Vivek Gilani

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2013


This profile was prepared when Vivek Gilani was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2013.
The New Idea
Vivek, an environmental engineer by training, believes that the primary responsibility for reversing the effects of climate change rests not with the government, industry or policymakers, but with individual entities—a private individual, a residents’ association, school, public or private corporation. Rather than rely on external agencies and systems that will mitigate the effects of climate change, he is enabling people to think and act as individuals.

Vivek is demystifying concepts of carbon emissions and ecological costs and empowering people to adopt environmental mitigation processes. Through three vital stages of Realize, Minimize, and Neutralize, he creates tools for industries, schools and other institutions to map their carbon footprint, build a sustainability roadmap and mitigate their carbon footprint. For instance, he has created detailed tools that help industries map their greenhouse gas emissions among others and also helps them analyze data to create a marginal abetment cost curve that discovers the most cost-effective means of mitigating climate change impact through technological interventions or modifications in management practices. Vivek has created similar tools for schools and individuals. Over the last five years, he has introduced these tools to a number of companies and schools. To enhance consumer awareness, Vivek has also started India’s only sustainability eco-label—Green Signal. A voluntary method of environmental performance certification and labeling, Green Signal identifies overall environmental preference of a product or service based on life-cycle considerations.

Going forward, Vivek plans to map such data through open source platforms that can visually reflect real-time, city specific carbon footprint registries, trends of carbon footprint to usher measurability and verifiability in environmental measurement. He believes this will enhance the quality of policy, public and environmental civic group debate, and enable high-value policy level recommendations for civic and government institutions.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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