Pioneering Solutions for India: GCNI’s 14th National Convention Address the SDGs

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Mumbai, May 31, 2019: Aiming to highlight issues related to solutions at Business Inc in India, Global Compact Network India – Local arm of UN Global Compact, New York, organised its 14th edition of National Convention at Grand Hyatt, Santa Cruz, Mumbai. The Summit was organised in the backdrop of the increasing conversation around on-ground actions that businesses need to take to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and create economic value for India. This year’s theme – ‘Pioneering Solutions for India’, was chosen keeping in sync with the UN Sustainable Development Goals that target creating the most conducive work practices for them. It looked at solutions on wide implementation of sustainable innovations and leadership stance taken by various organisations in India.

This Summit aimed towards building a concrete roadmap towards sustainable solutions in India. It focused on driving and bringing in change for sustainable innovations. It was one of the largest national convention of Global Compact Network India with more than 500 delegates from corporate professionals, policy makers, UN officials and researchers who came together to share insights on the emerging trends of gender equality.

 The Summit marked the presence of eminent leaders like Dr. Bibek Debroy, Chairman, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister and Member, NITI Aayog, who summed up the key role of the government in his inaugural address by saying that, “Do not think of SDGs in isolation. They exist in the framework of government schemes”, thereby stating that government agencies and the corporate sector need to work far more closely.

At the summit, Rajeev Dubey, Convener, GCNI 14th National Convention and Group President (HRM Corporate Services) & CEO (Aftermarket) & Member of the Group Executive Board, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd added, “SDGs present a large business opportunity, and if India’s progress is so crucial to achieving the SDGs, then it is easy to understand that corporations like Mahindra will play a key role in the way forward.”

Vishwesh Prabhakar – MD – Operations & Sustainability, Accenture, highlighted the role of technology in India’s Sustainability Agenda and stated that the five advantages of Accessibility, Affordability, Rapid Scalability and Reliability will help the country move forward in its SDG Agenda.

While noting the importance of SDGs in solving the complex issues faced by India as a country, Kamal Singh, Executive Director, Global Compact Network India said, ”Our aim in hosting summits like these is to ensure that stakeholders from across the spectrum- corporates, NGOs and individuals are able to take concerted actions on SDGs through collaborations.”

A research paper on the “Role of Technology in Transforming India’s Sustainability Agenda” (White Paper_Accenture_GCNI_31-May-2019) was also launched in association with Accenture. The paper showcased the best practices and scope of work being done on SDGs by enabling technology towards addressing these issues.

Amongst others, distinguished names who graced the summit included  Renata Dessallien, UN Resident Coordinator in India; Sumant Sinha, CEO, ReNew Power; Mukund Rajan, Chairman, ECube Investment Advisors Private Limited, and Former Chairman – Tata Global Sustainability Council; R Mukundan, MD & CEO, Tata Chemicals; Arundhati Bhattacharya, Independent Director on the Board of RIL,  Wipro, Piramal, CRISIL and Former Chairperson, SBI;  Anuj Sharma, CEO, Piramal Sarvajal Pvt. Ltd;  Sanjiv Mehta, CMD, Hindustan Unilever Ltd; Dr. Bhaskar Chatterjee, Secretary General, Indian Steel Association; Anirban Ghosh, CSO, Mahindra Group; Dr. H Chaturvedi, Director, BIMTECH; Dr. Alka Mittal Director (HR) ONGC Ltd; Dr. Shalini Sarin, Chair – Signify Foundation, Netherlands;  Vishvesh Prabhakar, MD – Operations & Sustainability, Accenture Strategy; Aalok A. Deshmukh, Director, Energy Efficiency, India – Schneider Electric, India; Joe Phelan, Director, WBCSD India;  Harsh Gandhi, Jt. MD, GRP Group;  Brieux Boisdequin, VP – South Asia, BASF; Meenakshi Gupta, Co-Founder, GOONJ, and Meenakshi Batra, CEO, CAF India, amongst others.