MANAGEMENT is efficiency in climbing the ladder of success; LEADERSHIP determines whether the ladder is leaning against the right wall - Stephen Covey

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Turning trash into cash

I recently read an interesting article (news-item) posted in The Columbia B-School (Eugene M. Lang Center for Entrepreneurship) website. The concept is surprisingly simple: encourage recycling by paying homeowners to turn in their newspapers, plastic bottles, cans & other recyclable materials.

This is really cool! These are definitely WOW! Projects (in TP’s words). Could this model be replicated worldwide? Would it be possible to obtain funding for such programs / projects in India or other developing economies? Could banks, financial institutions & VCs egg on business plans for such WOW! Projects – that would dramatically change the world and thereby make it a better place to stay?

Well, I do not have the answers to the above but firmly believe (and proven research suggests) that the following are the major impacts of recycling on the global environment: -

a) Use of recycled materials shrinks the consumption of world’s natural resources.
b) Recycling waste avoids the over-use of landfill refuse sites, which in turn trims down the level of potential pollution or contamination.
c) Manufacturing costs could be reduced as a result of energy savings to the extent of 5% approx.

You may also note that effective recycling / re-using has long-lasting impact on corporates: -

a) It projects a ‘green’ or ‘eco-friendly’ institution (responsible corporate citizen!) thereby contributing to a greener & healthier environment.
b) Greener image enhances the company’s goodwill & reputation therefore these companies are more sought after in the financial markets & hence attract better investment opportunities.
c) Commands a share price premium – ‘green investments’
d) There would be (in a few countries, it’s already mandatory) a statutory business requirement in major developing economies to adopt processes such as waste recycling etc…
e) Many service companies (everybody is in service!) have entered the ‘recycling market’ to offer value-added, cost efficient & timely service.

Kudos to such WOW! Projects that create an ever-lasting impression. Great going.


Blogger J.KANNAN said...

while all that you said is right, all said and done it will not work out in India and its neighbouring countries due to political convenience , civil governance comforts being enjoyed by the present leaders/rulers added with the indisciplined and uncivilised conduct by certain sections of the society. We have to wait for a political change and disciplined civil governance in these countries followed by educating the masses of healthy way and values of day to day living.

3:25 PM

Blogger Sharad said...

I see some of the issues that Mr. Kannan raised as challenges in south asian economies, specially India. Sriram, this is definately a WOW! project(per TP). Intact, incentivizing the Indian customer is the best way to to have them start to re-cycle. One needs to find out, how much would the homeowner expect to start participating in this progran. I personally think it is a great idea

9:35 AM


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