? We consider ourselves as most sensible creature evolved over many centuries having enough intelligence to protect the ecosystem. Perhaps due to our unending quest for more materialistic comfort had inflicted a huge dent on the planet’s balance. Our evolutionary history goes as homosapiens we have traversed a great length, however, once we grew in numbers massive cultivation for consumption became our primary focus by turning large swathe forest land for agricultural purposes, Later we got in to an era of industrial revolution where mass manufacturing was the order of the day, Despite our achievements we had conveniently neglected the consequences that would create havoc on environment.

Air Pollution


Polluting the air today is considered as the modern day curse due to increase in urbanization &Industrialization.Air pollution is consistently ranked among the top risk factors for death& disability worldwide. Also, it is considered as the 5th highest mortality risk factor globally, it has resulted in 4.9 million deaths and loss of 147 million years of a healthy lifestyle. Today more than 90% of the people live in areas exceeding the guidelines laid out by WHO and more than half of global population lives in areas that do not even meet the least standards by world health organisation. Globally the biggest victim of air pollution is the least developed and developing countries. Apart from the pollution by industries and automobiles as per the 2017 report, nearly 3.6 billion people worldwide are exposed to household air pollution.

Deforestation Impact


Forest covers 30% of the world’s land area, it is very disheartening to see that forest cover is fast depleting at an alarming rate. The period alone between 1990 and 2016, the world lost 502,000 square miles of forest. Due to human intervention alone, 46% of the trees have been felled. Around 17% of the Amazonian rain forest has been destroyed over the past years which is always on the rise. The main reasons for deforestation are farming, grazing of livestock, mining & drilling aggregates to 50% of the loss to forest cover.

Plastic pollution


The addiction to a single use or disposable plastic leads to severe environmental consequences. Around the world, one million plastic bottles are purchased every minute and single plastic bags usage accounts to 5 trillion worldwide. Today we produce 300 million tonnes of plastic waste every year that is nearly equal to the total human population in the globe. It is estimated that out of the 8.3 billion tonnes of the total plastic produced, around 60% of plastic ended up in either landfill or the natural environment. In spite of several curbs announced by authorities the usage of plastic has not come down drastically.


Moment of realization

The biggest problem which I feel is the mentality of the human population that we need to correct ourselves by starting afresh by thinking that as human beings we are also part of the whole ecosystem, our actions and deeds should always be complementary rather than confounding with nature. Because our actions have only created more imbalances rather than striking the right balance for every creature’s coexistence. Among the rest, we have been considered as a superior creature but our imagination about the future is blurred due to our belief system. Time has come that we should start believing in permanent truth that we thrive in this nature, not because of our only effort but there are many unseen factors and attributes that nature provides us in abundance for us to strive. The universal truth is that the moment human races start to think that we are just part of nature not the other way around, Then I feel the whole issues can be addressed proactively.

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Power of Storytelling

Every known civilization in this world has been built based on stories. For time immemorial human beings have been using the different type of stories to create civilizations. Humankind has forayed into agriculture by building a narrative well supported by different kind of myths. The ability of stories to usher new changes are immense, that is evident since evolution throughout our history. But it also matters how effectively can we use stories to change the existing situation, lead the society for a better tomorrow.
Fast- forward to present we are facing several issues in the form of climate change, poverty & inequality. To overcome the present predicament that we are in, powerful stories can bring big changes in the collective consciousness of society. The positive stories can not only be inspirational but also can create systematic changes in society. Real-time examples of successful social entrepreneurship models can really act as a direct route to emotions, hence it helps in decision making. Stories can set new patterns that create a positive impact on the way we think and behave. Powerful stories play a foundational role in changing the values, mindsets & goals.

Stories illuminate
Stores can act as light, glue or web, yet it has a powerful sense to change the way we behave, act and indulge. The point to drive home here is that in today’s chaotic world building positive narratives through powerful stories is very crucial. For instance, supporting and promoting niches in innovation for social welfare can create a wider impact in the system, it builds narratives with a purpose to change the world for a better tomorrow. The stories of people who have been making slow changes in the society need to be highlighted with good supporting narratives. Such impactful peoples’ life needs to be amplified to a larger crowd through powerful stories by leveraging the available platforms.

Changing the future
We can use stories to create riveting visions that can bring desired changes with a purpose. The stories can help to humanize issues. For instance, impactful social business models need to be communicated properly, the desired impact aimed from the business needs to be highlighted regularly with personal examples & narratives. The compelling reasons to become outlier by thinking differently for a better cause. Stories should be built in such a way to highlight the success stories more often than usual
Stories can act as a tool to build a strong community through empathy & unity. Though It helps people to connect across communities and as a glue that holds everyone together.

Way forward
The only way forward to tackle the existing problems is through collective responsibility. Any individual or organisation taking up such causes needs to be given due importance and their activities, efforts need to pass on to larger society through effective stories. Because the world needs more such stories more than the past, Those who are making steady progress in such areas needs to be accepted with respect. However, it is equally important to let others be motivated by hearing such captivating stories that can as a catalyst for a change. So lets all welcome and follow such success stories from business, art, environment and other social issues.

Misfit & Balder association

The partnership between Misfit & Balder speciality foods seems to be a perfect example of social enterprises working in unison to create an impact. The duo believes in adding value to their products in the market by using the unused fruits & vegetables that are being thrown away as waste. The misfit is a Washington based startup founded by Phil Wong & Ann Yang in 2005 deals with cold pressing juices from fruit scraps. The innovative idea by the founders believes in creating product lines by converting one man’s trash to other man’s treasure. Around the globe, huge quantities of food are getting wasted, so the message is loud & clear from Misfit that they want to be in the forefront to fight this social issue with innovative ideas.
So the duo has decided to tie up with “Balder” one of the leading distributors of neatly cut fresh fruits & watermelons in the market. The process of producing neatly cuts fruits creates wastages daily, So finding this is an opportunity in 2016 Mist fit juicy has successfully tied up with Balder. Although balder is a large corporation involved in the distribution of perfectly sliced fruits to the grocery shops in the Northeast, yet they were clueless in minimising the wastages during the process. Amid all the daily wastages Balder has agreed to sell its carrot tops and trimmings to misfit, This resulted in a significant reduction of wastage of food materials, wastages, Henceforth after the tie-up with misfit, balder started generating a fresh revenue stream by addressing the issue of food waste by associating with a social enterprise.

The partnership between misfit & Balder speciality foods seems to be a perfect example of social enterprises working in unison to create an impact. The duo believes in adding value to their products in the market by using the unused fruits & vegetables that are being thrown away as waste. The misfit is a Washington based startup founded by Phil Wong & Ann Yang in 2005 deals with cold pressing juices from fruit scraps. The innovative idea by the founders believes in creating product lines by converting one man’s trash to other man’s treasure. Around the globe, huge quantities of food are getting wasted, so the message is loud & clear from Misfit that they want to be in the forefront to fight this social issue with innovative ideas.
So the duo has decided to tie up with “Balder” one of the leading distributors of neatly cut fresh fruits & watermelons in the market. The process of producing neatly cuts fruits creates wastages daily, So finding this is an opportunity in 2016 Mist fit juicy has successfully tied up with Balder. Although balder is a large corporation involved in the distribution of perfectly sliced fruits to the grocery shops in the Northeast, yet they were clueless in minimising the wastages during the process. Amid all the daily wastages Balder has agreed to sell its carrot tops and trimmings to misfit, This resulted in a significant reduction of wastage of food materials, wastages, Henceforth after the tie-up with misfit, balder started generating a fresh revenue stream by addressing the issue of food waste by associating with a social enterprise.

Striking right partnership

The association between Misfit & Balder is a classic example of aligning one’s own business with a social enterprise to gain an advantage in the marketplace. The partnership with a social enterprise in today’s world increasingly makes more sense. It also helps both partners in creating social impact by keeping their bottom line in sync with the overall business objective. I think these models can be emulated better in developing markets like India in a big way. Traditionally every organisation gives more importance to improve their bottom line through delivering better value to its shareholders & investors. Now it is time to think beyond this notion in order to create a better social impact in the society. Founders of the Misfit feel sustainable business relationships not only add value overall but also helps to create a better social impact. In this case, Misfit as an organisation is successful as a social enterprise to leverage its strengths to create an authentic impact by addressing the pain points faced by large organisations. So any forward-thinking organisation for that matter can reap real benefits socially and financially by associating with such social enterprises.

Impact Investment

Impact investing offers significant potential for growth. The term Impact investment in the broader sense means a lot. Impact investing literally means “ a financial undertaking that aims to generate specific and measurable benefits to society & environment in addition to financial goals. Conventional investment models are skewed towards giving more importance to financial gains. However, the impact investment philosophy gives equal importance to social and environmental benefits. It uses private capital to fund to address the issues faced in the society and the environment.
Impact investment has been gaining more traction, as evident on the ground, its growth in the last several years looks promising. The investment seeks innovative solutions and ideas with a dual return of assets, It also aims to measure the impact it has created and its outcomes. The organisation that promotes impact investment also benefits handsomely whilst improving overall reputation in the society.
The individual investor, trust, funds or organisation who applies the principle of impact investment would always believe in taking steps to create long-term value for the society. The art of doing impact investment is by adopting careful design and implementation of programs that are scalable to have a very positive impact on the society. The future of this society and environment largely revolves around making sustainable development goals to tackle the problems faced by society. The realm of impact investment looks beyond the single objective of just making financial gains but deploying capital in such a way that benefits the overall wellbeing of the society & environment.

The united nations estimates that reaching the Sustainable development goals in developing countries will cost around 3.9 trillion per year and private and public capital put together provides just 1.4 trillion.

Amid all the benefits discussed so far, impact investment means different things to different people. Some would see it as a strategy for beating financial benchmarks because a business that target the existing gap in social or environmental needs can be profitable, one other hand inspite of the guaranteed lower returns, still they would like to back the investment for the sake of the society or environment.

Social enterprises and impact creation.
At present mainstream managers are willing to allocate their share of money as capital to a promising company for impact-oriented business or to social enterprise, however, most of them are still reluctant to deploy a that significant portion of the money for such activities. So it is the responsibility of government agencies and large companies to expand markets for impact investing.

Designing new products and practices.
The impact fund managers need to be clear about the overall strategies they are going to adopt and its objectives, also it is equally important how to balance the nonfinancial impact with financial returns. Impact fund managers can also create sector or issue specific products whose impact can be measured consistently. Though impact investment still remains as a novel idea, if adopted across the board has the potential to bring significant changes in the society. Unlike traditional investment models, impact investment takes time to bear fruits also due to its long gestation period. it takes a longer time than usual to create an impact that can be realistically measured. But one thing is sure our world needs more of such impact investment themes, professional fund managers to handle and deploy the capital to its best use. But the overall transformative impact it creates in sectors like education, Healthcare and the environment is huge that can fetch huge dividends for the nation as a whole.

Nature’s fury in Kerala

 

kerala floodsKerala has never faced such a torrential flood in its history than what the God’s own country has witnessed in August 2018. The magnitude of the crisis withered by the floods is unbelievable and reconcilable. But as a state, we also saw how the people of Kerala unitedly have been fighting the situation with the great amount of resilience and brotherhood. The crisis also brought us together irrespective of caste creed or religion to fight the situation shoulder to shoulder with support received from all possible quarters. The 1.078 million affected people would take time to come out of the tragedy, But as human beings, we have shown the strength and wherewithal to overcome the crisis. The strength of human beings as a creature lies in their audacity to adjust to the situations and fight the odds and become stronger. As a Keralite am really proud the unflinching support offered by people from all walks of life , it has been reflective of the feeling of togetherness that we exhibited to the outside world . Ever since the crisis hit us people from all walk of lives organised collection camps and mobilised other resources and helped it to reach to victims without any delay. Kerala has witnessed one of its largest mobilisation of a selfless act of compassion and empathy.
Albeit crisis also has thrown up questions regarding the various ways and means through which ecological has been severely ruptured over years. So going forward all rehabilitation and reconstruction works should be planned by accommodating aspects of sustainable environmentally friendly practices.

Unprecedented situation

In spite of opening the shutters of Idukki dam after 26 years, the people of Kerala could not stop the 164% excess rainfall in August. Overall, the region’s monsoon rainfall has been 42% higher than usual. The havoc caused by overflowing rivers has led to death, displacement and destruction which takes years to rebuild. The rescue operations continue in Kerala and the state Govt has appealed for more financial support for rehabilitation and reconstruction of houses &other infrastructure like roads, bridges and houses. The initial estimate of loss prepared by the govt come to the tune of around 20000 Cr that might go up the tune more than 50000 Cr in the months to come. So Kerala needs more support and compassion from all quarters to overcome the crisis. However, it is important to note that nation-building is not Govt job perse, But it is important that every citizen of this country has a key role to play. So let’s put up an honest and sustainable effort to rebuilt Kerala. At this juncture, the task is enormous but no matter how difficult the situation would be, Together we would overcome it.

kerala floods

Data on the loses

Please donate generously to chief ministers disaster relief fund, Every contribution of yours matters most.

https://donation.cmdrf.kerala.gov.in/#donation