The Sustainable Business Leadership Summit, held in New Delhi on October 11, underscored India, Inc.’s quest for sustainability and witnessed launch of several key sustainability initiatives.
New Delhi, India – Over 250 sustainability leaders driving Indian businesses converged in New Delhi on October 11th at the Annual Summit of the Sustainable Business Leadership Forum to define the new sustainability agenda: moving away from sustainability investments as a means of risk mitigation to leveraging it for competitive advantage in operations.
The event featuring several key figures from the country’s policy and business circles focused upon the sustainability imperatives facing the organizations as also ways in which these seemingly ‘painful’ and ‘cost inducing efforts’ can be successfully converted into newer business lines and revenue sources. This year’s summit focused on four key themes:
- Sustainable Manufacturing with a focus on Success through resource innovation;
- Resource Recovery Innovation with a focus on Closed Loop Systems;
- Sustainable Finance with a focus on Sustainability Reporting and Disclosure; and
- Sustainable Energy with a focus on micro-grid based distributed rural electrification projects.
The day’s proceedings included a showcase of sustainability initiatives by more than 50 corporate and innovative solution providers in front of more than 200 top managers and industry experts representing various brands, suppliers and industrial customers from these sectors.
Ajay Shankar, Secretary of the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council and the keynote speaker at the event’s inaugural plenary, set the tone for the day’s deliberations by highlighting the challenge and opportunity in front of India’s business leaders as they straddle the balance between a resource constrained operating environment and an ever-exciting marketplace seeking to grow at over 8-9% annually.
Several other leaders such as Dr. Bhaskar Chatterjee, Director General of Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs, Dr. Ajay Mathur, Former DG of Bureau of Energy Efficiency from the policy domain, and corporate captains such as Bazmi Husain from ABB and K. C. Mehra from the Shapoorji & Paloonji group, shared their perspectives at the various sessions.
Sustainability leaders from large businesses such as Cognizant, ITC, Yes Bank, Volvo; from PSUs such as ONGC, BPCL, SIDBI; from catalyst organizations such as GRI, ICAI, UN Global Compact; and other voices shaping the dialog deliberated on ways of creating sustainability-led advantage.
Several new initiatives aimed at further catalyzing the sustainability paradigm amongst India’s businesses were launched at the event – cKinetics alongwith GIZ and the Impact Investing Policy Collaborative (IIPC) announced an Environmental and Social (E&S) Disclosure and Reporting Working Group focused at shaping frameworks for leveraging existing institutions to advance disclosure of impact in businesses. The summit also served as the launch venue for the 2013 program of the Swedish Institute Management Program.
The summit also served as the venue for the 2012 Annual Parivartan Sustainability Leadership Awards, aimed at recognizing innovation and corporate leadership in sustainability, at a special evening session. The Chief Guest, Dr. Kirit Parikh, Former Member of Planning Commission, Mrs. Rita Menon, Chairperson of India Trade Promotion Organization and Dr. Uddesh Kohli, Senior Advisor-Global Compact, were amongst key speakers at the awards evening.
Speaking at the event, Upendra Bhatt, Managing Director of cKinetics, stated, “Increasing challenges in access to materials, energy and water are rapidly propelling sustainability as an important dimension to the boardroom deliberations. In addition to the growth in basic sustainability-oriented activities in a firm’s operations, there is a growing interest in the business and investment community to leverage these interventions as a core differentiation for the firms. The Annual Summit of Sustainable Business Leadership Forum is structured to enable dialog and action on these fronts.”
About the Sustainable Business Leadership Forum
Sustainable Business Leadership Forum (SBLF) is an invitation-only Indian industry-focused market development platform which equips organizations, managers and industry stakeholders on the ‘how’ of sustainability through a unique programmatic approach comprising of round-the-year programs and ‘on-ground industry-oriented’ work. Instituted by Sustainability Outlook, the leading information marketplace on sustainability action, SBLF enables a unique exchange of thought leadership, business know-how and catalytic tools for enabling corporate transition towards sustainable business practices. For more information, visit http://SBLF.SustainabilityOutlook.in.