Establish, sustain and operate a non-profit “Think Tank” of “matured professionals collective intelligence” for purposes of GHG reduction.
The climate change has made impacts on agriculture, forests, coastal areas, recession of glaciers, shifts in rainfall, human health and more. Kyoto protocol offered an algebra to commoditising pollution for trade at global scale. This legal binding encountered market forces and gradually transformed it to a regime that is globally acknowledged but on voluntary basis. Such as NAMA, INDC, Paris Agreement. Ontario has taken a number of steps such as Green Bank to fund environmentally benign technologies, Climate smart approaches, Green Energy Act, measuring Carbon footprints, purchasing renewable energy certificates, LEED certified green building, labelling, low carbon partnerships, Cap & Trade regime, five years plan (2016-2020) aimed at achieving GHG levels 15% below 1990 levels. These initiatives have already culminated into GHG reductions through steps such as training of drivers, GPS tracking & overall fleet behaviour, electric car charging systems, walking, cycling, car pooling, waste segregation, solar panels, e-billing, energy efficiency measures, land fill sites, refrigeration, space heating / air-conditioning, retrofitting clean energy, re-cycling, and many more. Transport, Industries, Urban and Agriculture being the major GHG contributors. Over 140,000 SMEs serving on professional, scientific, research and technical services is a very promising resource. However SMEs have to first encounter competitive forces in the market to sustain their daily operations. SMEs also do not enjoy the power of economic leverages that big corporates have. The proposal is to create a not for profit Think Tank that works as catalyst in the embryonic matrix of SMEs in Ontario. Majority of senior citizens in various professional expertise at the time of retirement have many priorities and hardly find time to munch and transfer their matured skills / competencies to the next generation. 3-5 years of post superannuation can easily be harnessed for GHG reduction purposes.
How do you know that your solution is desirable to SMEs, and will reduce GHG emissions?
The pace of penetration of new technologies & investments in the energy efficiency, renewable energy has been much lower than the required so as bring the GHG concentration below 1990 levels. There have been boost in cleaner technology projects in the industrialised countries and energy efficiency in developing & transition economies. With varied levels of environmental protection concerns in different countries; many energy intensive industries got shifted to developing countries during the last three decades. The combined effect on Ontario has been the reduction in the ratio of production industries below 20% and rest over 80% economic activities of SMEs coming from the services sector. Ontario SMEs have global operations as well. Under the given scenario the proposal of Think Tank is to act as a catalyst to enhance the pace of penetration of newer technologies, reviving the growth of production sector, clustering of industries based on gas balance, water balance, energy balance, material balance, making prudent moves by "Artificial Intelligence" induction in the services sector. Innovative solutions may also emerge such as mushroom cultivation on beer brewery waste, methane gas production from pig waste digestion, waste heat recovery from industrial chimney's and using it for air conditioning of control rooms and many more. There have been many concepts Zero discharge, Zero defect etc., that calls for sharing the best practices.
Establishment, sustaining and operation of a non-profit Think Tank of matured professionals collective intelligence by grazing the senior citizens skills and competencies has merits in study of knowledge banks, munching, peer reviews, due diligence on the possible innovative solutions that promisingly contribute in the GHG reduction. The Think Tank can network with the existing professional, technical, research and scientific SME organisations in industries, transport, urban and agriculture sectors in investigation, eco-sustainability, techno-economic viability, development and implementation of zero in nature projects / services / best practices. The Think Tank besides mentoring can be a catalyst for emergence of new SMEs through business modules that are primarily aimed at GHG reduction. The web site of Think Tank shall be a knowledge bank available to the SMEs on joining its membership. The core idea of Think Tank is that when a child is born his brain is without borders. After completing the professional career, fulfilling the personal / family responsibilities; a person attains senior citizen stature that allows his mind a space to again function as a brain without borders. Grazing such brains is considered prudent for contribution in GHG reduction. The $5 per year notional membership shall be just to tap the reservoir for leads of an implementable project / scheme / program & best practices sharing on an electronic platform; the implementation proposals shall be worked out covering experts fees & all other costs.
What actions do you propose?
Canada having successfully operating large number of SMEs with just 1 to 5 employees in professional, research and technical services is the bench mark to make the beginning for sustaining a two member team initially in the Think Tank. The first eight months is considered as gestation period for establishment and operation of a non profit legal entity in Mississauga. The second time period is considered as 3 to attain a fully self sustainable operations. The 5 year bench mark is to achieve a land mark knowledge reservoir with globally networked resources driving GHG reductions in Ontario's SMEs within the given competitive market forces.
The activities of first eight months are summarised as follows:
1. Finalising of an "objective statement" of the proposed Think Tank that is short in writing and broad in nature. Finalising the name that is to be taken from NUANS - based on name search report. (see web site www. nuans.com)
2. Prepare and finalise the by-laws of the proposed not for profit legal entity. The by-laws formation shall avoid descriptions that has an overlap / conflict of interest with the activities that are already ongoing in Ontario relating to GHG and Centre for Social innovation.
3. Develop the documents covering the power of Directors, distribution of assets (in case of liquidation), remunerations, pre-requisites for memberships by SMEs, other powers and all the issues / guidelines / by-laws for engagement of external expert resources. Relevant documentation for availing services, commitments, professional insurance, performance guarantees, agreements on non-disclosure, conflict of interest and all related that goes into implementation phase of the activities that the Think Tank shall engage in.
4. Make an application for registration with the concerned Government authorities in Ontario that needs to filed within 90 days of getting the approved name of the Think Tank.
5. Study of the relevant laws and procedures such as Ministry of Government and Consumer Services Ontario, Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee for Ontario, Charitable Property Program of the Ministry of Attorney General and other organisations involved in attaining the legal entity status.
6. Pursue the registration process with the requisite assistance from the lawyer, Chartered Accountant and local Consultant in Ontario.
7. Concurrently prepare "Confidentiality and Non-disclosure" agreements for the Board Members and the external Resource Experts
8. Launch a web site and undertake networking with the SMEs in the Transport, Industries, Urban and Agriculture sectors to begin with and expand to all the SMEs
9. Desk study of the existing scenario of GHG in various sector, preparing and sending questionnaire forms to SMEs, obtaining responses, study of responses and preparing a comprehensive finding report. Identification of resource experts in senior citizen segment world over (North America / Europe / Japan in particular) and within Ontario the experts from SMEs involved in the professional, technical and research activities. Discussing the findings with the concerned experts / organisations like Steinbeis aimed at coming out with innovative proposals that can achieve GHG reductions within the given market situation.
10. Become successful in the 8 months gestation period target of producing realisable proposals that can achieve GHG reduction to the tune of 25,000 tCO2eq.
Upon being successful in attaining the above miles stones, further sustainability shall be ensured as described in the funding and business module section.
Who will take these actions?
The Author of the proposal shall be the "Founder" of the Think Tank. Author shall have direct contribution in the defined activities for industrial sector. The second official shall be outsourced from Canada for taking care of office management activities. For the Transport, Urban and Agriculture sectors the resource experts shall be outsourced with first choice as senior citizens world wide; else from the SMEs in Canada. Majority of professionals close to the superannuation get pre-occupied in discharge of higher responsibilities both on professional and personal front. The munching and transfer of their skills and competencies find low priority for smooth transition and thus after superannuation from full time employment gets into hibernation. The first effort shall be to find the avenues for grazing such skills and competencies amongst the senior citizens world wide - for example design of cycling tracks from Holland, city tram services concepts / designs in urban towns from Germany, zero pollution discharge concepts from Japan and more. The expert resources shall also be explored from Climate CoLab members. Upon completion of 6 months; Author shall make an investment of Canadian $ 50,000 in the equity capital of the legal entity. At this stage; joining of 2-3 more members with similar level of investment shall be explored. This shall include invitation to the select SMEs / SME associations, Canadian Universities, Professional, Technical & Research organisations. The Author shall take the lead role in taking the requisite actions for establishment and operation of the proposed legal entity.
Where will these actions be taken?
All the actions shall be taken from Mississauga by renting an office cum residential outfit to begin with. Separate office and residential status shall be planned based on the outcome of 8 months gestation period and / or at the time of first mile stone of three years duration. Further expansion shall be drawn up at 5 the year based on the success rate on achieving the GHG reduction in the SMEs of Ontario.
What are the proposal’s projected costs?
The proposed projected costs estimates are as follows:
1. Honorarium to be drawn by the Founder @ Canadian $ 5000 pm for 8 months in Mississauga - 40,000
2. Salary for the part time employee looking after office @ $ 3000 pm for 8 months in Mississauga - 24,000
3. Rental for office cum residential apartment @2500 pm for 8 months in Mississauga - 20,000
4. Outsourcing cost for part time experts engagement in three sectors - 40,000
5. Domestic and International Travel - 9,000
6. Legal entity establishment expenditure - 15,000
7. Office infrastructure budget - 24,000
8. Office running expenses - 8,000
9. Contingency provisions - 10,000
Total Canadian $ 190,000
No negative side effects are foreseen. There are many challenges foreseen for implementation of the proposed actions. However with the Author's prior experience of establishing and operating an engineering outfit in Germany, exposure to over 18 countries including North America, Europe and Japan; the challenges in the implementation shall sportingly taken and attain the successful establishment and operation of the Think Tank sustainably.
Once the solution is built and implemented describe a path forward for it to scale to other users/companies.
The not for profit Think Tank shall be the knowledge reservoir for the member SMEs to tap the realisable ideas / innovative proposals with its involvement and / or independently through their in-house / outsourced resources. As we get along with the concept of eco-sustainability, the major barrier that is encountered is internalisation of the environmental concerns mitigation costs. This varies even for the same project depending upon its location, technology selection, competitiveness of human resources, quality of inputs besides the contents & contours of environmental protection act in the country. Here comes the competence of professionals to form the wisdom for implementation of particular project / scheme / program. The Think Tank grazing the matured competence professionals could be a worthy avenue to GHG reduction endeavours scaling up by the SMEs in Ontario. It can also lead the road map for formation of new SMEs.
How will your solution lead to change on a larger scale over time (i.e. 3 to 5 years out)? How many businesses can potentially be affected by your solution?
The changes foreseen in the larger scale are continual growth of the knowledge reservoir for SMEs . Maintaining an expert panel of senior citizens from world wide resources that can be accessed for specific tasks both on commercial terms and / or on non-pecuniary motivated options. In the 3 - 5 years time span see through the creation of new SMEs providing GHG reduction projects implementation services as a business module for various sectors on different modes of implementation. Such as on profit sharing concept, build - own - operate - transfer modes, mentoring and more.
What business and funding model have you considered for your solution to become sustainable?
The Climate CoLab support seed capital shall be for the jump start of the Think Tank within the given time frame of eight months. The budget funding requirement of Canadian $ 190,000has been highlighted in the project cost section. After the gestation period the equity capital of the proposed legal entity is envisaged as follows.
The sustainability of the operations is through the following method of revenue generation:
1. The Founder making an investment of Canadian $ 50,000 in the equity capital. Similar investment to be sought from at leat two more members who are willing to join.
2. Making about 50,000 SMEs members of the Think Tank in eight months time schedule with contribution of Canadian $ 5 per year by each SME. The funds generated shall be adequate to sustain the operations with two member team with full time involvement.
3. In return member SMEs shall get regular feed back on the best practices through a news letter. In addition each member SME shall be given preliminary findings on their GHG concerns - once a year on no-charge basis. The fees and other facilities from any member SME shall be sought only when they decide to proceed further with the proposed findings.
4. The successful proposals shall be implemented by direct involvement and / or through a franchise module giving just the mentoring / technical advice. SMEs shall be free to choose their mode of implementation of the GHG reduction projects / programs. The funds generated through this route shall be for the growth of Think Tank over 3-5 year time line.
5. The future plan beyond 5 year time line shall be drawn up at the completion of 3 years including exploration of the prospects for emergence of new SMEs who can find continual business in GHG reduction arena keeping the vision 2030.
What impact will the proposed actions have on reducing greenhouse gas emissions?
The first 8 months target is to attain GHG reduction proposal of 25,000 tCO2eq based on the studies of the ongoing initiatives and reference web sites given by Climate CoLab and Chamber of Commerce web resource. The aim shall be to dovetail with the targets set in Ontario's five year plant (2016-2020) and be in pace with the visionary outlook of 2030 and 2050 time lines in global agenda.
What are other key benefits?
Beside achieving the GHG reductions; the Think Tank shall also act as a catalyst for emergence of new SMEs who consider the GHG reductions as a line of business in various promising sectors. For example; decades ago we have been generating the power at a centralised location and then it gets distributed over long distances to the consumer end. The pollutants used to get out at a central location in large quantities and environmentalist used to find its way out. Now with the renewable energy; the power generation in small quantities is getting distributed near to the consumers. But it has newer implications such as the waste batteries / solar panels after their use full life will have to find environmentally benign solutions for disposal in the decades to come.
About the Authors
I am Manohar; born March 04, 1951, a graduate electrical engineer (1972), post graduate in Environmental Law (2002). Over four decades of experience include rendering engineering & project management services for major industrial projects in metallurgical and power sector. On consultancy front, contributed in studies for ailing industries / industrial sector for restructuring Bank, health studies of industrial equipment, lenders engineer, a number of UNFCCC Secretariat tasks since 2008 to date for CDM methodologies reviews, performance assessments for CDM / JI as Accreditation Team member (Technical expert). I had international exposure of over 18 countries in last 36 years that includes Canada, USA, Europe and Japan for technologies, engineering, assessments tasks. I am continuing learning drive and performing as an Expert in individual capacity. In addition serving as Vice-President of Senior Citizen Forum in Bhopal, India and contributing as a Catalyst in Climate CoLab for the past over three years.
Related Proposals (optional)
As per my studies; besides Canada countries like Japan and Germany subscribe to the concepts of Think Tank. Japan for Sustainability is one such example. There are different routes - UNU affiliated Universities research (in Japan and Germany) and networking routes. The Climate CoLab proposals of last three years on energy sector in particular are quite relevant to tap the resource on selective basis after the peer review of the SMEs in Canada.
Regular browsing of the climate change & sustainable development related developments through web sites of UNFCCC, UNEP, IISD, UNU and more for over a decade besides serving UNFCCC Secretariat as Accreditation Team Member (Technical Expert). For the past three years served as Catalyst in the Climate CoLab contests, Japan for Sustainability electronic information dissemination platform, JCM, GIZ. Currently Vice President Senior Citizen Forum, Bhopal. Attended World Bank online courses on emission trading. Member of IUCN CEC. Have organised a number of work shops / seminars on power sector reforms. Worked as team member (technical expert) for health studies of ailing industries / industrial sector for the restructuring Banks. Performed as Lender's Engineer for Banks.