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Cleanest Indian City is now a Model for Other Cities- But for a Different Reason

Generating revenue in the international markets through achieving higher levels of cleanliness is something which the CEO of Indore Smart City Aditi Garg has just perfected. Now, many other Indian cities are queuing up before her to replicate the technique!
Indian Masterminds Stories

While the world is switching over to environment-friendly alternatives, which help in reducing their carbon footprints, Indore (officially the cleanest city in India) is also proving to be the most sustainable by earning a revenue of 52 lakh from selling the carbon credit in the international market. This method of generating revenue- by reducing carbon emission- would not haven possible but for the efforts of IAS officer Ms. Aditi Garg. She is the CEO, Smart City Indore, and has made the city smarter!

Now what the officials under Ms Garg did was this: With the help of three green projects initiated in the city, 1.70 lakh tonnes of carbon dioxide was mitigated. And this earned them carbon credits worth more than 50 lakh in the international market.

WHAT IS CARBON CREDIT?

Carbon credit is a tradable certificate or a permit which gives the right to emit one tonne of carbon dioxide or a mass of another greenhouse gas with a single credit permit. In a more simplistic tone one carbon credit equals to emission of one tonne carbon dioxide or any other green house gas. 

Carbon credit market blockchain (Photo Credit: Medium.com)

Aditi Garg in an exclusive interview with Indian Masterminds said, “In India there is no such market for selling carbon credit, therefore credit generated by tonnes of carbon dioxide is traded in the international market. This initiative being the first one in the country, brought some issues initially as we did not have a template to work on for undertaking this process. Indore being a smart city has already invested in some carbon saving and energy efficient projects which were yet to be monetized in the international market.”

GENERATING REVENUE FROM GREEN PROJECTS

The mitigation of 1.70 lakh tonnes of carbon dioxide was done by three ongoing green projects registered under the Indore Smart City Development Limited (ISCDL). With the establishment of Indore smart city mission in 2016, ISCDL registered three projects under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) programme of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) using biomethane, composting, and solar PV technology.

Ms. Garg said, “All these green-plants were functional from the past 10 months, and among these three, one was a composting plant which had the capacity of converting 600 tonnes of waste per day into organic soil. The other two were the bio-methane plants having the capacity of 20 (TDP) and 15 (TDP) of converting waste into bio-methane.”

Composting Plant at Devguradia, Indore

She added, “The carbon credit was earned by the amount of carbon reduced by these three plants. After the registration, we moved onto the next step of verification issuance and further trading the carbon credit in the international market. The main objective was to find the best possible prices in which we can sell these carbon credits.”

Biomethanation plant at Kabit Khedi, Indore

At first, they felt that it would be difficult in finding international buyers as Indore is not so poplar outside India. However, while selling the credits they found a ton of buyers and got a much higher rate in which credits are sold in the carbon market.

Ms. Garg said, “The protocol under which we listed these green projects had a cutoff date in the year 2019, therefore we could only undertake these three projects and not the other two for which it was not commissioned for the monitoring period.”

BENEFITS FROM THE PROJECT

Ms. Garg said, “The first benefit is the monetary benefit, which is that we have managed to generate a stream of revenue. Once someone go out to trade in the carbon market, it is not a one-time earning but a yearly one. The 52-lakh revenue generated from this initiative is a constant stream of revenue which will be generated every single year. As the smart city mission is in its final stage of implementation, we needed to find out new streams of revenue. Hence, this initiative has turned out to be very profitable for us.”

She added, “Secondly, the cities or enterprises which had earned carbon credits but were just unaware of selling it in the international market have now got a way to go and earn a constant revenue out of it. Thirdly, there is also an economic benefit over the social cost.”

Ms. Garg is now reaching out to the people of Indore to undertake such projects for which she will assist them in earning carbon credits and get a return for them. Through this, she also wants to indirectly promote these eco-friendly initiatives and make Indore more sustainable through a concrete economically feasible plan.

Promoting solar energy generation at various buildings such as residential, commercial and government buildings

VISION FOR FUTURE

Soon after this initiative gained popularity, inquires started pouring in from public and private sector. She has also been approached by the Government of India to make a plan, share her experience and expertise with other cities and hand hold them in acquiring this entire process.


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