Let's Disrupt: Boosting Sustainability and Capitalizing on Climate Change Mitigation

Posted by: Yvonne Luker - Global Chamber on Thursday, May 14, 2020

Boosting Sustainability in a Post-Pandemic Planet: Capitalizing on Climate Change Mitigation. 

For the second globinar in the Covid-19 Series of Let’s Disrupt, we dug into how the global coronavirus pandemic is presenting opportunities to charter a path to a greener world.

Watch the program HERE. This globinar was full of information!

In fact we ran out of time for questions... see some of those answered below.

The temporary fallback of anthropogenic activities as a result of lockdowns worldwide has presented a rare opportunity for individuals, companies, government and other entities to reevaluate their priorities and prepare for the looming threat of climate change through sustained efforts and disrupting business models.

On the contrary, the same cannot be said about the social or economic dimensions, both of which have seen a considerable setback, and will take time to recover from the casualties, unemployment and recessions brought about by the crisis. 

This Global Chamber globinar with expert speakers discussed critical issues and laid out opportunities to prioritise climate change mitigation measures and strategies to expedite sustainable development.

Meeting Set-up

  • Maimun Ur Rashid Mustafa - Executive Director, Global Chamber® Barisal
  • Sohara Mehroze Team Lead, Research Facility at United Nations Development Programme in Bangladesh (above)

Keynote Speakers

  • Yolanda Saito - Co-CEO & Director, Partnerships & Innovation of Impact
  • Dr. Mazhar Islam - Chase Distinguished Professor of International Business and Assistant Professor at the College of Business, Loyola University, New Orleans
  • Dr. Sahadat Hossain - Director, Solid Waste Institute for Sustainability (SWIS) and Professor of Civil Engineering at The University of Texas at Arlington
  • Dr. Alfred Marcus - Edson Spencer Endowed Chair in Strategy and Technological Leadership at the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota

Collaborators...

  • Global Chamber Barisal
  • United Nations Development Program in Bangladesh
  • Movementum Consultancy and Facilitation Group

Post Globinar content... below.

What will be the alternative to incinerators?
 
There is no fixed solution and depends on many factors including geographical locations. However, a combination of perpetual landfills (where one landfill can be used for a long time), sorting and recovering recyclables through Material Recovery Facility (MRF), composting, and anaerobic digester. For more details: please email me: hossain@uta.edu
 
How many incinerators are in Bangladesh?
 
Currently, there are none but the Bangladesh government is considering building few in Dhaka and other cities. They are not an only major environmental pollutant, but also:
  1. Very expensive to build and operate
  2. Because of the nature of the municipal solid waste (very wet and mostly food waste and organic waste), they cannot generate any positive energy. They may consume more energy to operate than the amount of energy they can generate. 
  3. India built more than 70 incineration plants in the last 20 years and only 1 or 2 are operational. 
  4. European companies are pursuing Bangladesh to get into incineration plants, in some cases knowing that they may not work in Bangladesh. They are a very bad solution for both short and long terms. 
What are some public and/or private efforts (such as innovation or special initiatives) around the world to address the solid waste issue?
 
There are many private, and/or public programs around the world. Some examples are:
  1. Waste collection - many African countries are using private companies to increase their collection efficiency. Some Sub Saharan African countries have waste collection rate as low as 10-15%. 
  2. Recycling and reusing recycled materials are mostly done by private companies. 
  3. Many USA cities are privatizing their waste management operation to private companies and they are just doing the quality control, and overseeing their operation. 
  4. You can also review the world bank report: Waste 2.0 (by Silpa Kaza) - a very good reference book for developing countries. You can download it for free. 

Keynote Speaker Bios

Yolanda Saito - Co-CEO & Director, Partnerships & Innovation of Impacti. Yolanda Saito is the Co-CEO & Director, Partnerships & Innovation of Impacti - a tech company that builds easy-to-use web applications to support the private sector to strategically align their sustainability initiatives to the SDGs and other global agendas. Impacti tools are designed to help businesses identify opportunities and better communicate how their local sustainability actions contribute to the real challenges faced by their communities and build high-impact collaborations.  

Yolanda has coordinated several international research projects to develop frameworks to guide and catalyze action across society to meet climate change, biodiversity and environmental goals. Most recently, she led a two-year initiative to translate the SDGs into a framework of business actions and indicators that make clear the SDG risks and opportunities for the private sector. She has designed global peer-to-peer learning networks that foster rapid innovation and problem solving on key global challenges. She is an attorney with the New York State Bar and an experienced international lawyer, engineer and innovation manager.

Dr. Mazhar Islam - Chase Distinguished Professor of International Business and Assistant Professor at the College of Business, Loyola University. Dr. Mazhar Islam is the Chase Distinguished Professor of International Business and an Assistant Professor at the College of Business, Loyola University New Orleans, USA. His research and teaching focus on strategic management and entrepreneurship. He taught executive and MBA programs at leading business schools in the USA, Europe, Asia and Latin America.  He advises several startups and is involved with STEM-Away, a San Francisco Bay area startup. 

 

Dr. Sahadat Hossain - Director, Solid Waste Institute for Sustainability (SWIS) at The University of Texas at Arlington. Dr. Sahadat Hossain is a Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) and director of Solid Waste Institute for Sustainability (SWIS).  Dr. Hossain has completed his B.S. degree (1994) in Civil Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay, India, Master of Engineering (1997) in Geotechnical Engineering from Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Bangkok, Thailand, and Ph.D. (2002) from North Carolina State University (NCSU) at Raleigh, NC, USA. Dr. Hossain has more than 20 (Twenty) years of professional and research experience in sustainable waste management, landfill, landfill gas to energy and landfill mining. He is also working on research, development and implementation of innovative solutions for sustainable waste management and to provide support for waste management in USA and developing countries. Since 2015, Dr. Hossain is the founding director of Organized Research Center of Excellence (ORCE) – Solid Waste Institute for Sustainability (SWIS). The mission of SWIS is to work on developing clean and healthy urban cities through sustainable waste management. As part of SWIS mission, Dr. Hossain has organized “Sustainable Waste Management and Landfill Training” program ISWA -SWIS Winter School for participants from around the world since 2016, in collaboration with International Solid Waste Association (ISWA). Participants from more than 80 countries participated in the training program in last five years. Dr. Hossain presented on “Garbage: Asset or Liability” – as a TED Talk speaker in April 2016.

Dr. Alfred Marcus is an awarding winning author and Edson Spencer Endowed Chair in Strategy and Technological Leadership at the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota. His expertise includes sustainability, environmental and energy policies, corporate social responsibility, business regulation and the global economy. He has authored several books including “Innovations in Sustainability: Fuel and Food,” and “Managing Strategic Uncertainty: Booms and Busts in the Energy Industry”. He has consulted with numerous major corporations and has received grants from government agencies. He holds a PhD from Harvard. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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