EFG Secures 1st Place at the Smart Green Project Competition for Its Green Footprint Initiative

by Nada Khaled

 

The EFG Foundation for Social Development, a non-profit, non-governmental organization, EFG Holding’s Foundation for Social Development, is excited to announce that it has won first place in Luxor at the Smart Green Project Competition by The National Initiative for Smart Green Projects in the non-profit projects category for its Green Footprint Initiative.

The Foundation has secured a place among the finalists to compete on a national level and have a chance to be featured in COP28 in UAE. This initiative aims to create a sustainable and smart green community model to be implemented in every village and hamlet in Egypt. The initiative promotes digital transformation and financial inclusion by integrating economic development with environmental and social benefits.

The Green Footprint Initiative focuses on empowering employed and unemployed women to become agents of change within their families and provide an additional source of income that contributes to the health and education of children through cultivating rooftops and balconies, utilizing empty spaces, and reducing carbon emissions.

The initiative is built upon three main pillars, each contributing to its impact and success. Firstly, the environmental aspect aims to reduce carbon emissions by an average of 137 kg per square meter annually. Secondly, the social aspect of the initiative focuses on training and empowering women, improving their living standards, and promoting behavioral changes within families.

Lastly, the economic aspect centers around producing sustainable natural products and establishing e-commerce platforms for digital transactions, supporting Egypt’s digital transformation and financial inclusion strategy. By integrating technology, the initiative ensures efficiency, transparency, and accessibility to all.

The project strategically utilizes rooftops and balconies of homes and nearby buildings as operational sites, chosen for their cost-effectiveness and accessibility, particularly for women. Aloe Vera has been carefully selected as the primary crop, thriving in the high temperatures of Luxor Governorate.

This versatile plant applies to various products, from cosmetics and medical items to dietary supplements. Smart irrigation techniques and water conservation measures are employed to ensure responsible resource management, minimizing water usage during Aloe Vera cultivation.

Additionally, the project promotes sustainability by recycling wastewater from air conditioning and solar panel cleaning. To reach a wider audience, a diverse range of marketing channels, including bazaars, hotels, and online platforms, are harnessed to effectively promote and sell the products while authentically representing the characteristics and culture of Luxor Governorate.

To support the initiative, the EFG Foundation has partnered with the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, and the National Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development to launch the ” Her for Sustainable Development” training program for 50 women.

The training was divided into two phases, two stages each. The first phase includes the theoretical stage, which focuses on raising awareness about sustainable development, climate change, and the circular economy. Then, the practical stage focuses on planting techniques and extraction of raw materials.

The second phase includes a “Train the Trainer” program focusing on teaching the participants about entrepreneurship and marketing to help them execute their projects. Instating a business acumen mindset within the women is fundamental not only for progress but equips them for sustained success in their newfound venture, as well as creating a ripple effect through knowledge transfer in their surrounding communities.

The impact achieved by the “Green Footprint Initiative” is significant. In the first phase, a reduction of 3 tons of carbon emissions per year has been completed, in addition to recycling solid and organic waste and implementing conversation measures. It has also achieved a 68% return on investment and created 100 new job opportunities. Additional income has been generated for families, ranging from EGP 12,000 to EGP 15,000 annually, contributing to their well-being.

The initiative has proudly achieved 14 out of 17 sustainable development goals set by the United Nations, in line with Egypt’s 2030 strategy.

The initiative builds upon the successful sustainable development model implemented by the EFG Foundation in the Al-Deir community in Esna, where the Foundation has been operating since 2017. The Foundation has made impressive achievements through its projects, which have had a transformative impact on the community.

These accomplishments include the development of a health unit serving 75,000 individuals, a water network serving 15,000 individuals, and training over 300 young men and women in the Montessori method.

We have also established the Little Scientists Academy nursery, employed 50 teachers, and graduated 400 students from the Montessori and inclusion departments for individuals with unique abilities. Furthermore, the Foundation has successfully upgraded the sewage network, constructed a pumping station for 15,000 individuals, and collaborated with the construction of 160 housing units in partnership with the “Haya Karima” initiative.

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