Maurice Ile Durable: Mauritian firms take sustainable development to new highs
For this year`s Mauritius-Reunion sustainable development meeting, 250 companies from Reunion Island and 60 from Mauritius were present. (Image: Company)
Multiple developments have taken place recently in the island economy on sustainable growth, as Mauritian companies attend sustainable development events and undertake green projects in line with the concept of Maurice Ile Durable.
First up was the 3rd Mauritius-Reunion sustainable development meeting, which took place from 13-14 November 2014.
For this year`s meeting, 250 companies from Reunion Island and 60 from Mauritius were present. As many as 63 B2B meetings were held alongside two plenary conferences, eight workshops and ten site visits.
François Mandroux, Senior Vice President of Club Export Réunion and Commissioner of Meetings took stock of the 2014 edition of these bilateral meetings.
The relationship between Mauritius and Reunion has gone from mistrust to trust, and Mauritians are willing to partner with Reunion businesses over strategic development goals and needs.
He noted that the objective is not to go and set up businesses in our own markets which are already micro-markets, but well to conquer overseas markets such as the sub-Saharan Africa.
Following the meeting, it was decided to set up a quarterly committee and a bilateral follow-up restricted to monitor and follow the projects and be capable of freeing constraints which can prevent certain projects from moving forward.
The second decision is the creation of a financial engineering unit to maximize access to the European funds whose financial arrangement changes and becomes complicated.
Furthermore, they have decided to create an information database on these funds and about the Europe strategies of orientation.
It is a question of having a triangular approach to Mauritius, Reunion Island and Reunion Island technical services which can lead to a Mauritius-Reunion island cluster and the creation of common sectors.
Besides, according to the needs expressed by Mauritian companies to penetrate Africa, companies from Reunion Island would now be able to meet their needs with technological platforms.
A concrete example is the signature of the partnership between Cyroi and Mauritian laboratory Quantilab within the framework of the meetings on Thursday, November 13, 2014.
In addition, the Mauritius Chamber of Agriculture Project has been agreed upon in partnership with the Agricultural Research for Development (Cirad) and the financial support of French Agency for Development (AFD) aiming to develop Mauritius as a smart agriculture zone, to reduce the massive use of pesticides.
Next, a second noteworthy initiative which has Mauritius’ sustainable development at its heart, is a biomass power project by Mauritian sugar conglomerate Terra’s energy arm.
With it new project to make greater use of biomass for power production, Terragen Ltd, has taken a giant step forward in green energy by recycling sugarcane bagasse coming from Terra’s sugarcane fields.
With the objective of continuously increasing the proportion of renewable energy in its overall energy mix, Terragen, with the help of Albioma, has started research programmes aimed at the different forms of biomass available in Mauritius, notably in the agricultural sector.
This ecological alternative to the use of the coal as a major source of energy is estimated to save the organisation a 10,000 tons of coal a year.
Even if the process of going green looks simple, it requires adequate resources and significant initial outlay. Thus, a basic investment of Rs 2.8 million was necessary for Terragen to borrow a compacting machine and buy a swather and a crusher.
If the trial is conclusive by the end of the year, a more sizeable investment will be deployed, to start the 2015 project.
Along the same lines, to make Mauritius a greener island, and within the framework of the World Recycling Day, another large conglomerate, GML, in collaboration with Belle Verte Ltd, have worked to make the GML CLEAN UP WEEK a resounding success.
As many as 100 employees across various GML subsidiaries, namely GML Management Ltée, City Brokers Ltd, Alentaris Consulting, Abax Corporate Services, AfrAsia Bank Ltd, and Phoenix Beverages, have participated actively in cleaning up ecologically sensitive places throughout the island, in particular, the river near the entry to Caudan, the river bank of Ebene and Phoenix.
The coordinator for GML THINK GREEN initiative, Marie-Laurence Dupont, noted the objective of the 2nd edition of the GML CLEAN UP WEEK.
“During this week, we have been able to collect more than 2 tons of recyclable waste throughout the island,” she said.
“It is important to continually raise awareness among our employees, especially about the devastation caused by plastic and other waste in nature. Besides, we also wish to inform them about the presence of waste-sorting bins in Winners Supermarket,” she added.