Mahindra & Mahindra, India’s leading SUV manufacturer, today announced the winners of the inaugural edition of ‘Mahindra Rise Sustainability Champion Awards’. This Mahindra Automotive initiative is instituted to recognise young and rising change makers who have showcased extraordinary commitment to inspire change for a better future. A first-of-its-kind recognition by the Indian auto industry, the Award identifies emerging sustainability icons in the field of Clean Air, Clean Energy, Green Mobility and Clean Water.
By recognising and showcasing their success stories, Mahindra’s aim is to catalyse concerted action on the sustainability front and inspire more people to rise for the larger good. The Award followed a simple three-step procedure, which included, pre-screening and identification of the final four winners by eminent jury members – Mr. Madhav Pai of WRI India, Mr Mukund Vasudevan of Moglix, Ms. Vinuta Gopal from Asar Social Impact Advisors and Dr. Bhaskar Natarajan from AEEE.
Veejay Nakra, CEO, Auto Sector, Mahindra Group said, “The role played by the younger generation to help India attain its net zero goals is inspirational. The Mahindra Rise Sustainability Champion Award’ is our way of recognising and encouraging this dedicated movement towards sustainability. It is in line with our core philosophy of ‘Rise’ – to be an organisation that will be counted among the best in the world and at the same time rise for our planet to fight against climate change. We congratulate all the winners and finalists for being active role models for all of us to follow and we would also like to thank all the eminent jury members in helping us identify the achievers in this space.”
The Awards envision to grow into a unique sustainability platform which creates opportunities and designs pathways for the young change makers of today to rise as the game changers of tomorrow. To further support the winners to strengthen their contribution to India’s net-zero mission the proceeds from the auction of one-of-its-kind, All-Electric XUV400 will be equally distributed among them. This Exclusive edition has been designed in collaboration with young, revolutionary fashion designer, Rimzim Dadu and Mahindra’s Chief Design Officer Pratap Bose.
The nominees were selected after extensive research in four categories and the final awardees were selected by an eminent panel of jury members:
Mr. Madhav Pai, CEO, WRI India: Madhav Pai spearheads a large urbanization policy research and prototyping support program that informs key areas of India’s urban growth story.
Mr Mukund Vasudevan, Managing Director Enterprise, Moglix: Mukund Vasudevan leads large transformation initiatives for Moglix customers and vendors globally. Vasudevan has over 28 years of global leadership experience in the manufacturing and chemical sectors.
Ms. Vinuta Gopal, CEO and Founder, Asar Social Impact Advisors: Vinuta Gopal has more than 15 years of experience in a campaigning and advocacy and has lead the climate and energy team in Greenpeace India during its formative years, leading them to some significant victories and new areas of work.
Dr. Bhaskar Natarajan, Director Programs, AEEE: Dr. Bhaskar Natarajan has over twenty-five years of experience in areas related to clean energy, energy efficiency and sustainable development. He has managed large programs, working with donor agencies to scope out program goals, and working with multiple stakeholders to deliver results.
Brief of their work
Mr. Apurva Bhandari – Founder, SankalpTaru
Apurva Bhandari is the Founder at SankalpTaru Foundation which is non-profit with a mission to create a healthy, green, and clean planet through tree plantation. He has worked in Oil and Gas and IT sector worked with an IT MNC in the USA before his ardent love to serve mother nature and connect with roots led him come back to India and found SankalpTaru. Apurva along with a very passionate and diverse team has nurtured SankalpTaru from a seed to a plant which has now branched out to 26 states in India from Ladakh to Tamil Nadu and from Thar Desert to islands of Brahmaputra in Assam. To date they have planted and survived 3.6 million trees over 5000 hectares which is set to sequester 2 million tonnes of CO2 in their entire lifecycle. In this process they Benefited more than 30,000 farmers with an increase in their income by INR 152 crores per fruiting season.
Mr. Simarpreet Singh – Founder, Hartek Solar
Simarpreet Singh was named in the coveted Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia lists of achievers in the year 2019 for his work in clean energy and sustainability. Hartek Solar installs roof top solar projects across India with a mission to provide clean and affordable energy across India. The company is among the Top 10 companies of India in the segment. The company also launched in plug and play solar kits in 2018 with a mobile solar van to provide sustainable electricity to rural communities and the residential segment. He is a TEDx speaker and a guest faculty speaker at many colleges and industry events. He has given over 100 + motivational talks in various colleges and working on the mission to inspire the youth and create a better and a sustainable world for the future generations. Hartek has been involved in close to 5 GW of solar grid connectivity since 2009 which has resulted in Carbon emission of 150 million tonnes so far.
Ms. Nikita Lalwani – Founder & CEO, CroozeApp
Nikita Lalwani was selected for her innovative cycling platform and advocacy efforts to popularise cycling. Currently she is founder of Crooze.app, a mobile app to reward cyclists for their cycling kilometres. Crooze app is a community driven platform where technology and gamified cycling experience is at core. Nikita is an instrumentation engineer from NIT, Surat and done MDP from Indian Institute of Management (IIM) – Udaipur. With her efforts she has already created a strong community of 25,000+ cyclists who have cycled for more than 30 Mn km saving almost 45,000 tons of CO2.
Ms. Garvita Gulhati – Founder & CEO, Why Waste?
Why Waste? was founded by Garvita Gulhati in 2015 when she learned that 14 million litre of water gets wasted every year simply in the water that we leave behind in glasses at Restaurants. Why Waste? aims to change the mindsets of people toward water by empowering every single individual to become a part of the solution when it comes to Water Conservation. Why Waste? began working with Restaurants by helping them prevent the wastage of water left behind in glasses through their viral #GlassHalfFull movement in addition to conducting workshops. Their work has reached over 5 lakh restaurants, 6 million people and prevented over 10 million litre of water from being wasted