As a small Mediterranean nation with limited natural resources and a worsening economic crisis, Lebanon has long struggled with energy production and supply. Solar power has emerged as a viable and essential solution in various industries, providing clean and sustainable energy while contributing to the country’s development.
In line with ALAM’s efforts to enhance sustainable solutions and alleviate costs for Lebanese organizations, a collaborative project with various stakeholders was initiated to install solar panels on the premises of Compost Baladi, a social enterprise specialized in composting. The company, along with its sister organization CubeX, had been grappling for years with energy shortages and the associated expenses and environmental impact caused by private generators.
Challenges Faced by Compost Baladi
Composting plays a significant role in waste reduction and the creation of nutrient-rich soil amendments. However, it often requires a substantial amount of electricity to power equipment such as shredders, mixers, and conveyor belts. In this regard, it is crucial to operate compost businesses in an environmentally responsible manner.
Over the past year, Compost Baladi encountered numerous challenges, with energy shortages being a significant hurdle. To ensure uninterrupted operations, the company had to rely on generator subscriptions and even set up backup generators in their office. However, this brought forth challenges such as noise, increased expenses, and environmental concerns. To cope with the rising costs, Compost Baladi had to resort to measures like cutting down on cooling and implementing work-from-home arrangements, which disrupted their daily workflow.
Additionally, Compost Baladi’s premises in Hazmieh are the headquarters of another social enterprise, CubeX, that focuses on providing economically viable solutions for wastewater treatment. The energy conundrum affected as well the research and development activity at CubeX’s internal lab, yet another obstacle to environmental well-being in Lebanon.
As an organization supporting water and sanitation entrepreneurs, cewas played a crucial role in incubating, accelerating, and scaling both Compost Baladi and CubeX. They facilitated collaboration and secured grants and investments to enable the implementation of the solar panel project.
ALAM recognizes Compost Baladi’s innovative solutions for organic waste and shares their mission of improving living standards in Lebanon. Through their strategic support, ALAM played a pivotal role by not only funding the renewable energy solution, but also bringing together various organizations, each adding value to the implementation of this solution. Ultimately, ALAM aimed to both protect the environment and reduce Compost Baladi’s expenses, allowing the reallocation of resources towards new projects and greater impact.
Tohme Law Firm
Tohme Law Firm provided legal assistance to Compost Baladi, helping draft the agreement that regulated the relationship between all parties involved in the project. They expressed their enthusiasm for supporting environmentally-friendly initiatives undertaken by Compost Baladi.
In collaboration with ALAM, Free Energy implemented the solar solution for Compost Baladi. The installation included a 16 kilowatt peak photovoltaic system, 15 kilowatt inverters, and a 10 kilowatt hour lithium-ion battery bank. This solar power system significantly reduced the company’s reliance on generators and ensured a steady electricity supply.
Positive Outcomes and Future Prospects
The implementation of the solar infrastructure at Compost Baladi has yielded several benefits.
Marc Aoun, Co-founder and CEO of Compost Baladi, expressed gratitude for securing funding through ALAM association, as it significantly reduced energy costs and allowed the company to operate at full productivity.
CubeX also benefited from the project to power their internal lab, facilitating research and development activities and ensuring uninterrupted quality assurance processes.
Additionally, by using renewable energy, Compost Baladi and CubeX have reduced their environmental impact, achieved energy independence, and enhanced their public image.
As the world continues to prioritize sustainability and environmental stewardship, compost enterprises that embrace solar panels are well-positioned to thrive in a greener future.
The successful implementation of a solar power solution at Compost Baladi showcases the power of interorganizational collaboration and highlights the role of ALAM association in driving positive change for Lebanon. Through their support, ALAM enabled Compost Baladi and CubeX to overcome energy challenges, reduce costs, and operate at full productivity. This collaborative effort, involving ALAM, cewas, Tohme Law Firm, and Free Energy, exemplifies the transformative potential when organizations come together to address environmental and social issues. ALAM’s commitment to sustainability and their dedication to elevating the way of living in Lebanon is commendable, and this achievement stands as a testament to the positive impact that can be attained through collective action.