Sustainability is the need of the hour in all business practices. We need more far-sighted, innovative and creative solutions to address the environmental challenges to ensure a cleaner and greener future for the future generation. To achieve long-term sustainability, we need to approach the environment, climate, economy and society as inseparable parts of the same entity. Making businesses more sustainable starts with being aware of the issue at hand and understanding just how important it is to make changes — both for the business and the planet. To avert negative impact on climate, industries, in particular, are looking a long-standing commitment for a sustainable environment.
Let us hear the thoughts and vision of various industry leaders as they lay out the roadmap for the future.
Alain Spohr, Managing Director, India & South Asia, Alstom
“Transportation of people and goods account to over 25 per cent of total energy (fuel) consumption in the world and thereby the associated Co2 emissions. Recognising this early on, Alstom has been focussing on bringing about sustainable solutions in the mobility industry. Reinforcing the stress caused by human activities, the COVID-19 pandemic situation has clearly shown us how the environment is bouncing back in the absence of human intervention. These positive changes are aligned to the theme of this year’s World Environment Day, ‘it is time for nature’. As a global leader in sustainable mobility, we are the first manufacturer to set a target on the energy efficiency of our solutions and are committed to supporting carbon neutrality in this sector and we have adopted a ‘Climate and energy transition strategy’ towards achieving this. Since the carbon emissions from diesel trains are estimated to be twice that of electric ones, we have been developing and promoting efficient alternatives, such as electrification, hybrid traction and hydrogen trains.
In India, induction of Prima WAG-12 E-locos into the Indian Railways marks the beginning of a transformative journey towards sustainable mobility. We are greatly excited to partner with the Indian Railways towards realising its goal of Green Railways.
Globally, Alstom is a founder member of the Transport Decarbonisation Alliance, a coalition of companies, cities and countries aiming to catalyse the accelerated decarbonisation of the transport sector. We are also a member of the Sustainable Low Carbon Transport Partnership (SLoCaT) and an active participant in the United Nations Climate Summits (COPs). In addition to this, Alstom is a key contributor to various international initiatives that aim to fight climate change and reach the target set by the Paris Agreement to limit temperature rise to well below 2°C.”
Ravichandran Purushothaman, President Danfoss Industries Pvt. Ltd (India Region)
“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a wave of transformation that people world-over are grappling with. At the same time, although inadvertently, the lockdown has brought about a remarkable reduction in overall carbon emissions and pollutions levels. While the restrictions are being lifted, the industry should be encouraged to step back, reassess and realign its strategies towards uplifting the economy in a sustainable manner.
It is no longer rational to delink economic growth from environmental sustainability and caring for nature, which presses the need for the government and the industry to collaborate on a low-carbon high-growth recovery plan.
In the coming months, public-private partnerships (PPPs) should play an effective role in setting and achieving targets that re-look at the efficiency of food, infrastructure and industry ecosystems. With the right approach, the myriad of energy-efficient technologies available to us can be leveraged effectively to drive profitability and create new avenues for job creation.”
Saravanan Panneer Selvam, Grundfos India
“The COVID-19 pandemic situation has given enough time for mother earth to heal and evolve once again. The current scenario clearly shows us that with the decrease in human activities, the environment is bouncing back – rivers are cleaner, the air is more breathable and animals are thriving. These positive changes are coincidently aligned to the theme of this year’s World Environment Day, ‘it is time for nature’. While it is absolutely critical to have the economy up and running, I think it is time for all of us to pause and see how much we can change the way we live and work. We need to look at how we can be more responsible for nature and sustainable by reducing our carbon footprint to help nature thrive again.
At Grundfos, we see sustainability as a continuous endeavour that positively impacts millions of people and their lives through our products and solutions. Working in this direction, we made a few ambitious commitments in 2019. Globally, we set out to reduce water consumption and energy emissions by 50per cent by 2025 in comparison to our levels in 2008. Through our solutions, we hope to save 50 billion m3 of water and help over 300 million people across the globe access clean drinking water by 2030. In the last year, we have been able to positively impact the environment by reducing our CO2 emissions by 12.2per cent. It is also our aspiration to be climate positive by the end of this new decade.”
“We are proud that 3M has made significant strides in sustainability over the past year, including our pledge to transition global operations to 100per cent renewable electricity by 2050 and the Sustainability Value Commitment that requires each new product to advance the greater good.
3M India’s partnership with United Way of Bengaluru to rejuvenate Singasandra Lake in Bengaluru is an example of an initiative to safeguard biodiversity in our communities. The 3-year intervention is working to ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of 12-acre water body and the land around it to become a thriving ecosystem that supports bird and aquatic life. One of the key objectives of the initiative is to revive the eco-system in and around the lake by creating a micro-climate for aquatic flora and fauna. For this purpose, over 6000 bio-diverse saplings (A mix of medicinal species and herbs such as Vasaka, Nirgundi, Turmeric, Ginger, Lucky, Aloe Vera, Mehandi, etc.) have been planted over the last 2 years to increase the flora around the lake. As a result of these efforts, there has been an increase in migratory birdlife visiting the lake. This initiative aligns with the SDG Goal #15 Life on Land, which addresses the need to take action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity and protect the extinction of threatened species.
Specifically in India, 3M has reduced waste generation by 12per cent, conserved 53per cent of our water resources, cut down energy consumption by 23per cent and increased share in renewable energy by 24per cent across its manufacturing facilities in India.
The COVID-19 pandemic underscores the critical role that science plays in solving global challenges and improving lives. The viral outbreak and consequent lockdown have led to a welcome decline of NO2 emissions and reduced air pollution levels across the world. This indicator of sustainability becoming an increasingly dominant theme going forward underscores 3M’s commitment to the environment for a better future.”
TVS Motor Company Spokesperson
“With a population of over 1.34 billion, India needs a well-integrated and transformative mobility system that is equitable, affordable as well as efficient and sustainable. As a responsible manufacturer, TVS Motor Company is committed to creating green mobility by developing suitable technology, products, and business solutions. It is our endeavour to not only delight our customers with best-in-class product offerings but also ensure sustainability across all our operations. Over the last 20 years, we have been tirelessly working towards implementing best practices to eliminate any impact on the environment in our manufacturing processes, supply chain, dealers. Some of the energy conservation measures that the company is progressively undertaking the development of technologies including alternative materials, weight reduction, cost reduction, and improvement of fuel economy; development of new technologies in the areas of Hybrid and Electric power trains. The company has also been at the forefront of introducing alternate mobility options by offering cleaner, greener sustainable future mobility solution. TVS Motor Company recently launched electric scooter – TVS iQube Electric and ethanol-based TVS Apache RTR 200 Fi E100. At our manufacturing units, we have consciously set aside and developed one-third of the area outside each of our factory buildings as green cover to restore biodiversity in these habitats. In all, 18 farm ponds support 418 species of birds, animals, and insects along with approximately 81,000 trees around the factories and 16,375 hectares under watershed management. As many as 443 species of vegetation thrive around the factories.
Srinivasan Services Trust (SST), the social arm of TVS Motor Company, is also creating awareness about the challenges of climate change in rural communities, teaching farmers better methods of drip irrigation to save water, encouraging the planting of trees in denuded patches, teaching households in villages about waste segregation and better sewage disposal. The Trust works at the grassroots level to create awareness and promote change as progress can only be sustained when the development process touches key aspects of everyone’s life.”
JK Gupta, Chief Financial Officer, Tata Technologies Ltd
“In recent months, the world has witnessed several catastrophic events from the Australian wildfire to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hence, there is a need for concerted action on climate action, biodiversity and health, which has been encapsulated perfectly by the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. In line with this, we at Tata Technologies firmly believe that business growth and sustainability can coexist together. Our vision of ‘Engineering a better world’ has constantly propelled us forward, with our capabilities in full vehicle design, right-weighting, smart manufacturing and electric vehicles enabling our customers to design, develop, manufacture and realize better products. We believe in creating products that are safe, have a low carbon footprint and deliver better experiences.
As a responsible corporate, we have also undertaken several initiatives for water conservation, waste management and energy conservation. This, along with the drive to improve overall green forest cover through tree plantations, has only re-affirmed our focus on the ecosystem and environmental conservation. World Environment Day is a timely reminder to businesses that they need to take care of the environments they operate in and back it up with decisive action. This will go a long way in ensuring that we progress towards a future which is not only driven by profitability and growth but is also a place where our planet truly thrives.”
Prashanth Achar, CEO, GP Petroleums Ltd
“The year 2020 has posed as a wakeup call for the entire world. With the current state of events the theme “Time for Nature” this World Environment Day is totally apt and also a need of the hour. It is absolutely crucial for all of us to make a change and contribute in whatever way we can. We at GP Petroleums are committed to holistic development encompassing Environment, Health & Safety. We understand the importance of reducing carbon footprints especially in the lubricant sector and the role played by every individual in contributing to global warming. There is an urgent need for good quality eco-friendly fuels and lubricants to ensure vehicles operate with optimum efficiency and reduced emissions. The introduction of BS-VI norms this year is in the right direction and we are ready with our new range of lubricants that will be suitable for BS-VI compliant vehicles in the Indian market.
Our approach to sustainability involves integrating innovative economic, environmental and social business practices into our operations to deliver long term sustainability solutions to our internal and external stakeholders. We aspire to create growth opportunities that beneﬁt not only our business partners, clients and economies, but the environment and society as well.”
Asad Lalljee, CEO, Avid Learning
“As we celebrate World environment day, I believe that it is critical to keep the conversation on sustainability alive and ongoing now more than ever with issues and concerns regarding climate change and environmental degradation growing worldwide with unprecedented changes and shifts occurring around the globe. We are at the brink of a crucial and seismic shift and we need to leverage conversations toward cultural changes around this topic and successfully usher in and showcase the spirit of sustainability.
We at Avid Learning are organizing Environment Week to mark this day through our platform @AVID Online to showcase the power of arts, as it brings to fore the many issues of sustainability the world is currently facing and highlights how practitioners and experts from the creative sector are – both individually and collectively – responding to, and engaging with these matters through their work.
We are excited to be participating in the global movement for change and a greener future and through such programming, we are able to facilitate conversations that could help people and the planet achieves a sustainable equilibrium.”
Mahendra Singhi, MD & CEO, Dalmia Cement Bharat Limited
“The recent crisis, which impacted the entire world, has brought several dramatic changes to the environment from the past 2 months with a steep fall in global carbon emissions. We have to now explore how – as per our conscious low consumption practices – we can ensure that this reduction is not transient but results in the low carbon economy. This crisis has further made all of us to realise that nature is a source of solace, an inspiration, and a teacher and the utmost need to protect it.
This World Environment Day, let us all come together and commit ourselves to the simplest lifestyles as nature tends to act in the simplest way. I believe we still have the opportunity to reshape and redesign our world in a more sustainable way and I urge all global players, to not only work towards creating a greener environment, but also healthy lifestyles for all.”
Rajan S Mathews, DG, COAI
On World Environment Day, COAI and its members would like to renew our commitment to reduce our industry carbon footprint and push for a cleaner environment. Over the years, TSPs, along with our Network Partners and Infrastructure Providers, have already reduced our dependence on grid energy by reducing electric consumption of our electronic components by over 30%. New designed BTSs which do not need air conditioning and can stand high ambient temperatures have allowed us to further reduce our electric consumption. Over 30% of our Mobile Towers have now been converted to solar energy and the count increases by the day. This continues to reduce our dependence on diesel to power our cell towers. In addition, the industry is working with the sector regulator, TRAI to meet the stiff annual reductions in the carbon footprint set by the regulator. The industry has facilitated such new work paradigms such as “Work From Home”, which have reduced air pollution considerably. We are committed to ensuring that our efforts continue in these directions so as to ensure generations after we enjoy a cleaner, healthier environment.
Jayakumar Krishnaswamy, Managing Director, Nuvoco Vistas Corp. Ltd.
“Building a sustainable world is an integral part of Nuvoco’s vision. This year’s theme for World Environment Day is ‘Biodiversity’, which emphasizes the need for nurturing plant and animal life in order to ensure the natural sustainability of all life forms. Conserving and replenishing natural resources is an important step towards this goal, and Nuvoco has been steadily making progress through various responsible practices. Our sustainability goal is to reduce waste generation, and overall water and energy consumption by 5per cent over the previous year’s baseline; thereby making a net positive contribution to nature by minimising our environmental footprint while maximising the value for all our stakeholders.”
Pradeep Lala, MD and CEO of Embassy Services
“Now more than ever, there is no escaping the fact that human actions have pushed nature. Biodiversity loss is collapsing our food and health systems. We are all becoming fully aware of the new world order. We through Energize will encourage our park go-ers, our community to think about their consumption responsibly, encourage our businesses to develop greener models, produce and manufacture more sustainably. Our team is well trained to educate and inspire all to safeguard our environment and live in harmony. It is time for all of us to be gatekeepers of a green future.”