Berkeley-based Green Fuels Ltd has been awarded a $100,000 grant in recognition of the exceptional work it is doing in addressing the immediate and long term challenges resulting from the effects of the global pandemic.
The grant is designed to support the impact of the work Green Fuels is doing as a global producer of sustainable transport fuels.
The Unreasonable Impact COVID-19 Response initiative was launched by Barclays and Unreasonable Group earlier this year and has already supported ten ventures that have pivoted their businesses to combat challenges related to COVID-19.
The initiative was launched as a direct response to the outbreak of COVID19 and is an extension of Unreasonable Impact, the unique multi-year partnership between the two companies supporting growth stage entrepreneurs across the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific regions solving many of the world’s most pressing issues.
Green Fuels was chosen by a selection committee for the work it is in partnership with the waste management sector in Mumbai, India, to develop safe, reliable collection systems for food waste, suitable for use in developing countries under (or emerging from) COVID-19 lockdown.
The company is a pioneer in renewable fuels. Founded in 2003, it has supplied biofuel equipment, with a total capacity of more than 420 million litres a year, to customers in nearly 90 countries. Its researchers have worked on projects ranging from fish-farming to jet fuel. In 2020 we will be opening our first own-label fuel production facilities on three continents.
Green Fuels CEO James Hygate, said: “This project is important because existing collection systems are incompatible with social distancing, lockdowns or curfews, as they involve many “empty” journeys, extensive contact between individuals, cash transactions and use of ad hoc containers that are not disinfectable and carry risk of virus transmission.
“The positive impact of our efforts will be huge; the abandonment of collection systems during the outbreak raises the risk of waste accumulation, vermin, food contamination and secondary disease outbreaks. In the case of waste cooking oil, which Green Fuels collects for refining into biodiesel, the specific threat is that oil will be retained in the human food chain after it has become toxic through repeated use.
“We’re testing software and hardware, including a mobile app, mobile payments and ‘smart collection’ hardware, that go beyond the state of the art in hygiene, supply chain optimisation and traceability.
“This will have lasting benefits beyond the current pandemic context. We’re uniquely placed not only to carry out the design and prototyping work, but also to trial it in Mumbai, a metropolitan area of more than 18 million people and one of the defining centres of the fight against COVID-19 in the developing world. After optimisation, we plan to implement this next-generation collection technology in several markets in the Gulf and South Asia in the coming months.”
James Hygate will join the 12 other grantees at a virtual event, The Unreasonable Impact COVID19 Response Exclusive Summit, created with Barclays on September 29th, where he will have a chance to share his exceptional work with a global audience.
Joe McGrath, Barclays’ Global Head of Banking, said: “Through Unreasonable Impact we set out to offer advice, expertise, and support to entrepreneurs so that they can more quickly increase the scale and impact of their businesses. These entrepreneurs have been recognized for their ingenious approaches to tackling almost impossible-sounding challenges, especially in some of the most challenged communities across the globe. When COVID-19 took hold this year we knew that Unreasonable Impact entrepreneurs would be among the first to pivot their talent and drive towards responding to the impacts of the pandemic – and we’re in awe of the speed with which they did just that, and of the scale of the positive impact that they have already had. We’re honoured to be able to extend our support through the Unreasonable Impact COVID-19 Response Initiative, which provided grants that will help these entrepreneurs to accelerate their work in response to the ongoing pandemic.”
Daniel Epstein, Founder and CEO of Unreasonable Group, added: “Unreasonable Impact was co-created with Barclays with a shared intention to support and scale up entrepreneurial solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. The global impact of COVID-19 is unlike any challenge any of us has seen in our lifetimes. Setting up the second COVID-Response to support and amplify even more Unreasonable ventures leveraging business to combat challenges related to the pandemic, is a natural extension of our mission. We are humbled to be supporting the exceptional work of Green Fuels.”