Focus Geography: India
How might we innovate in and around industrial operations – from facilities, to mines, to tea factories – to create a clean, circular, regenerative local ecosystem that improves lives and livelihoods?
With license to operate being more important than ever, industrial operations – for example mine sites, manufacturing plants, production facilities, and agricultural plantations – need to be designed or upgraded to deliver not only narrow economic outcomes but a net-positive impact on the development and dignity of the communities around them. Companies are expected to move beyond first-generation corporate responsibility projects and minimising harm, towards developing systemic solutions that are circular and regenerative.
There’s a great opportunity for companies to build an ecosystem of co-located or integrated impact enterprises and service providers around their industrial sites – often located in areas of scarcity or deprivation – that may deliver a combination of clean energy, clean water, health, sanitation, education and local livelihood impacts. This creates efficiencies in operation, improves stability, and reduces risk.
The opportunities for innovation in and around industrial operations include:
- Clean energy solutions that supply industrial activity and generate sufficient surplus to power community activity and development.
- Water solutions that minimise water use and/or regenerate clean water from waste.
- Local economic development solutions that stimulate innovation and trade, in relevant and future-fit industries around operational sites
- Healthcare solutions that systemically address relevant local healthcare access issues
- Education solutions that promote digital inclusion and better prepare young people or the current workforce for the future work
- Downstream, circular solutions that convert current waste streams – materials, energy or water – to value as part of an integrated ecosystem
- Upstream solutions that mitigate risk to operations e.g. supply chain monitoring and transparency around raw materials, or reforestation technologies to protect watersheds