Asia-Pacific Low Carbon Challenge 2018

By Ayush Verma

Published on: Apr 11, 2018


Monish Siripurapu among 11 others received a grant worth $10,000 for winning the United Nations Environment programme’s prestigious Asia Pacific Low Carbon Lifestyle Challenge 2018 held in Bangkok.

The Asia-Pacific Low-Carbon Lifestyles Challenge aims to mobilize and support young people with business ideas on how to foster energy-efficient, low-waste and low-carbon lifestyles.

Each of the twelve winners will receive a grant worth $10,000 as seed money for their ventures. Helping them enhance their design/idea also catapult their production scale. The winners are expected to enter the market with their product by the end of this calendar year.

UN Environment’s Director for the Asia-Pacific region, Dechen Tsering, said, “From plastic waste to climate change, we who live in Asia and the Pacific are confronting environmental challenges face-to-face almost daily. The natural ingenuity we find across our region is the key to solving these problems.”

The winners of the Asia Pacific Low Carbon Lifestyles Challenge were from China, Bhutan, the Philippines, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Samoa, Sri Lanka and Thailand. As well as the start-up funding, the winners, selected across three categories of mobility, plastic waste, and energy efficiency also receive mentoring and support.

Here is a list of all the winners across the three categories:



  1. Deependra Pourel

Deependra, an environment architect from Thimpu, Bhutan, was awarded for his idea of improving energy efficiency across the country.
He plans to install smart energy meters in homes, schools, hotels and offices to help the building owners gauge their energy use.With that he’ll also try to incorporate his architectural skills to help reduce energy costs and use through behaviour change, efficient appliances and architectural redesign. Having successfully executed a few such projects he’ll now aim at large scale projects.


  1. Monish Siripurapu, Ant StudioMonish Siripurapu, an architect based in New Delhi, received an award for a biomimicry cooling system inspired by the structure of a beehive.Using environment-friendly earthen cones to create an aesthetic prototype. The design and size of the conical components were customised through advanced computational analysis and modern calibration techniques. The thickness and the length of the material were modified with CFD analysis. The geometry of the pots and the stacked form provided a larger surface area for cooling while also ensuring that the air does not bounce back to the source.Water is allowed to run on the surface of the cylinders using a motor. This process cools the hot air passing through the earthen pots. The expected drop in temperature is 6-8 degrees, using little energy and zero ozone depleting or carbon-intensive refrigerants.


3. Mark Anthony Villaflor, the Birdhouse El-Nido 

In the Philippines, Mark-Anthony Villaflor is taking a sustainable and award-winning look at the tourism industry.

By using his property as a solar panel guinea pig, he will gather baseline data on energy efficiency, look at the fuel costs of local businesses, and help them covert to renewable energy to reduce the carbon footprint of El Nido.



4. Mohammed Saquib, Modulus Tech  

Mohammed Saquib from Pakistan received an award for setting up Modulus Tech, an organization that produces ultra-energy efficient, low-cost modular flat-pack housing built from recycled materials.

Targeting the housing shortage in Pakistan for refugees and displaced persons, his low cost and energy efficient housing systems will help provide sustainable lifestyles. The portable houses can be set up in as little as three hours.


1. Sasiranga De Silva, SL Mobility

Sri Lankan national Sasiranga De Silva won an award in the Low Carbon Mobility category for bringing the iconic tuk tuk into the eVehicle market. His start-up is developing an affordable conversion kit that will allow tuk-tuk drivers to convert their existing iconic vehicles to an electric powertrain that will generate zero tailpipe emissions.

There is no doubt that once these same three wheeler operators switch to electric converted vehicles, their income levels will increase due to the fact that they will not require to incur periodical service and maintenance costs. There will be no breakdown time and most importantly, their customers will opt for this noise free, eco-friendly ride with pleasure.



  2. Shutong Liu, MotionECO

Liu and MotionECO, are creating the market for renewable diesel made from used cooking oil that can be used in transportation, public services and logistics – anywhere that conventional diesel is used. Breaking the cycle of cooking oil reuse in kitchens to provide clean, sustainable, low-carbon fuels to power diesel engines.

Liu, based in China, aims to connect the source of waste oil, namely restaurant chains, with final users to build a circular economy loop.



3.Hassam Ud-din, RASAI

Hassam Ud-din set out to improve the efficiency of roads in Pakistan, where most cars and trucks on the road operate at 30% capacity.

With his application RASAI, he has made affordable and efficient mobility easily accessible to the public. The app provides a method for peer-to-peer sharing of a vehicle’s extra space and seats, offering inter-city ridesharing and freight-shipping capabilities





4. Lathika Chandra Mouli, Energo Labs

Lathika Chandra Mouli, also based in China, proposed a solution that bridges the gap between mobility and energy by creating a blockchain based shared electric vehicle (EV) charging economy in Asia Pacific, thus encouraging the use of renewable energy for EVs.
Energo’s blockchain platform will facilitate machine-to-machine energy trading, enabling solar PV panel owners to share their excess electricity with EVs nearby while gaining an additional source of income. Smart contracts will handle automatic transaction settlements, control price volatility based on market supply and demand, track the value flow of energy, and tokenize energy transactions.


1. ngelica Salele

Samoan national Angelica Salele got awarded for her project to produce and sell reusable sanitary pads made of natural fibres, that will help women and girls gain access to safe, affordable and environmentally friendly alternatives to toxic single-use disposable pads that are currently available on the market.

Disposable feminine sanitary pads contribute to household waste across the globe and put a strain on the Pacific island’s waste management systems. The cotton pads will dramatically reduce the cost and waste impacts of female hygiene products.


2. Pratvadee Sananvatananont, Food Panda

With over 200,000 orders per month in Thailand, almost all of the cutlery sent out is
plastic. Sananvatananont helped build an opt-out system, where customers can
decide to reduce their plastic footprint by rejecting plastic cutlery sets.

If only 10% of orders opt out, that would mean the service removes 276,000 sets of plastic cutlery in
year. In addition to the opt-out scheme, Sananvatananont will also use the grant to trial
biodegradable food boxes with a view toward ultimately making delivery plastic-free,
and rolling out any success to the nine other countries where Food Panda operates.
3. Achmad Solikhin, BIOTIC

Indonesia’s Achmad Solikhin was awarded for his technology, BIOTIC, a plastic product based on recycled and bio-based plastic. BIOTIC products have excellent properties, including decomposable, biodegradable, renewable, moisture and gas barrier, thermal stability, transparency, tensile strength, modulus Young, and elongation at break. Due to those superior properties, this innovative material can be used to tackle the abundance of synthetic plastic waste burden and as the alternative synthetic plastic for the future.
His first product line will feature stylish helmets, but plans to expand into compostable packaging and furniture production in the future.

4. Pamela Nicole Mejia, Phinix

Pamela Nicole Mejia from the Philippines tackled one of the biggest polluters in the world the fashion industry.Phinix is a textile upcycling start-up that collects textile wastes and transforms them into higher valued products such as footwear, fashion accessories and lifestyle pieces, in lieu of leaving them to be discarded in landfills.






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