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The Battle for India’s Coffee Drinkers in Buzzing Economy

By David SouthDevelopment Challenges, South-South Solutions

SOUTH-SOUTH CASE STUDY

A showdown in India over coffee is creating new opportunities. It is also demonstrating how the country is changing, with rising incomes in some places and great disparities in others.

Finding the right place to have a coffee and meet with friends for a chat is important to many urban Indians. And the fight is on for these customers.

Older establishments like the legendary College Street Coffee House in Kolkata (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/College_Street_Coffee_House) – owned by a cooperative society – compete with new rivals modelled on the popular American chain Starbucks (http://www.starbucks.com/). This fierce competition takes place in an economic environment of rising food inflation of up to 16 percent this year and economic growth surpassing seven percent.

Coffee is the second most popular drink in India after tea. Its consumption has been steadily growing over the years, rising from 50,000 metric tonnes (MT) in 1995 to 94,400 MT in 2008 (Coffee Board of India). Once mainly drunk in the south of India, the taste for coffee has spread around the country with the rise of fast-paced modern lifestyles. The caffeine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caffeine) jolt of a cup of coffee is attractive to people on the move and working hard.

India also holds its own as a coffee growing and exporting nation, accounting for about 4.5 percent of world coffee production and the industry provides employment to 600,000 people. The state of Karnataka accounts for 70 percent of country’s total coffee production followed by Kerala (22 percent) and Tamil Nadu (7 percent).

India has the domestic demand, and it has the product. And now a bitter battle for the nation’s coffee drinkers is underway. The difference between what is on offer at the cooperative-run coffee houses and the newer establishments is stark: at the older places, service is old-fashioned – waiters in white suits deliver coffee and food to tables – with a no-frills menu on offer. Coffee comes in simple forms: black, white, cold, hot for eight rupees (US 0.18 cents). At newer establishments, coffees come in many varieties and permutations, flavoured and with added extras. Menus also can be varied and establishments can include things like internet access.

The appeal of the older establishments is price.

“It’s good here because it’s cheap,” College Street Coffee House customer Arindam Chouwdhry, 19, told The Guardian newspaper. “We can’t go to these new places. We are from the middle class only.”

And turnover is brisk, according to manager, Deepak Gupta. “We serve up to 1,500 cups a day. Business is good.”

Owned by the India Coffee House chain (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Coffee_House), a worker’s cooperative society with 400 outlets across the country, the Coffee House was established in the 1950s with the mandate to serve cheap food and drink and act as a meeting place. It attracts workers, intellectuals and political activists. But with the huge economic changes in India over the past decade, traditional coffee houses are facing fierce competition.

In the state of Kerala, home to avid coffee drinkers, 15 of the cooperative’s 50 branches are now losing money. In the capital, Delhi, a further 10 coffee houses have closed. Things are so bad for these traditional coffee houses that the most famous branch of the Indian Coffee House has not paid its rent for years and is waiting to be closed by the municipality.

“The younger crowd seems to go elsewhere,” said its resigned manager, Janak Raj.

In many countries, coffee houses have become essential tools for economic development. They not only offer a stimulating drink, but a place to hang out, meet friends and business partners, catch up on news and access the internet. This role in economic development can be found as far back as the coffee houses of Europe during the beginning of the industrial revolution: deals were struck and people could meet the like-minded to hatch business ideas.

Coffee houses and cafes also reflect the economic and social changes in Indian society. They have come to be status symbols, showing what economic power you have achieved. And as services and quality change, they show how the level of prosperity changes.

New competitors to the cooperative coffee houses’ are offering a more modern environment to lure in a trendier crowd. Café Coffee Day (http://www.cafecoffeeday.com/index.php), which claims to be India’s largest chain coffee shop, with the motto “where the young at heart unwind”, has air conditioning, mirrors, comfortable chairs and posters on the walls for decoration. And the price is different as well: choco-frappes go for 95 rupees (US $2.11).This price means the customers need higher incomes to afford to go there.

“McDonald’s is the cheapest hangout and everyone can go there,” said a customer, Sima. “This is much nicer and only a bit more expensive so we come here. But only a few people can go to Barista’s.”

The chain Barista’s (http://www.barista.co.in/users/index.aspx) is 10 years old with 230 outlets. It is growing fast with 65 more new outlets opening this year. According to its head of marketing, Vishal Kapoor, Barista’s does not simply offer coffee, but “an overall experience.”

They bill themselves as “crème” cafes: places where salads and smoothies are on offer beside the coffee.

“It’s very exciting what is happening in India,” Kapoor said. “The classic coffee houses are part of an era that is ending.”

“People use the cafes as places to meet for privacy. “It is a kind of private space,” says Ruchika, a bank worker.

Nonetheless, despite its success, Barista’s is still too expensive for most Indians.

Published: April 2010

Resources

1) 48 innovations in coffee culture: This eclectic mix of innovations, trends and tit bits on global coffee culture is sure to inspire any budding coffee entrepreneur. Website: http://www.trendhunter.com/trends/coffee-innovation

2) Watch a video report from the coffee houses. Website: http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/video/2010/apr/01/india-coffee-house-kerala

3) Coffee Board of India: The Board focuses on research, development, extension, quality upgrades, market information, and the domestic and external promotion of Coffees of India. Website: http://www.indiacoffee.org/login.php

4) Practical advice and contacts on how to start a coffee shop. Website: http://www.howtostartacoffeeshop.co.uk/

Development Challenges, South-South Solutions was launched as an e-newsletter in 2006 by UNDP’s South-South Cooperation Unit (now the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation) based in New York, USA. It led on profiling the rise of the global South as an economic powerhouse and was one of the first regular publications to champion the global South’s innovators, entrepreneurs, and pioneers. It tracked the key trends that are now so profoundly reshaping how development is seen and done. This includes the rapid take-up of mobile phones and information technology in the global South (as profiled in the first issue of magazine Southern Innovator), the move to becoming a majority urban world, a growing global innovator culture, and the plethora of solutions being developed in the global South to tackle its problems and improve living conditions and boost human development. The success of the e-newsletter led to the launch of the magazine Southern Innovator.  

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ORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5311-1052.

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Cheap Indian Tablet Seeks to Bridge Digital Divide

By David SouthDevelopment Challenges, South-South Solutions

SOUTH-SOUTH CASE STUDY

India has had many false starts in innovating in information technology. While the country and its talented army of software engineers have a global reputation for innovation, the fits and starts that have accompanied attempts to create new hardware and devices have drawn a range of emotions, from amusement to frustration.

India faces an urgent problem: the country is falling behind others in the global South in access to the Internet. Based on 2009 data, there are 5.1 Internet users for every 100 Indians. This compares poorly with Brazil at 39.2 per 100 and China at 28.5.

The challenge is to find inexpensive devices that allow people to access the Internet through mobile phone networks. With 37 percent of India’s 1.21 billion people living below the official poverty line – and some estimates placing the number at up to 77 percent – cheap devices are urgently needed to reach the poor. A study developed by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI),  found eight Indian states account for more poor people than the 26 poorest African countries combined. The Indian states had 421 million “poor” people, compared to 410 million poor in the poorest African countries, it concluded.

The World Bank recently criticised India for lacklustre results in addressing poverty levels.

Five years ago, the Indian government launched a competitive search for an inexpensive device for the masses. The government has been supporting the development of these devices through its National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (Sakshat) (http://www.sakshat.ac.in). It aims to link 25,000 colleges and 400 universities in India in an e-learning program.

The motivation behind these attempts is a good one: to try and find an affordable device to bridge the digital divide (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_divide) and reach the majority of the population living on less than US $2 a day.

But the search has had mixed results.

Low points included a failed attempt to make a rival to the One Laptop Per Child (http://www.onelaptop.org) computer from MIT (Massachusetts Institute for Technology) with an Indian version selling for US $10. What was offered instead in 2009 was a device with no screen or keyboard, requiring an additional laptop and paper to access its stored files. It was also made in Taiwan, rather than India.

Another first stab at making a US $35 tablet computer was launched in 2010 with much fanfare, but by January 2011 the Indian government had dropped manufacturers HCL Technologies for failing to honour its 600 million rupee (US $13 million) contract.

What these first steps show is the complexity of hardware development and how challenging it is to get the user experience right for customers while keeping the price affordable.

But India recently relaunched what it is calling the world’s cheapest tablet computer, selling for US $35. It is called Aakash (http://www.akashslate.com) (http://www.aakashcomputer.co.in), meaning “sky” in the Sanskrit language, and is being sold as an e-learning tool to bridge the digital divide in the country.

The utility of tablets (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tablet_personal_computer) and e-readers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_e-book_readers) for people in the global South is clear: they can enable people to bypass the lack of local library facilities to store vast personal archives of books. This is a powerful educational tool: imagine a village doctor with easy access to thousands of medical texts and papers, or a child preparing for university exams no longer having to worry they can find study texts. It also is a cost-effective way to publish in many local languages and break the stranglehold English-language publishing has had on delivering e-books.

Aakash will be sold for US $35 to educational institutions and marketed for private sale for US $61 under the UbiSlate brand name (http://www.ubisurfer.com). It is also hoped the tablet can be sold in the UK and the USA.

Jointly developed by engineers in India, Canada and the UK, it will be assembled at DataWind’s manufacturing plant in Hyderabad, India (http://datawind.com/products.html). Datawind also makes other low-cost, portable devices like the PocketSurfer3 (http://www.pocketsurfer.co.uk).

The project is run by two Indian-born Canadians, DataWind chief executive officer Suneet Singh Tuli and his brother Raja Singh Tuli.

Based in Montreal, Canada, DataWind bills itself as “a leading developer of wireless web access products and services.”

Suneet Singh Tuli wants to sell 1 million tablets a month. The first 100,000 tablets are being bought by the Indian government and then sold to university students.

The Aakash uses the Google Android operating system (http://www.android.com) and has a WiFi capability, 17.78 centimetre wide screen, two USB ports (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB) and battery that can last three hours. It can stream high-definition videos, read e-books and run Microsoft Windows Office applications.

The components in the device are a mix, including parts DataWind has designed itself to save costs.

“This is not a one-time opportunity,” Suneet Singh Tuli told the Toronto Star newspaper. “There are 2½ to 3 million students entering university every year, as well as 80 million students in Grades 9 to 12, and the government is very serious about making mobile products available to this age group.

“I could tell you a romantic story about two Indian brothers who arrive in Montreal to get a great Canadian education, become citizens, and then go back to India to bring Internet to the masses,” says Tuli.

“But the reality is, this is all about profit – my investors and board wouldn’t want it any other way.”

To compare, the Amazon Kindle Fire device (http://www.amazon.com/Kindle-Fire-Color/dp/B0051VVOB2), which launched recently, sells for US $199 and has fewer features.

“The rich have access to the digital world; the poor and ordinary have been excluded. Aakash will end that digital divide,” Kapil Sibal, India’s education minister told the Financial Times.

India’s initiatives are heating up competition with the One Laptop Per Child project set up by MIT professor Nicholas Negroponte (http://one.laptop.org). The colourful OLPC laptop sells for around US $200, and 2 million have been distributed to Latin America, Africa elsewhere.

While many companies and entrepreneurs are developing products for the poor and the bottom of the pyramid (BOP) markets, it is still a difficult thing to get right. A big issue is aspiration: consumers are still attracted to products they perceive as aspirational and quality, despite a higher price.

“(Aakash) might suffer the Nano syndrome,” Shashi Bhusan, technology analyst at brokerage Prabhudas Lilladher, told the Financial Times, referring to the cheap made-in-India car that failed to catch on (http://tatanano.inservices.tatamotors.com/tatamotors). “It is always difficult to predict the market’s reaction to a product, but what we have learnt from the Nano is that people don’t want to buy the ‘car-like’ product, they want the real thing … I feel the same will probably happen with this ‘laptop-like’ product.”

And others strongly disagree that gadgets can transcend the deep-seated social problems that need radical change.

“It is charity of a very superficial nature,” said George Mathew, director of Delhi’s Institute of Social Sciences. “It has nothing to do with the structure and permanency of our society and our system – you have to work for systemic change.”

Earlier this year an Indian company produced a rival to Amazon’s Kindle (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kindle-Store/b?ie=UTF8&node=341677031). The Wink (http://www.thewinkstore.com/ereader/index) is designed to accommodate 15 common Indian languages, comes in an eye-catching design and is complemented by a sleek website stuffed with e-books ready for download. The entire package is very well-thought-out and marketed.

The Wink was developed and built by EC Media International and retails, according to its website, for Rs 8,999 (US $200). It looks similar to the Kindle, but where the Kindle is grey the Wink is white. This Indian rival has some impressive capabilities: it can not only support 15 Indian languages, it can also access an online library of more than 200,000 book titles. They range from arts and entertainment to biography, newspapers and science topics. There is also a large archive of free books for download.

But it has come in for criticism for its price, which some say is far too high for the Indian market.

As has been shown by the information technology experience in other countries, it is constant innovation and trial and error which will eventually create successes. But with persistence, this is one space to keep watching.

Published: October 2011

Resources

1) How to build your own personal computer: This guide helps to demystify computing hardware and shows how to build a computer at home. Website: http://www.buildeasypc.com/

2) Hardware design and architecture: An archive of free e-books on all aspects of computer hardware and architecture design. An outstanding resource to get anyone started in computer engineering. Website: http://www.e-booksdirectory.com/listing.php?category=38

3) Jonathan Ive is the man behind the highly successful and user-friendly modern design that has turned the Apple computer brand into such a global success story. He provides tips on how to design usable computer hardware and shares the secrets of his success. Website: http://www.wired.com/culture/design/news/2003/06/59381

Development Challenges, South-South Solutions was launched as an e-newsletter in 2006 by UNDP’s South-South Cooperation Unit (now the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation) based in New York, USA. It led on profiling the rise of the global South as an economic powerhouse and was one of the first regular publications to champion the global South’s innovators, entrepreneurs, and pioneers. It tracked the key trends that are now so profoundly reshaping how development is seen and done. This includes the rapid take-up of mobile phones and information technology in the global South (as profiled in the first issue of magazine Southern Innovator), the move to becoming a majority urban world, a growing global innovator culture, and the plethora of solutions being developed in the global South to tackle its problems and improve living conditions and boost human development. The success of the e-newsletter led to the launch of the magazine Southern Innovator.  

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This work is licensed under a
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ORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5311-1052.

© David South Consulting 2022

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Model Cities Across the South Challenge Old Ways

By David SouthDevelopment Challenges, South-South Solutions

SOUTH-SOUTH CASE STUDY

Pioneering thinking about how resources are used and how people live their lives is taking place in the dynamic economies of the global South. Facing a vast population surge to urban areas, these include attempts to build “green” cities and low-waste, smart and digital communities.

These model cities are clever solutions for the world’s growing – and urbanizing – populations coping with a stressed and damaged environment. Unlike one-off technologies and ideas developed in isolation, the model cities approach starts from scratch. They become living laboratories on which research and development take place at the heart of the community, not just the preserve of aloof academics hidden away in labs.

This is critical work because the world is rapidly urbanizing and needs solutions to ensure this process does not lead to chaos and misery. How these cities turn out could hold the fate of humanity and much is at stake. According to a report by the International Institute for Environment and Development, Africa now has a larger urban population than North America and 25 of the world’s fastest growing big cities. Getting to grips with urban development will be critical for the future of the continent and the wellbeing of its people.

By 2025, Asia could have 10 or more cities with populations larger than 20 million (Far Eastern Economic Review). People will be living in densely populated cities and they will need to be smart cities if they are to work.

In the United Arab Emirates (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Dhabi), Masdar City (http://www.masdar.ae/en/home/index.aspx), is a model city not only being built, but being used as way to develop commercially successful environment technologies – renewable energy solutions and clean technologies – that will turn into future income for the city and Abu Dhabi.

The traditional approach in other countries has been to keep scientists and innovators disconnected from the living, breathing city. They toil away in labs or universities and only really get to test their technologies and theories after going through lengthy testing and approval by a city’s government. As Masdar’s website says, this city will develop “from research to commercial deployment – with the aim of creating scalable clean energy solutions.”

The planned community will be 6 square kilometres in size and wants to be “one of the most sustainable cities in the world”. Located 17 kilometres from Abu Dhabi, it hopes to be a pedestrian-friendly town home to 40,000 residents. At the heart of Masdar City is the Masdar Institute: a research university developed with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The students are the city’s first residents and a range of top international companies are planning to locate in there as well. German technology company Siemens will place its Middle East headquarters in Masdar and its Center of Excellence in Building Technologies R&D centre. Others joining them include GE, BASF, Schneider and the Korea Technopark Association.

The Surbana Urban Planning Group (www.surbana.com) spent five decades developing its experience with the rapid growth of Singapore (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singapore): a city-state boasting the highest quality of life in Asia (Economist Intelligence Unit) which took itself from an impoverished city to one of the world’s leading export and manufacturing economies. Surbana built 26 planned townships in Singapore that now house 85 percent of the city’s 4.5 million residents. It specializes in designing, implementing and maintaining complex urban areas.

Singapore has pioneered a number of ways to house a large population within a small territory. This experience is now being put to work in China at the Tianjin Eco-City development (http://www.tianjinecocity.gov.sg/masterplan.htm). Known for high pollution levels due to heavy industry Tianjin will undergo a big change. The project aims to develop a template that can be used for other cities throughout China and around the world.

The 30-square-kilometre Tianjin Eco-City is being built around a wetland and river. The idea is to offer its residents an environment with easy access to recreational spaces and the natural environment. The transport system will avoid cars and instead use a light rail system as the main mode of transport. It should be home to 350,000 people.

Cleverly, each suburban area will have commercial sub-centres to enable as many people as possible to work locally and avoid the need to commute long distances. The Eco-City will be built by assembling “eco-cell” – like a bee’s honeycomb – neighbourhoods self-contained with schools, child care, commercial and work areas, and parks. This set up is geared to collecting a common mistake in other new developments that only consider housing, forgeting about how people work, shop and recreate.

There will be seven distinct neighbourhoods: Lifescape, Eco-Valley, Solarscape, Urbanscape, Windscape, Earthscape and Eco-Corridors (http://inhabitat.com/tianjin-eco-city-is-a-futuristic-green-landscape-for-350000-residents/). An “Eco-Valley” will run through the city as a green spine connecting north and south.

It is hoped the city will be completed by 2020. Just 10 minutes’ drive from the Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area (http://en.investteda.org/) business parks, the residents should be well served for jobs.

In South Korea, the Digital Media City in Seoul (http://dmc.seoul.go.kr/eng/index.do) bills itself as a “harmony of nature, high-tech, and culture”. The Seoul municipal government devised the DMC in the 1990s to capitalize on the economic and social benefits of being the world’s most digitally wired nation.

The DMC project serves the nation’s larger goals of transitioning from a manufacturing to an innovation economy and promoting Seoul as an east-Asian hub for commerce. The DMC is about creating new business opportunities.

But this isn’t just about business and research and development: it is a comprehensive digital economy experience, with schools, housing for the affiliates of international firms, moderate and lower-income housing, commercial and convention facilities, entertainment zones, and the city’s central rail station are all located in or near the Digital Media City.

Resources

1) More Urban, Less Poor: The first textbook to explore urban development and management and challenge the notion unplanned shanty towns without basic services are the inevitable consequence of urbanization. Website: www.earthscan.co.uk

* ArrivalCity: The Final Migration and Our Next World by Doug Saunders. Website: www.arrivalcity.net

Development Challenges, South-South Solutions was launched as an e-newsletter in 2006 by UNDP’s South-South Cooperation Unit (now the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation) based in New York, USA. It led on profiling the rise of the global South as an economic powerhouse and was one of the first regular publications to champion the global South’s innovators, entrepreneurs, and pioneers. It tracked the key trends that are now so profoundly reshaping how development is seen and done. This includes the rapid take-up of mobile phones and information technology in the global South (as profiled in the first issue of magazine Southern Innovator), the move to becoming a majority urban world, a growing global innovator culture, and the plethora of solutions being developed in the global South to tackle its problems and improve living conditions and boost human development. The success of the e-newsletter led to the launch of the magazine Southern Innovator.  

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This work is licensed under a
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ORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5311-1052.

© David South Consulting 2022

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Asian Factories Starting to go Green

By David SouthDevelopment Challenges, South-South Solutions

New UNOSSC banner Dev Cha 2013

SOUTH-SOUTH CASE STUDY

Media headlines have recently highlighted the growing air pollution crisis in Asia’s expanding cities. This is caused by a mix of factors – the growing number of vehicles, coal-powered factories, people burning dirty fuels to heat their homes, and poor enforcement of standards – and has severe consequences for human health. If it’s not tackled, more and more countries will see large rises in respiratory problems, cancers and early deaths from pollution-caused illnesses (http://www.nrdc.org/air/).

The World Health Organization (WHO) says air pollution is the world’s largest environmental health risk, killing 7 million people every year. Asia has the largest number of air pollution deaths in the world, with 3.3 million deaths linked to indoor air pollution and 2.6 million deaths related to outdoor air pollution (Clean Air Asia).

While most of the Asian countries where this is a problem are also aggressively growing their economies in order to get richer and raise living standards, there is a rising awareness of the need to balance a modern, industrial economy with human health and the environment.

One solution is to adopt green and sustainable building standards when constructing new factories. This is more than just a public relations exercise: the energy savings possible from building smart pay off in the long run. And green factories not only pollute less, they save lives and the environment.

Asia plays a critical role in producing the world’s consumer products, from the small and simple to the highly complex components used in 21st-century computing technologies.

Intel (intel.com), the manufacturer of electronic devices and the computer chips that go inside them, is trying to lead the way. It has built a US $1 billion manufacturing plant 16 kilometers outside Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and it is designed to exceed Vietnamese environmental and sustainability guidelines and laws.

Opened in 2010, it boasts the country’s largest solar power system. It is also currently working on a water reclamation system to reduce water consumption at the plant by 68 per cent, according to The New York Times. It is hoping to receive certification from the US Green Building Council (usgbc.org).

It is all part of a wider trend that is starting to reverse the damaging, short-termist approach of the past. More and more Western multinationals and their Asian suppliers are building environmentally sound factories in the developing world.

According to the US Green Building Council, around 300 manufacturing facilities in Asia are either certified or are awaiting Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. The LEED certification recognizes the building has met certain standards in becoming a ‘green’ building.

Going green is more and more part of corporate policy for companies that want to avoid the bad publicity of disasters such as the garment factory collapse that killed 1,135 people in Bangladesh in April 2013.

But it is not just driven by a desire to avoid bad publicity: large corporations that build factories in the global South are also realizing there are big financial savings to be made.

Intel has been able to reduce its global energy costs by US $111 million since 2008. It did this by investing US $59 million in 1,500 projects to boost sustainability across its facilities worldwide. The projects have reduced carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to the amount produced by 126,000 American households per year.

Intel’s solar array in Vietnam, which cost US $1.1 million, offsets the equivalent of 500 pollution-belching motorbikes every day.

How effective are LEED-certified buildings? The New York Times reported that a 2011 survey compared a typical shoe factory with a LEED factory run by the American sport shoe maker Nike. It found the LEED factory used 18 per cent less electricity and fuel and 53 per cent less water.
And this trend is creating a new economy unto itself. As an example, a new marketplace for industrial efficiency upgrading is developing in India. Power outages are frequent in India, so finding a way to save electricity and alternatives to dependence on the national power grid is attractive to any economic enterprise.

Prashant Kapoor, principal industry specialist for green buildings at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), believes demand for upgrades is strong enough that various companies can specialize in this field and profit from it.

And things are also happening in the notoriously smog-choked cities of China. By the end of 2012, China had certified eight factories and 742 buildings as LEED, according to the China buildings programme at the Energy Foundation (ef.org) in San Francisco.

Damien Duhamel of Solidiance (solidiance.com), a firm that advises businesses on how to grow in Asia, believes avoiding risk caused by environmental accidents or scandals is heightened by the growing presence of social media, which amplifies negative publicity.

“The next battle will be here” for higher corporate environmental standards, Duhamel believes. “This is why some smart companies – Intel, for example – took the steps of being proactive.”

Resources

1) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED): LEED, or Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design, is a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices. Website: http://www.usgbc.org/leed

2) US Green Building Council (USGBC): Its mission is to transform the way buildings and communities are designed, built and operated, enabling an environmentally and socially responsible, healthy, and prosperous environment that improves the quality of life. Website: http://www.usgbc.org/

3) Dwell: Dwell magazine is focused on demonstrating that modern design can be both functional and comfortable. Website: dwell.com

4) Inhabitat: Design for a Better World: Inhabitat.com is a weblog devoted to the future of design, tracking the innovations in technology, practices and materials that are pushing architecture and home design towards a smarter and more sustainable future. Website: inhabitat.com

5) Solidiance: Singapore-based consulting firm specializing in Asia’s green-building sector. Website: solidiance.com

6) Clean Air Asia: Clean Air Asia was established in 2001 as the premier air quality network for Asia by the Asian Development Bank, World Bank, and USAID. Its mission is to promote better air quality and livable cities by translating knowledge to policies and actions that reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from transport, energy and other sectors. Website: cleanairinitiative.org

7) Southern Innovator Issue 4: Cities and Urbanization: This issue is packed with ideas on to how make cities and urban environments greener and reduce air pollution. Website: http://www.scribd.com/doc/133622315/Southern-Innovator-Magazine-Issue-4-Cities-and-Urbanization and here: http://tinyurl.com/oc2mqgm

8) Better Air Quality Conference 2014 and 8th Regional Environmentally Sustainable Transport Forum in Asia:  From 19 to 21 November 2014 in Colombo, Sri Lanka, BAQ is the leading event on air quality in Asia, covering the key sectors of transport, energy, industry and climate change, with a particular emphasis on government policies and measures. Website: http://cleanairinitiative.org/portal/node/12274

9) Tianjin Eco-city: The Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city’s vision is to be a thriving city which is socially harmonious, environmentally-friendly and resource-efficient. Website: tianjinecocity.gov.sg

10) Songdo: Songdo International Business District (IBD) officially opened on August 7, 2009 as a designated Free Economic Zone and the first new sustainable city in the world designed to be an international business district. Website: songdo.com

Development Challenges, South-South Solutions was launched as an e-newsletter in 2006 by UNDP’s South-South Cooperation Unit (now the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation) based in New York, USA. It led on profiling the rise of the global South as an economic powerhouse and was one of the first regular publications to champion the global South’s innovators, entrepreneurs, and pioneers. It tracked the key trends that are now so profoundly reshaping how development is seen and done. This includes the rapid take-up of mobile phones and information technology in the global South (as profiled in the first issue of magazine Southern Innovator), the move to becoming a majority urban world, a growing global innovator culture, and the plethora of solutions being developed in the global South to tackle its problems and improve living conditions and boost human development. The success of the e-newsletter led to the launch of the magazine Southern Innovator.  

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License

ORCID iD: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5311-1052.

© David South Consulting 2022