Sunday, April 14, 2024

Pakistan-based startup She-Guard wins top climate innovation competition

Pakistan-based cleantech startup She-Guard has been named the winner at the ‘ClimateLaunchpad Asia-Pacific’ finals with its innovative biodegradable and plastic-free sanitary product.

The startup aims to turn banana crop waste into biodegradable, plastic-free, and affordable sanitary napkins, helping to solve the entangled challenges of climate change, health issues, and solid waste that Pakistan is facing.

She-Guard competed with 172 other teams from six countries in the Asia-Pacific in the finals, hosted by national partner Centre4 Creativity & Sustainability, and funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland (Irish Aid).

The jury selected She-Guard due to its realistic and scalable business plan, recognising its potential to significantly impact both sustainability and the socio-economic circumstances of women globally.

“We are grateful for the support of ClimateLaunchpad and proud of all women involved in She-Guard. All women should be able to enjoy the basic right to hygienically manage their periods. We are committed to achieving this in a sustainable way,” said Mehreen Raza, founder and CEO of She-Guard.

Plastic, chemical-based sanitary napkins are used by around 23 million women in Pakistan.

An alarming number of tens of millions of women globally face insurmountable challenges in managing their periods due to the unavailability or unaffordability of essential sanitary products.

ClimateLaunchpad is the world’s largest green business competition for climate innovators held on four continents around the world.

The programme has been organised by Europe’s leading climate innovation initiative, EIT Climate-KIC, since 2013.

“For all its intense challenges, confronting the climate emergency is an opportunity to draw inspiration from the natural world and innovate for positive change. For the last 10 years, ClimateLaunchpad has been a vibrant platform for individuals who care to make a difference to seize this opportunity and take the first steps towards developing climate solutions through entrepreneurship,” said Kirsten Dunlop, CEO EIT Climate-KIC.

The runner-up was Alterno startup from Vietnam, with its low-cost thermal energy storage solution for renewable energy and the distribution of heat, intended for use in drying agricultural products such as tea, coffee, and rice.

Japanese startup Aonbarr placed third with its idea that uses seawater to generate hydrogen as a green energy source.

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