This week sees the end of this year’s BBC World Challenge. There are just a few days left for you to vote for your favourite sustainable business and project: the 12 Finalists are profiled below.
Vote before midnight (GMT) 11th November.
| TRASH TO CASH
Hand in Hand – biogas energy, India
Food waste from restaurants in the heritage town of Mamallapuram in South India is turned into biogas which fuels a 10kW power station. A ton of food waste which every day was being dumped in landfill is now converted to methane and then to electricity.
| BURNING CONCERN
Ugastove – fuel efficient charcoal stove, Uganda
A dramatic improvement in fuel efficiency over the traditional 3 stone fires used all over Africa for cooking. Each of these stoves, designed and built by a Ugandan entrepreneur is claimed to save an average of one tonne of carbon emissions in a year.
| TECH CRUNCH
Recycla – e-waste recycling, Chile
The first and only electronic waste recycling social enterprise in Latin America, Recycla aims to tackle the problem of the 8 million mobile phones and one million computers that are discarded in Chile annually. They are dismantled and separated into recyclable materials and toxic waste that can be safely disposed of.
| A NEW LEAF
El Nafeza Foundation – paper-making, Egypt
This non-profit company aims to revive the art of paper making in Egypt and taps into the 10.5 million tonnes of agricultural waste that would otherwise be burnt to make luxury paper.
| SENIOR SERVICE
Shunran-No-Sato – sustainable rural community, Japan
Japan faces an ageing population and disappearing rural communities. This project offers eco tourism with guesthouses in the villagers’ own homes and traditional agricultural activities in an attempt to keep the village alive. It now caters to nearly 5,000 visitors a year.
| JUNGLE BREW
Guayaki Yerba Mate – rainforest tea and energy shots, Paraguay
Based on the idea of “market driven restoration” of the rainforests, this revolves around the Yerba Mate plant and the marketing of it as a herbal tea It is grown by indigenous people and the company has a goal to restore and steward 200,000 acres of rainforest and create 1000 living wage jobs by 2020.
| VERTIGO FARMING
Brooklyn Grange – rooftop urban farming, USA
40,000 square feet of agricultural land on the rooftops of Brooklyn, this company aims to prove that rooftop farming can be a serious commercial venture and provide community benefits.
| CHANGING SPOTS
Snow Leopard Enterprises – saving the snow leopard, Mongolia
This is an income-generation project to give rural herders an alternative livelihood that doesn’t put them into conflict with this big cat, which is threatened with extinction
| HERBAL REMEDY
Shiv Forestry – pest control, Nepal
These farmers have to contend with crop destruction by rhinos and other endangered species. Its been discovered that Chamomile and Mint are not only good cash crops to replace wheat and rice, but they deter the rhino and other wildlife. The group is developing the business and marketing essential oils.
| BANGERS & CASH
Giveacar – vehicle recycling, UK
This company will come and collect your old car, scrap it and donate the profits from the recycled material to a charity or charities of your choice. Every car raises an average of £130 and Giveacar had made over £350,000 for over 400 charities in the last 18 months.
| CAFÉ SOCIETY
Vava Coffee, sustainable coffee, Kenya
This is a socially and ethically responsible coffee company that works with smallholder farmers in Kenya to grow the coffee and with street kids and HIV positive people in the slums of Nairobi to provide the packaging materials.
| IN THE BAG
Funky Junk – recycling plastic bags, Cambodia
The founders of Funky Junk began with a social enterprise travel company but decide to tackle the problem of plastic bags in the landscape. No plastic bag recycling facility exists in Camboidia so they started their own making fashion accessories and home goods out of woven plastic bags.