Huge amounts of agricultural wastes are burnt every year in the states of Punjab and Haryana, contributing to high levels of air pollution in the city of Delhi. But what if these agricultural wastes can be turned into a resource? Agrocrete is a bio-based building material made from raw crop waste and locally available lime-based binders. Each unit is carbon-negative and lightweight while being adequately strong, and providing thermal insulation.
What’s your story?
‘Under the vision of our founder, Tarun Jami, GreenJams Infrastructures was set out to play a key role in the transformation of the construction industry to tackle the alarming climate change. We were legally incorporated in July 2017 but our proposed solution has been developing over 5 years and we finally are in a state of a funded state-of-the-art research and development of the product. GreenJams is led by brothers Tarun & Varun Jami, wherein Tarun is engaged in the product development and Varun looks after operations and communications.’
“We have exploited nature for its every aspect, save for two – the abundance of creativity and the genius of design.”
How did your project come about?
‘Back in the undergraduate days of Tarun the idea to use hemp for construction purposes was proposed as a project. Consequently, over the years of specialisation in the field of Environmental Sciences and study of the industry, the solution was refined and studied for viability and effectiveness. But it was the realisation that the world would soon be uninhabitable for humans was what drove us to execute a structural overhaul, and establish a formalised start-up which focused on the industrial applications of bio-based building materials in construction industry. As a start-up which, literally seeks to change the industry practices, we seek guidance, patience, support and importantly, attention. We hope that this challenge provides us that attention that would help us in helping the world.’
Team Agrocrete: Varun Jami & Tarun Jami
What was your reaction to finding out your project had been selected?
‘When we came across the Clean Energy Challenge, it was just two days to the deadline. We literally had to scramble and pull everything together to make the application. The day we received the news of our selection, we were literally numb with joy and disbelief. And then came the euphoria.’
In your opinion, why is creativity important in climate action and the transition to clean energy?
‘The industrial revolution transformed the space around us rapidly and the human race largely focused on comfort. At this stage, unfortunately, we live in technologically advanced built environments but have to travel miles to breathe just fresh air. We are so far removed from the natural environment that very few us even know how it functions or what we could learn from it. We have exploited nature for its every aspect, save for two – the abundance of creativity and the genius of design. If only we paid enough attention to how nature works, and derived some of its creativity and design in how it functions, we could transform our societies, while ensuring a healthy life and the promise of a bright future.’
Where do you see your project one year from now?
‘The upcoming period of 12 months is crucial to our product. We seek to create an identity amongst our customers for thinking beyond the status quo and creating a product that performs better than our competitors. In the next one year we hope to create the country’s first carbon-negative home and transform the livelihood of at least one farmer. If we are successful in the challenge, we hope to streamline our agenda and create a truly global market for our product.’
IMPACT & DEVELOPMENT
The net carbon emissions from manufacturing Agrocrete products are in the negative values.
Their team has grown from two members to four since starting the Challenge programme.
The start-up has progressed from early-stage to mature-stage, receiving government incentives for their IP.
Agrocrete were named finalists for South Asia in the Climate Launchpad.