Auroville dreams of creating a centre of excellence in sustainable development.
Help make it a reality.
Auroville dreams of creating a centre of excellence in sustainable development.
Help make it a reality.
Centre for Green Practices
What is the Centre for Green Practices?
The Centre shall emerge in two phases:
Professor Raminder Kaur, University of Sussex, UK
"Development cannot and should not continue at a cost to the environment. The Centre for Green Practices takes this axiom to heart with a range of often genius initiatives that should be the standard for sustainability across the world. From tackling desertification to wastewater recycling, renewable energy to architectural innovations, they are fully engaged with providing solutions for real-life issues and social justice. Their vision is holistic and futuristic with urgent lessons to be learnt for today's global community."
Professor Bem Le Hunte
"It is easy to see how Auroville's Centre for Green Practices could become a leading change-maker in the delivery of sustainability policy and education, given Auroville's rich history and progress in this space. Auroville has such a profound commitment to advocating and actively sharing sustainability as a conscious, lived, collaborative experience. The world has a lot to learn from Auroville's successful 50-year experiment in creating a better world. Certainly, my students arrived back in Australia transformed from their encounter with Auroville and its game-changing agenda."
Professor M.S. Swaminathan
A letter of support for CGP has been provided by Prof. Swaminathan, the “father of India’s Green Revolution.” In it, he says,
“The Centre for Green Practices is promoting ecotechnologies, which can help to increase productivity in perpetuity without ecological harm. The green practices recommended by the Centre are ecologically sound and sustainable. I wish the Centre continued growth and success in its efforts in the area of greening of technologies and development programmes."
We are honoured by his support.
Interviews with CGP Architects
In the course of a two day workshop exploring spatial planning on bio-climatic principles, architects Fabian Ostner, Suhasini Ayer and Omar Rabie discuss what draws them to work on the Centre for Green Practices: “Something out of the expected,” “Out of the box,” “Benchmark for future constructions in the tropical world.” See what else they had to say.
Concept Design Studios
A two day workshop is held with the design team (consisting of four Auroville architects, Suhasini Ayer, Omar Rabie, Fabian Ostner and Lara Davies). This entailed extensive discussions on spatial planning on bio-climatic principles. A further Concept Design Studio is held by the students of ENSAM Antenne de la Réunion. This culminated in design concepts for the Centre based on principles of Climate Responsive Design and Sustainability.
After several provisional iterations, the new Centre is formally named The Centre for Green Practices.
A Design Charrette is held in Auroville. This is attended by experts from India, Reunion Island, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. The experts commence formulating design guidelines and benchmarks for the new Centre. The Centre shall be a responsible development that not only respects the site and reduces the burden on the existing infrastructure, but also supports and enriches the surrounding neighbourhood and eco-system services. It will be involved in generating local employment and upgrading local skills.
ADEME partners with us
In the framework of the “Low Energy in Tropical Climates for Housing Innovation (LETCHI), the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME) supports Auroville’s proposed Centre for Green Practices as a pilot project to design, implement and test principles in bio-climatic architecture which can be replicated in other tropical climates: The Centre becomes an international project. Experts from five tropical countries commence collaborating with us.
Auroville gives land
The core team of Auroville Consulting survey the work of Auroville on sustainability and the potential for a world class Centre of Excellence in Sustainability and related fields is identified. The Centre will establish a training, education, research and development hub for regenerative development and closed loop systems. Its key objectives include: * Conduct training programs that further the cause of sustainable development * Incubate and disseminate technologies and skills that leverage closed loop systems * Host national and international researchers and faculty, for educational and applied research * Participate in national and international dialogues on policies and sustainable development
Teaching the leaders of tomorrow
Professor Arjendu K. Pattanayak,(Chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Carleton College, Minnesota)
"I have interacted with Auroville Consulting in the context of a program for US undergraduates to understand sustainability in the very real context of India and Tamil Nadu. Auroville Consulting produced a bespoke program, including visits with and lectures from local experts on different areas such as sustainable farming, sanitation, cookstove enterprise, apart from working on a technical project on a solar panel system design and installation. The bespoke program was very compelling and the lecturers outstanding. We will be repeating this very shortly. I welcome the opportunity to deepen my relationship with Auroville through a Centre for Green Practices. I have no doubt it will quickly have a central position in international dialogues on development practices and policy."
Omar Al Ajaji,(Electrical Engineer)
Omar is an Electrical Engineer from Saudi Arabia. He came to Auroville because of a keen interest in renewable and solar energy, volunteering with Auroville Consulting for 5 months in 2017. He said, “Auroville Consulting opened my eyes to so many things about sustainability and energy usage that I now intend to return to Riyadh to create my own environmental services company that specialises in energy efficient buildings. Martin [Scherfler, co founder of Auroville Consulting] has been a huge influence on me. A new Centre for Green Practices that builds on the great work done in Auroville would be amazing. It would really set a new standard on sustainability matters. Its impact on people’s thinking would be huge. I would love to come back one day and collaborate with the Centre!”
Siddarth attended our 2013 Summer School Program which he found to provide a “great and healthy exposure’ to sustainable practices by people of great humility. He expressed the need for the Centre for Green Practices to become a “great example” to our planet.
Ahanta Ganti,( Architect practicing in the field of sustainability)
“I work in Mumbai and in my daily job I am trying to promote sustainable development and help reduce our impact on the planet. I attended an Earth and Bamboo course in Auroville October 2017. Auroville is a great place for such a course because people there are consciously trying to implement principles of sustainability in the way they live. It is the perfect place for a Centre for Green Practices and will definitely be an inspiration around the world.”
“I completed my undergraduate studies in Chennai and was wondering what to do next. I came across Auroville Consulting and knew straight away that I wanted to volunteer there. I started in June 2016 and stayed until October 2017. Having been away for awhile I am keen to return as soon as possible! Auroville changed the way I think about sustainability and what can be done to help the world. And the responsibility I was given from the start of my time there helped me to grow a lot. I met so many experts on sustainable practices in Auroville, apart from the ones who visited to share their knowledge. Auroville really is the perfect place for a dedicated Centre for Green Practices. It will do amazing things.”
At the heart of our plans for a new Centre, is the wish to make a better, greener, world. We want to change peoples' lives. A new Centre will become the fulcrum from which we do that. It will enable us to engage with collaborators on a totally different scale, to help people previously beyond our reach. Here we give three examples of how we are already changing lives. We know we can do more - with your help.
Smart City Challenge - Bhubaneswar
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it’s the only thing that ever does” ( Margaret Mead, Cultural Anthropologist). In 2016, we helped Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) put together a plan to help it understand the needs of its citizens, taking extensive steps to include the voices of the often marginalised; slum children, youth, women, slum dwellers, students, street vendors, the transgender community, persons with disabilities and senior citizens. The voices of all these sectors of society had genuine weight attached to their views. This was with a view to helping BMC start manifesting its vision of an Eco city co-existing in harmony with nature, a city that would nurture a resilient, clean, green, and healthy environment, a city that changes the lives of all of Bhubaneswar’s citizens for the better. Read More
Green Industrial Park
By 2022, the Government of India envisages that the manufacturing sector’s contribution to GDP shall increase by 25% . What would it mean to influence how industries boom, to have a say in changing the manufacturing process paradigm? “This," says Martin Scherfler, Co-founder of Auroville Consulting," is the type of blue sky thinking that change lives. Benefits would include greater energy efficiency, cleaner climate friendly industrial processes and improved quality of life for employees.” What else? Sponsored by GIZ (the German Corporation for International Cooperation), we drafted a white paper on developing a master plan for new Green - industrial parks in India. Read More
Solar Village - Irumbai
Energy vulnerability is a reality of life in rural India. Power to cook, keep babies cool and light homes is never guaranteed. Give a home a constant energy supply and a child can study beneath a light bulb at night, a mother can use an electric sewing machine to earn extra money for her family. A microindustry is thus created. Lives are changed. The Solar Village Project aims at Solarising 100 villages across Tamil Nadu. Each one of them shall have co-ownership of the installed solar systems, placing, quite literally, (renewable) power into the hands of villagers. Revenue generated from the solar systems will be ploughed back into the villages to improve basic infrastructure services. Irumbai is the first of the 100 that we are working on. The work continues. The effect is immediate. We asked three villagers to say a few words about the work carried out in their village. This is what that they said:
“I live in Irumbai by myself. My home was so hot and humid and there were a lot of mosquitoes. So Auroville Consulting really helped me by installing a fan. It was also good that they cared enough to ensure a local woman from the village, someone I know, always came with them when they did work so that I felt at ease. If they can help more people like me with a new Centre then I think it is a good idea.”
Anjala is a housewife with children and grandchildren living with her. Her home is located next to a large stagnant pool of water. She, like Pavada, worried about the heat and the large numbers of mosquitoes attracted to the water – and her adjacent house. She commented that “it is better now with the fan” and that “it is good initiative to have a Centre that can help local villages.”
Gowri lives in a very humble hut which she said could get very hot and humid. It also had lots of mosquitoes in it. The installation of a fan has greatly helped with the heat. “ A centre that does work like this will help villages and will also be a blessing (“a punya”) on those who do it. The centre is a good idea.”
As a global centre of regenerative development, Auroville has always attracted the interest of leading experts and institutions wishing to collaborate with us on research projects. The advancement of knowledge and best practice in sustainability and regenerative development is of key significance to the Centre for Green Practices. Here we give three examples of research and knowledge dissemination we have already engaged in. By contributing to the new Centre you will be helping in the advancement of research, helping to secure a better future for all life on this planet.
Smart Control Optimisation of Renewable Resources (SCORRES)
Funded by Innovate UK, SCORRES is a research project seeking to utilise remote controlled and predictive technologies in using renewable energy. Auroville has become a laboratory of such research. In one Auroville farm, we installed a smart irrigation and energy control system. The “smart” part was ICT software which designed, forecast and controlled the crop-specific irrigation. Indian agriculture is currently responsible for 22% and 85% of India’s total electricity and water consumption respectively, which is in addition to 15% of its total diesel consumption. This project develops clean technology that reduces water and energy consumption by up to 80%. Similarly “smart” technology is currently being tested on an Auroville building and its adjacent street lighting. Equipped with a smart control system that controls the building’s electricity load and street lighting, an ingenious algorithm can predict and control power production and consumption. Read More
Sustainable Urban Energy
For cities to confront the challenges of fossil fuel depletion, increasing energy costs and rapid climate change, it is vital to develop and implement urban energy management solutions for a sustainable future. Under the auspices of the United Nations Human Settlement Programme (UN-HABITAT), we researched and produced Sustainable Urban Energy – A sourcebook for Asia 2012. The tools and wealth of information set out in the source book would, to quote Dr Gulelat Kebede of UN HABITAT, help urban energy practitioners move “cities to energy management and to improve access to affordable energy to all.” Read More
Testing new solar technology
Economic viability is the key to widening solar energy usage. Globally, research continues on improving its efficiency, reliability and power output. We contribute to the improving knowledge. Using Auroville as a laboratory, we collaborated with Dutch solar energy experts, Solarus, to test the performance of cutting edge solar technology against conventional solar systems in the already solarised Solar Kitchen. Read More
Turning the Centre for Green Practices into a reality will take the hard work of a dedicated world class team. This is our world class team: