Reducing Carbon Footprint: The Role of Low Carbon Materials - India Renewable Energy Consulting – Solar, Biomass, Wind, Cleantech
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The significance of low carbon materials in combating climate change is undeniable. They are essential for reducing the carbon footprint throughout the lifecycle, from material discovery to the end product. In CLIMAFIX Summit 2023, Industry leaders gathered to discuss the challenges and solutions in the realm of low carbon materials. 

The panel participants were:

Nikhil Tambe Energy Consortium

Christine Vincent – Shell Ventures

Sameer Mehta – Chennai Angels

Vaibhav AnantBambrew

Krithikha Muthukrishnan Green Sketch Consultants

Namrutha Ramanathan Upcyclie

Here’s a detailed look at the key insights shared during the discussion.

Material Discovery and Sustainability:

Low carbon materials are under the spotlight, with a significant focus on reducing the carbon footprint throughout the entire lifecycle. The discussion highlighted the importance of attacking the carbon footprint not only of the material but also of the manufacturing process, transportation, and end-use of the product. One of the primary goals is to make material discovery more sustainable. This involves a back-to-the-drawing-board approach, where the discovery of new materials is a top priority. The sessions and speakers emphasized the role of AI and quantum computing in expediting material discovery. New catalysts are required for electrolyzers and energy storage batteries, and finding alternate methods is essential. Lifestyle choices play a crucial role in sustainability, focusing on low carbon urban materials, and making the right choices to ensure sustainability.

Shell’s Approach (Christine):

Christine, representing Shell Ventures, outlined Shell’s strategic approach to low carbon materials. Shell Ventures is the corporate venture capital (CVC) arm of Shell Global, focusing on various areas of the energy value chain that strategically align with Shell’s verticals. Investments are aimed at achieving certain Net Zero goals. The vertical known as “Next Generation Breakthrough Research” is dedicated to developing new materials, particularly carbon-negative ones, to replace highly CO2-intensive materials. For instance, investments in a company like “Stro”, which produces thermoplastic composite pipes, have demonstrated promising results. These pipes consume less CO2 at different stages of the value chain compared to traditional steel pipes. Similarly, DexMat, a company in the US, has developed “Galvani,” a carbon nanotube-based ultra-high-performance material that can potentially replace various metals.

Sameer Mehta’s Perspective: 

Sameer, representing a family office, discussed the significance of low carbon materials, accounting for 20% of reducible emissions in the greenhouse gas value chain. He emphasized the longer gestation periods required for success in low carbon materials and the necessity for rapid linear scaling. Sameer believes in investing in companies that bring real innovation. The family office tends to ride slightly bigger checks, investing in companies such as Proklean Technologies, an example of low carbon technology with core IP. The focus is on building materials, alternatives to steel and aluminum, and substitutes for materials that consume high amounts of water.

Green Sketch Consultants (Krithikha Muthukrishnan ):

Krithikha, from Green Sketch Consultants, shared insights into how their organization provides green solutions for both new and existing buildings. The firm aims to make “green” simple by analyzing the design and operations of buildings to enhance sustainability. They apply simulation tools to determine the best choice of materials, emphasizing the importance of life cycle analysis (LCA). She also highlighted that the context in which materials are applied is crucial.

Upcyclie (Namrutha Ramanathan):

Namrutha, from Upcyclie, addressed the problem of textile waste by creating sustainable and stylish products. She discussed the importance of decentralized waste processing to reduce the carbon footprint. The company leverages generative AI to streamline the design process. Through their initiative, they aim to provide employment to women from marginalized communities and divert textile waste, offering an eco-friendly solution.

Bambrew (Vaibhav Anant):

Vaibhav, from Bambrew, discussed the development of alternatives to single-use plastics, focusing on the FMCG industry. The company provides a circular solution with a life cycle analysis to reduce carbon emissions. Bambu focuses on traceability and has witnessed substantial growth, with a 10x increase year on year.

The discussion emphasized the importance of low carbon materials in combating climate change. The adoption of low carbon materials can significantly reduce the carbon footprint throughout the product lifecycle. With the collective efforts of industry leaders and innovators, the transition to a more sustainable future is achievable. As they continue to invest in new technologies and approaches, the journey toward a greener, more sustainable future is well underway. 

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About Narasimhan Santhanam (Narsi)

Narsi, a Director at EAI, Co-founded one of India's first climate tech consulting firm in 2008.

Since then, he has assisted over 250 Indian and International firms, across many climate tech domain Solar, Bio-energy, Green hydrogen, E-Mobility, Green Chemicals.

Narsi works closely with senior and top management corporates and helps then devise strategy and go-to-market plans to benefit from the fast growing Indian Climate tech market.

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