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Bangladesh setting the pace for ICT industry going green

It is truly inspiring to see a country such as Bangladesh go green for its ICT industry. Bangladesh contributes only a very small amount of GHG emissions and in fact is one of the first victims of climate change (it will be the first country to go under water if the sea level rises), and yet it sets the example for the rest of the world.

I had occasion when filming for Green Planet with TELECOMTV, to speak with key leaders at Grameen Bank, Grameen Phone and Grameen Shakti. Executives at Grameen Phone stressed how they are now using solar to run backup for their base stations instead of solely relying on diesel generator backups. Besides doing their part to help save the environment, they have also found it makes good business sense. Rising energy costs and offgrid sites for new users, make renewable energy a viable option for them.

Meanwhile, Grameen Shakti, a rural electrification project of the Grameen family, found that demand for solar is also driven by demand for mobile in offgrid areas. Even for the smallest solar panels installed, rural users want mobile phone charger connections. What is more remarkable, is Grameen Shakti has designed an innovative mobile charger that can easily be assembled and made by the rural women, often in their own homes. Technical centres are set up to train the local women and they assemble and install solar controllers, mobile chargers, etc. It is truly quite remarkable. These projects are run on very business fundamentals, and are not charity programs. Woman earn up to about $100 a month, and some are even innovative to become mobile phone charge businesses too.

So bottom line, Bangladesh has shown that it makes good business to be environmentally responsible. There are no excuses for the rest of the world. We owe it to Bangladesh, as they are the first victims of our actions and yet they chose to be responsible citizens of the world!

This article was posted on Wednesday, May 6th, 2009 at 9:32 am You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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