08 January 2017 12:11:17 IST

Making the best of waste

IIM-B has commissioned a biogas plant which turns waste into wealth

In keeping with its mission of actively adopting environment-friendly measures, such as rainwater harvesting, waste composting, recharging wells, setting up a sewage treatment plant which recycles waste water for all the horticulture needs of the 100-acre campus and installing LED lighting, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore has commissioned a biogas plant which turns waste into wealth.

The biogas plant treats food waste generated on campus and the gas produced is being utilised for cooking at the campus canteen. In terms of productivity, the plant, commissioned on January 2, can produce fuel equivalent to two LPG cylinders a day.

The by-product of the processed waste is compost, rich in nutrients, which will be used as manure for plants on campus. The biogas plant has been set up by GPS RENEWABLES, a firm which is headquartered in Bengaluru and whose founders are alumni of IIM-B. Sreekrishna Sankar (PGP 2008), Mainak Chakraborty and Mohit Behl (PGP 2010) founded the firm in 2012. Sreekrishna and Mainak were named ‘Top Innovators under the age of 35’ by MIT Technology Review in 2014.

The firm is also the winner of the WWF Climate Solver Award 2014 and the Sankalp Award in the Clean Energy category, with some of its other clients being top-notch organisations in the IT, education and hospitality sectors in India, Bangladesh and the US. They were also in the Global Top 5 in the Tech Awards, given by the Tech Museum of Innovation, Los Angeles in 2015, and in 2016, their product BioUrja was named one of the 10 most sustainable innovations in the energy space by Sustainia, a reputed Scandinavian think tank.

Was it special to come back to campus with a very tangible contribution? “You bet!” says Mainak, “We had been talking about it for some time. It is always special to be able to contribute to one’s campus.”

On its campus on Bannerghatta Road, in continuation of its journey towards adopting sustainable measures, IIM-B also has plans to install a rooftop solar power plant of 400 KW capacity.