Why Our Best Path To Net-Zero Emissions Could Be Right In Front Of Us
Vinesh Sinha is one of 20 recipients of the Gen.T X Credit Suisse Social Impact Awards. The awards recognise Gen.T honourees who have made significant contributions to Asian society in the fields of social impact, sustainability or innovation.
What does a carbon-neutral future look like? Ask most people and they’ll picture thousands of wind turbines, or a solar farm the size of a city. Few of us look to the kitchen.
Vinesh Sinha’s startup FatHopes Energy is trying to change that. The company collects waste oil, fats and grease from factories and restaurants across Malaysia, and processes it into a biofuel that can be used to power internal combustion engines.
“Biofuel is the knight in shining armour,” says Sinha. “Biofuel is the only green solution today, or low-carbon solution today, that fits within existing infrastructures—as in road tankers, petrol stations, as well as being able to be consumed within existing internal combustion engines.”
We are making progress in the race to renewables. Green energy now makes up 28 percent of all electricity production worldwide, up 2 percent from a year earlier. But no matter the progress of the world’s most ambitious engineering projects—solar panels, dams, wind farms—there are still an estimated 1.4 billion cars in the world pumping out C02 every day.
“[The lack of a need for infrastructure] has enabled biofuel’s adoption to be accelerated at a pace unprecedented,” says Sinha. “Sustainability is a cornerstone in everything that we do, and the reason for that is all of our stakeholders find it extremely important for perfect alignment on sustainability policies.”
The company has come a long way since its launch in 2010, when turning kitchen grease into fuel wasn’t seen as a viable business plan by most. The name FatHopes is a reference to the company’s core product, as well as a nod to the early scepticism he faced from investors and peers.
That willingness to not follow the herd, to forge the path that Sinha believed was right, is what has helped FatHopes get to where it is today. “We believe that asking the right questions, asking why to [the] status quo, to things that are normal, drives us to want to look for ways to do what we do daily better,” says Sinha. “And that’s how we drive innovation.”
To see all winners of the Gen.T X Credit Suisse Social Impact Awards, visit the Social Impact Awards hub.