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KARACHI: Engro has extended its support for flood-resilient housing solutions, in partnership with Sindh Rural Support Organization (SRSO) and Indus Valley School (IVS). In this regard, Engro recently shared findings from two projects at a briefing held at the IVS, Karachi.

Engro Polymer & Chemicals led the collaborative project with Indus Valley School to explore PVC as the material of choice in rehabilitation efforts. Through extensive research into flood-responsive housing and the socio-cultural aspects of rural Sindh, the IVS students shared a shelter design using regional materials and construction techniques, incorporating locally sourced bamboo, sun-dried brick, concrete blocks, and recyclable UPVC sheets.

These materials not only align with the region’s climate but are also highly adaptable as they are designed to float, transform, submerge, or block in response to flood disasters, ensuring safety and security for their inhabitants.

The partnership exemplifies how industry and academia can unite to address pressing real-world challenges using the wisdom of local materials and construction whilst making use of the next generation of architects and designers.

Similarly, Engro Foundation - the social investment arm of Engro Corporation - in partnership with the Sindh Rural Support Organization (SRSO) supported the construction of 146 climate-resilient residential units in two hard-hit villages of District Kambar Shahdadkot.

Elevated three feet above ground level, these units were constructed using readily available materials, and recyclable UPVC sheets. Thatched roofs were provided to regulate temperatures and make the rooms habitable during hot weather, and each unit consisted of one room, kitchen, bathroom, and a courtyard. What’s exceptional about this initiative is the extensive community mobilization, with an immense focus on empowering local communities to own and carry out construction activities.

During the briefing for the media, Favad Soomro, Head of Engro Foundation said, “At Engro, we believe that operating businesses sustainably at a globally competitive level need not be a zero-sum game. We are committed to serving underprivileged communities across Pakistan with strategic community investments in environment, quality education, health, and livelihoods.”

“As a responsible company, we are actively pursuing three sustainability streams, including carbon offsetting, advanced recycling through circularity of plastics, and water conservation,” said Muhammad Idrees, Chief Commercial Officer of Engro Polymer & Chemicals.

“Our goal is to develop the local construction industry by promoting the use of modern PVC materials that are not only environmentally friendly but also designed to withstand the toughest conditions, including flash floods. We are proud to be at the forefront of the sustainable construction movement in Pakistan,” he added.

Further explaining the benefits of PVC, Idrees shared that PVC is water and termite proof, fire retardant and a light-weight material, which offers high durability and requires negligible maintenance. It is aesthetically much more pleasing than iron and aluminum. PVC products have superior longevity and can withstand different climatic conditions.

These projects showcase the power of knowledge, innovation, and community engagement in creating sustainable solutions to the pressing challenges of our time. As climate-related disasters continue to escalate, such collaborations serve as a beacon of hope for vulnerable communities seeking safety, dignity, and a chance to rebuild their lives.

Engro Polymer & Chemicals is the first affiliate member from Pakistan to join the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Plastic Action Partnership (GPAP), as part of its sustainability efforts to promote a circular economy and contribute to achieving zero plastic waste. At the group level, Engro is also a member of the UN Global Compact and is committed to making a meaningful impact by incorporating the UN’s ten principles into its strategy, culture, and day-to-day operations.

Pakistan is one of the five most climate change-vulnerable countries in the world where global warming and climate change are causing increasingly unpredictable weather patterns, especially in regions like the Indus floodplains.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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