Accelerating the momentum for promoting Sustainable Development Goals and carbon neutrality across the national Universities and Higher Educational Institutes through energy efficiency and renewable energy, Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a joint venture under the administration of the Ministry of Power has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Technology, Education, Research and Rehabilitation for the Environment (TERRE), a global NGO. The MoU has been signed on the occasion of World Environment Day with the view to set up a launch platform for kick-starting the actions on carbon neutrality in educational institutions.
TERRE and EESL will work together to propose nationwide projects, across educational institutes/campuses in India. These projects will transform the higher education campuses in India into hubs for energy efficiency, renewable energy, emission reduction and air-pollution abatement. All India Council of Technical Education ( AICTE) is supporting this much needed partnership.
The virtual MoU signing ceremony took place in the august presence of Prof. Anil Sahasrabudhe, Chairman, AICTE, Mr Saurabh Kumar, Executive Vice-Chairperson, EESL Group and Dr Rajendra Shende, Chairman, TERRE. They were joined by the University Vice Chancellors, heads of educational institutes and international experts involved in the sustainability domain. The event was also graced by senior dignitaries of both these groups and other leading educational institutes.
As a part of its partnership with TERRE, EESL will jointly prepare guidelines for a benchmark survey of the institutes that have taken pledge for Not Zero-Net Zero. EESL will also hold workshops for energy audits, make available the guidelines for aggregating demand, set standards for super-efficient appliances available in the market for developing energy efficient plans and map out emission reduction strategies.
EESL, using its ESCO models (CAPEX and PAYS) will finance the replacements of existing inefficient appliances and set in motion the processes to make campuses and infrastructure of the educational institutions energy efficient.
EESL and TERRE would identify research areas for net-zero campaigns to benefit the industry and consumers and create a fund for research on sustainable energy. They will also arrange field visits of interested national/international entities to these institutes to showcase the best practices under the “Knowledge-Exchange-Program (KEP)”
Commemorating the World Environment Day, EESL also organised a national conference on “Promoting Sustainability through Energy Efficiency in MSMEs” through web conferencing. The eminent experts on the panel were Sh. R.K. Rai, Secretary, Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE); Dr. S. Padmanabhan, Ex-Program Director/Advisor- USAID, Sh. Vinamra Mishra, Director, Ministry of MSME, Sh. S.P. Garnaik, Executive Director, EESL, Sh. A K Asthana, Ex-advisor, GIZ and President, Surat & Vellore Cluster Association. During the conference, standard package offers for MSME clusters under the GEF-5 Project were also launched and recognition was given to units for successful demonstrations.
Speaking about this partnership, Prof. Anil Sahasrabudhe, Chairman, AICTE: “Our educational institutions are the havens for nurturing our next generation and fostering critical thinking amongst the change makers of tomorrow. By facilitating discourses on sustainability and ecological preservation, this initiative by EESL and TERRE holds immense potential in imparting the right skill set and thought process in the youth of our nation.”
Mr. Saurabh Kumar, Executive Vice Chairman, EESL said, “Educational institutes, with their campuses are the centres where youth develop the ideas for building a better future. These institutes are the catalysts for skill development for addressing the global challenge of climate change. Having piloted the actions related to implementation of SDGs and climate change in some of the institutes, TERRE and EESL will now help accelerating the work on campuses to implement and foster sustainable energy solutions to enable a low carbon future, with significant economic and social impact”.
Dr Rajendra Shende, Chairman, TERRE said, “In the past, TERRE and EESL have participated in encouraging education institutes to take a pledge of carbon neutrality called ‘Not Zero-Net Zero’. More than 250 institutes have already taken the pledge, evincing their interest to move towards the target of Paris Climate Agreement . With an aim to take forward this momentum and convert these ambitions into action, we have forged the partnership with EESL, and we look forward to doing some impactful national work through this collaboration. We are sure our alliance will contribute towards United Nations Decade of Actions on SDGs”.