IMPACT PROGRAM INDIA
Reduce CO2 emissions or improve air quality through circularity. This ambition is a priority for both countries. Biomass India is a program for public-private initiatives of both Dutch and Indian businesses, NGOs as well as government agencies to develop an integrated concept for the processing of rice straw into bio-based products.
The aim of this program is to buy rice straw from 1 million farmers and turn it into circular bio-based products such as furniture panels, paper as well as packaging, which can compete with conventional products when it comes to quality, price and performance. This program introduces the latest Dutch technologies in the field of circularity and brings together pioneers in the field of sustainability.
Need for action
During the start of the program in November, there were raised levels of smog in India for 3 months. The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified these levels as toxic. In 2019 alone, 36 million tonnes of rice straw were burnt, releasing an estimated 54 million tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere. These emissions amount to more than 25% of the total annual emissions in the Netherlands combined. This situation causes a reduction in life expectancy and an increase in the costs of health care for tens of millions of people throughout India.
To prepare the ground for sowing farmers burn the residual rice straw. A lack of financial resources, machinery and manpower means that the rice straw cannot be harvested. Often, burning the straw is the only alternative for farmers. While some states in India are already issuing fines, this measure alone does not stop farmers from continuing to burn their residual rice straw.
Social and economic opportunities
The Dutch government aims to use 50% fewer primary resources by 2030 and to be fully circular by 2050. The European Commission has approved an ambitious new action plan for the circular economy, which includes the target to recycle 65% of household waste throughout the European Union by 2030.
In India, the government has set specific targets for banning single-use plastics. By combining both markets as well as mixing Dutch technology with Indian raw materials and production costs, we can develop circular business models which can compete with non-circular alternatives using toxic additives such as formaldehyde or MDI.
Our approach is based on a model that combines private investments and systems with public networks (e.g. diplomatic and political networks), resources as well as services to improve public planning, regulation and awareness.
While public players facilitate policy, regulation and financing of public services, private partners bring concepts, expertise, entrepreneurship as well as investments in a single joint approach. Each partner has a crucial part to play, which optimizes and maximizes the overall added value.