Sustain Plus Energy Foundation

Sustain Plus is a multi-stakeholder collaborative platform for sustainable energy access and poverty alleviation initiatives in India.

Positioned at the intersection of grant-based funding and market-led holistic sustainable innovations, Sustain Plus Energy Foundation functions as an open-source platform that enables the delivery of DRE solutions more sustainably, with greater impact through scale. Conceived and bootstrapped by Collectives for Integrated Livelihood Initiatives (CInI), SELCO Foundation, and Social Alpha, the platform has been kickstarted with support from IKEA Foundation and Tata Trusts, and leverages the experience, knowledge, and networks of these founding partners to maximise its impact.

Sustain Plus believes that in order to deploy effective solutions to ‘energy gap’ problems at scale, they not only need to be relevant and responsive to the real-world context, but should also be economically and operationally viable to deliver sustained value and service to the community in the long term. The Foundation, therefore, focuses on taking a “bottom-up community-centric” approach towards problem identification and resolution and applies the rigour of a “business model” perspective to make the solution more viable, operable and sustainable. It also strengthens value chain ecosystems by establishing local processes that provide timely maintenance and repair services. Further, by aligning with government efforts, Sustain Plus facilitates communities to leverage benefits from available government schemes that complement and intensify the impact of its own interventions and programs.

As a cross-sectoral integrator, Sustain Plus collaborates with a wide range of actors including central and state government agencies, social enterprises, technology developers and innovators, implementation partners and community based organisations. The Foundation builds on the ongoing initiatives of these actors in the livelihoods, health and education sectors, by addressing energy and efficiency gaps through clean energy solutions to enhance the impact and delivery of the overall intervention.

Financial inclusion is a critical piece in the delivery of DRE solutions to underserved communities. Sustain Plus works to unlock financing opportunities by offsetting the financial risk of investing in DRE technologies, encouraging financial institutions to extend affordable loans, and by engaging its partner network to enable high repayment rates. It also encourages solution providers to extend credit lines to their customers, easing the burden of upfront payments.

Organisational Objectives:

Build a network of collaborative stakeholders:
Bring together multidisciplinary stakeholders towards developing and scaling DRE solutions, by contributing to and building on the learnings of the Foundation.

Identify and support an inclusive portfolio of partners:
Support its partners across sectors, t
o design dedicated programs and projects by leveraging the gaps and opportunities identified in their areas of operation, including support for research, evidence building, technology and enterprise development, and policy advocacy.

Develop benchmarks for evaluation and scalability:
Across all its projects, Sustain Plus will monitor and evaluate outcomes, document and map strategic approaches, and ensure the alignment of objectives and impact. Leveraging learnings from the experience of its founding partners and stakeholder organisations, a set of best practices will be developed for due diligence and benchmarking of program designs and impacts.

Enhance and replicate learnings, processes and models:
Create an open source repository of proven business models, processes and learnings. It will actively transfer this knowledge and promote capacity building and skill development of sector stakeholders through training, exposure, interactions, and other collaborative activities.