As Egypt prepares to host the UN Climate Summit COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh in November, there have been calls from the government for everyone to participate, including youth and startups.
A new generation is bringing innovative ideas to the table to combat climate change, whether in the field of mobility, waste management, renewable energy or sustainable agriculture.
While Egypt produces only 0.6 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions, much remains to be done on the road to net zero.
Here are five Egyptian startups that are making a difference in the most populous country in the Arab world by encouraging people to make small changes in their daily lives.
Rabbit Mobility, not to be confused with the 20-minute ride-sharing platform Rabbit, is a small mobility sharing app for short-distance transportation using electric bikes and electric scooters.
About 500 cars are available all over Cairo, Giza, Alexandria, Mansoura, Tanta and Port Said. The next target market is Sharm El Sheikh, where approximately 150 Rabbit fleet will be available for Cop27.
Rabbit Mobility, which was founded by CEO Kamal Al-Sweeny, Chief Operating Officer Mohamed Mansour, and Chief Technology Officer Basem Majed in 2019, is inspired by similar startups such as Bird and Lime.
It was also supposed to tackle the problem of getting caught in traffic jams, even though 50 percent of trips in Egypt are less than three kilometers and 80 percent are less than eight.
“When we started the company, we wanted to solve the traffic problem in a fun and environmentally friendly way,” says Mr. Mansour. the National.
Rabbit offers an Unlock & Go model, as well as a Day Rentals model where users can request a rental car for a minimum of two days to be delivered to them.
The service was introduced in closed communities last year and then expanded to central city areas.
The startup has raised about $900,000 in funding from investors, including 500 international companies and startups astronomers with the support of the Egyptian Ministry of International Cooperation.
Rabbit’s cash flow turned positive over the summer, but the founders are more proud of the impact their startup has had on lowering carbon emissions.
The average person in Egypt emits about 2 tons, or 2,000 kilograms, of carbon dioxide emissions, according to Our World in Data.
“Our estimate so far is that we saved 50,000 kilograms of CO2 emissions by replacing car trips,” Mansour says. “Our vision is to save 500,000 kilograms of CO2 emissions…so we’re at 10 percent of the target and we’re still going.”
Tajdood, an Arabic word meaning “renew,” turns used cooking oil collected from Egyptian homes and restaurants into biofuels.
Instead of discarding the oil as waste, biofuels can be used as an alternative low-carbon energy source. For example, biodiesel can be an alternative to conventional petroleum diesel.
Tajdud’s services include technology-enabled oils and fats collection, used cooking oils refining, and feedstock trading.
Founded in 2013, Tajdud connects waste collectors with consumers through an app. Collectors get a reliable source of income and consumers receive incentives such as new bottles of vegetable oil.
CEO Nour El-Asal told CNN in November that the company was processing thousands of orders daily.
“I think biofuels can be used here in Egypt in the very near future, primarily to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to be able to be part of the climate change movement,” he said.
The startup raised about $1 million in an initial round last year from Kepple Africa Ventures and LoftyInc Capital Management, according to crunchbase.
Egyptian sisters Sarah and Dina Moussa founded Shamsina in 2014 to provide affordable solar water heaters to low-income families across the country.
Shamsina said that about half of Egyptian families lack modern heaters due to the high cost of electricity.
CEO Sarah discovered while volunteering in Cairo as a high school and university student that many families use dangerous and polluting methods to heat water, such as kerosene stoves, gas tanks, or temporary fires.
By replacing it with a solar water heater, the family uses at least one gas tank per month. This equates to 10 less pounds (4.5 kilograms) of carbon dioxide emissions.” the National.
“Multiply that number by millions of households, month by month, and hopefully this relatively simple intervention will play a tangible role in the fight against climate change.”
Shamsina started by hiring an engineer to help build a low-tech water heater and set up a workshop in the Al-Darb Al-Ahmar area. Prototype heaters with a capacity of 100 liters were sold for $210 to families.
The company has since developed the fourth version of the water heater and is on the cusp of a larger pilot program before bringing it to market.
Shamsina is supported by seed grants totaling approximately $25,000, and was selected in April to be part of the Harvard Innovation Labs Climate Pioneers Circle, an incubation program for high-potential projects working to tackle climate change.
ReNile is a startup AgriTech operating in the Internet of Things (IoT) space, providing farmers with products such as smart fish farming devices and monitoring systems. The company helps ensure the success of environmental solutions that save water and resources, such as hydroponics and aquaponics.
For example, last year, ReNile was appointed by the government to provide its technical solutions for the Fayrouz fish farming project in Port Said. The devices help monitor water quality, save feed consumption, and produce high-quality fish.
Since 2020, ReNile has helped 170 customers save 30 to 35 percent in operating costs, according to ReNile CEO and founder Hazem Al-Tawab. the National.
“There is a gap in the market in terms of technological solutions to help farmers,” he says.
The startup has helped reduce carbon dioxide emissions by reducing farmers’ dependence on diesel fuel and improving resource use.
ReNile is self-funded and operates mainly in Egypt and the Gulf, including Oman, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
Founded by environmental researcher Aya Mohamed in 2019, Recyclizer turns plastic waste into plastic mulch flakes. These agricultural films protect crops from harmful sunlight and soil pathogens, and reduce the rate of evaporation of irrigation water.
The company collects, cleans, disinfects and sorts plastic waste from homes and partners by color and size. Finally, the waste is put into the plastic recycling extrusion machine to produce the films.
The Recyclizer estimates that it disposed about 500,000 kilograms of plastic waste in Egypt between 2019 and 2020.
Updated: October 4, 2022, 9:11 am
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