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#BlameTheHeat: India is Destined to Lose 5.8% Working Hours in 2030 These cleantech startups could be India's key to battle the warmer planet

By Aastha Singal

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Is it too hot for you to work? Well, blame the heat. The severe impact of global warming is fast drowning the world's productivity. As per the International Labour Organisation (ILO) report, India is projected to lose 5.8 per cent of working hours in 2030, a productivity loss equivalent to 34 million full-time jobs, due to global warming.

The report titled, "Working on a Warmer Planet: The Impact of Heat Stress on Labour Productivity and Decent Work', has projected that by 2030, the equivalent of more than two per cent of total working hours worldwide is projected to be lost every year, either because it is too hot to work or because workers have to work at a slower pace.

"2.2 per cent of total working hours worldwide will be lost to high temperatures — a productivity loss equivalent to 80 million full-time job," the report said. Without any serious steps taken to mitigate climate change, the accumulated global financial loss due to heat stress is expected to reach $2,400 billion by 2030.

Vulnerable to Heat Stress

India being at the topmost risk of heat stress, the agricultural and construction sectors would be hit worst. "Although most of the impact in India will be felt in the agricultural sector, more and more working hours are expected to be lost in the construction sector, where heat stress affects both male and female workers," it said.

To mitigate every problem, there's a solution and Indian being ever ready are all set to fight this situation head on. Ahmedabad was among the first cities to incorporate a cool roofs initiative into its 2017 Heat Action Plan by providing access to affordable cool roofs for the city's slum residents and urban poor, i.e., those who are most vulnerable to the health effects of extreme heat.

The initiative aims to turn the roofs of at least 500 slum dwellings into cool roofs, improve the reflectivity of roofs on government buildings and schools as well as raise public awareness. And how can we forget Delhi government's odd-even scheme. However short-lived it might be, the traffic rationing policy did do some good for the national capital's air pollutant levels.

Entrepreneurs Leading the Way

From banning plastic bags, recycling and spreading awareness among the masses to renewable energy generation, the Indian Government has taken several green initiatives over the years to fight the battle against global warming. Joining them are the nation's social entrepreneurs who are coming forward with sustainable and eco-friendly solutions to save the globe.

GEM Enviro Management, incorporated in 2013 by Dinesh Parikh, Sachin Sharma and Aditya Parikh with the idea of recycling India's urban waste, the startup collects pre- and post-consumer packaging waste from factories, offices, hotels, motels and institutes. The collected waste is then recycled into products such as T-shirts, caps and bags.

Greensole, the startup is aimed at contributing to India's green initiative by refurbishing discarded shoes with zero carbon footprint and converting them into cool chappals. The startup conducts shoe collection drives across the country, refurbish them into wearable footwear and then donate to needy children. "We refurbish their products for a better cause," Shriyans Bhandari, the founder had told Entrepreneur.

ThingsCloud, the Bengaluru-based cleantech IoT startup developing smart power electronics and artificial intelligence products to make world a better place to live. Offering Next Generation Solar Inverter Solutions for residential solar systems, the startup is embarked upon solving the energy crisis and its management in a complex and challenging setting like India.

Banyan Nation, the Hyderabad-based startup is one of India's first vertically integrated plastic recycling initiatives that helps global brands use more recycled plastic instead of virgin plastic. Their proprietary plastic cleaning technology converts plastic waste collected from customers and industries into high quality recycled granules – Better Plastic.

ReNew Power Ventures, the only unicorn in India's cleantech ecosystem entered the solar space with a 57.6 MW project in 2014. Found by Sumant Sinha, the company is committed to reducing India's carbon footprint by producing clean energy solutions through solar and wind-backed projects. ReNew Power has grown faster than India's renewable energy industry as a whole.

Aastha Singal

Entrepreneur Staff

Former Features Writer

A business journalist looking to find happiness in the world of startups, investments, MSMEs and more. Officially started her career as a news reporter for News World India, Aastha had short stints with NDTV and NewsX. A true optimist seeking to make a difference, she is a comic junkie who'd rather watch a typical Bollywood masala than a Hollywood blockbuster. 

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