environment day

World Environment Day is observed on June 5 every year to raise awareness about the importance of preserving a clean, healthy environment and the need for everyone to take action to address environmental issues. We at The Akshaya Patra Foundation might be just a small player in environmental protection, but we will do our best. As an NGO, we strive to minimise our environmental impact by incorporating green practices in our operations.

We serve over 2.2 million children through our kitchens in 72 locations across 16 states and two union territories. Here are a few practices which we have incorporated in our kitchen operations to in our effort to contribute to a greener planet.

Renewable Energy

As part of its sustainability processes, our kitchens have made a strategic shift to renewable sources of energy through the following.

Solar Energy: In 27 kitchens, we have adopted solar energy as a power-saving option by installing solar panels. These kitchens use photovoltaic (PV) cells, which convert sunlight directly into power. The installed capacity of these solar panels is 1,991 kWh.

Biomass Briquettes: Our kitchens now use biomass briquettes instead of coal and charcoal for energy production, thus protecting finite, non-renewable resources.

Biogas: As part of our green initiative, we have set up biogas plants in 17 of our kitchens to convert organic waste into energy. These plants are cost-effective and produce organic manure, which is a more sustainable fertiliser than artificial ones and reduces reliance on LPG. The total capacity of these biogas plants is 15,000 kg.

Electric Vehicles: We have adopted 56 electric vehicles (EVs) in our fleet of mid-day meal delivery vehicles to lower our energy use and pollution levels. These measures enable us to reduce fuel expenses and lower carbon emissions.

Our goal is to transition to 50% renewable electricity by 2030 and 50% electric vehicles by 2035.

Waste Management
We actively work to minimise waste and also treat waste before releasing it into the environment.

FIFO and FEFO Implementation: Our kitchens use the FIFO (First In-First Out) and FEFO (First Expiry-First Out) techniques when issuing raw materials for production to ensure that perishable commodities are used first. This approach helps our kitchens reduce waste and maximise the utilisation of raw materials by correctly identifying, storing and retrieving the raw materials in an appropriate manner.

We also practice recycling waste such as plastic and metal waste and adopt and promote source segregation of waste.

Water Management

Yet another environmental initiative that our kitchens have implemented is the treatment of wastewater with the help of the steps below.

Effluent Treatment Plants: Every kitchen has a sewage treatment plant to ensure proper treatment, disposal and recycling of kitchen waste.

Reed Bed Plants: Our kitchens use this technology to prevent the direct release of untreated water into the environment. It is a natural method of purifying wastewater to make it suitable for use in cleaning outdoor kitchen areas and irrigation.

Our goal is to identify and execute water management solutions by 2030 to reduce non-cooking water usage by 50%. We are also looking into the feasibility of adopting rainwater harvesting at all locations by 2030.

Akshaya Patra and UN SDG 7.2

At The Akshaya Patra Foundation, sustainability is fundamental to all we do because we recognise the importance of saving the environment and conserving natural resources. By integrating environmental concerns into our operations, we are setting a precedent for corporate social responsibility projects that prioritise both social effect and environmental stewardship. Our efforts align with a key UN Sustainable Development Goal, SDG 7: Affordable and clean energy, contributing to Target 7.2: By 2030, increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.

We take our environment seriously. Through the aforementioned green practices, we ensure that we do our bit for a healthy planet while we serve nutritious mid-day meals to children to support their nutrition and education.

We invite you to be a part of our efforts. Together, we can create a bright future for children. Share your thoughts or donate online and join Akshaya Patra’s efforts to nourish children and nurture change in a sustainable way.

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