An effective way to boost the economy is by efficiently consuming the resources and sustaining it in every possible way. This is the approach used in the industries in Bhutan and Nepal in a 4- year long Sustainable and Efficient Industrial Development (SEID) project.
As stated in the best practice report by SEID, released recently, Bhutan’s economy depends heavily on imported goods and services, which makes it difficult for the local enterprises to compete and create their own competences. The economic variables weigh down hard upon the sustainability of the country’s economy and society.
SEID, in collaboration with GrAT and BCCI funded by EU, Switch Asia and Austrian Development Cooperation, has gone through a series of process, starting with training and capacity building of the local consultants to successfully monitoring of industries.
In Bhutan, a total of 35 industries were initially assessed, out of which 24 industries have implemented the recommendations. The best practices, after monitoring the progress, were observed with 23 of the initially assessed industries.
“We might not have assessed every existing macro or micro industry in Bhutan but these 23 industries are the models from which any other institution that wants to implement the recommendations can learn and be inspired with,” said Robert Wimmer, the Lead Project Manager, in his closing remarks about the project.
Among those, 11 companies were certified as the best performing ones. The impact of the intervention, which was clearly highlighted during its closing meeting, observed 6.9 percent decrease in energy consumption, 9.2 percent decrease in water consumption and 1.07 percent decrease in material consumption in the agro and manufacturing industries. The project has achieved carbon dioxide emission reduction in Bhutan by 66,623 kgs equivalent.
According to the report, economic growth and alleviation of poverty can be achieved by acquiring foreign currencies and creating domestic employment solely through the agro-based industries and tourism in both the countries. However, the fact that these industries still rely on energy-intensive, outdated and polluting technologies and inefficient resource utilization has led to excessive waste generation and burdened enterprises.
SEID has identified the main reason for these problems as “a lack of awareness and systematic guidance” in implementing technical solutions that are helpful in saving cost and improving energy efficiency.
SEID project, after its birth in 2012, has been able to bring out the best in sustainable energy consumption in many industries (micro and macro) in Nepal and Bhutan.
“Bhutan has comparatively low carbon footprint and it was easier for us to provide the consultancy to green development. Bhutan has that far sightedness when it comes to energy consumption which is commendable,” said Stefan Melnitzky, an advocate from Austria Recycling (AREC).
Two of the local consultants in Bhutan were given an excellence certificate each for their dedication throughout the project. Both of them can now be consulted on the know-how of energy efficiency plans for green development in Bhutan. One of the recipients, Rozal Adhikari, said that although the result of the project is impressive, there are many other companies that can also benefit from similar intervention.