Leadership Summit for Sustainable Development

TERI-BCSD in partnership with the World Business Council for Sustainability Development (WBCSD) today organized the 11th ‘Leadership Summit for Sustainable Development – Mainstreaming Sustainability in Business Planning and Practice’, its annual flagship event.

Commencing the
event, Director General TERI, Dr. R K Pachauri said “Business and industry in India are focusing increasingly on issues of sustainability for reasons that have much to do with attaining a competitive edge in a globalized world as well as dealing with the implications of unsustainable growth, which characterizes much of India’s economic activity. Depletion and degradation of natural resources, the impacts of climate change and extensive environmental pollution are issues of concern not only to society at large, but impact directly on the interests of the corporate sector as well. It is for this reason that this Summit is being organized as an event to mobilize innovative thought and strategies for action in which the corporate sector would join hands with researchers and analysts to arrive at sustainable solutions for the future”.

Mr. Peter Bakker President WBCSD, in his video message said “The debate between global energy requirement and global sustainability is acute. As India continues its economic growth and the energy demand increases, the pollution problem will only get worse unless current policies are reviewed.”

The event was conducted in five different theme-based sessions to cater to the upcoming needs of the corporates. The themes included: disclosure and transparency-towards an integrated holistic approach to sustainability; corporate social responsibility-the changing paradigm; special luncheon session; Mr. Ton e Buchner, CEO and Chairman of the Board of  Management and the Executive Committee, AkzoNobel spoke on the theme – Mainstreaming Sustainability in Business Planning and Practices; implementing sustainable development in business-the practitioner’s perspective and innovating for sustainable development-the business imperatives.

By 2050, we will need twice as much, energy as at the start of this century.  “There are two races, one for economic upliftment and the other against air-pollution and climate change said” Mr. Duncan Van Bergen, Global Head, Long Term Market Development, Shell. He added, “While Gas may not be the necessary silver bullet, we believe that Gas is an ideal complement to renewable energy due to strong interdependencies between the two.”

Mr. Deepak Amitabh, Chairman and Managing Director, PTC India Ltd said “Sustainability today cannot be addressed is isolation and planning and implementation has to be done in an integrated manner. Currently, 10 – 12% of energy comes from renewable sources, but in the foreseeable future this figure should be 25% and the recent company’s act is going to be crucial in achieving these targets.

During the event, TERI formally released four knowledge papers, namely ‘Low Carbon Growth’ to support the next stage of technological innovations for the country, and identify emerging challenges of businesses. The report maps corresponding opportunities of the low carbon development paradigm, making the business case for sustainable development. Another knowledge paper, named ‘Operationalizing sustainability in Value Chains’ was also released with the aim to address the fundamentals of sustainable value chain management. It discussed the benefits an organization can leverage through a collaborative interaction with the key stakeholders of value chain. This paper was developed with the active engagement and support of organizations like YES Bank, Mahindra & Mahindra, CLP India and SAP India, and will prove be a ready-reckoner for organizations to practice value chain management sustainability. In addition to this, TERI launched an ‘Energy Compendium’, which is a set of best practices in the areas of energy efficiency and renewable energy. These are being implemented by leading organizations from India. A report on ‘Integrated Water Management’ was released to serve as a guideline for all industries that heavily depend on water.

“Given the current trend in the decrease in Overseas Development Assistance (ODA), post 2015, the corporate sector will need to play a pivotal role in mobilizing stable, expandable and accountable resources to support building both social capital and value for the nation” said Dr. Annapurna Vancheswaran, Director-Sustainable Development Outreach, TERI.

The summit will conclude with a ‘High Level CEO Panel Discussion’ which will witness the participation of eminent luminaries from across the spectrum including business, politics, government, academics, national and international organizations engaged in social and environmental programs. The distinguished panelists include:  Ms. Naina Lal Kidwai, Country Head India, Director HSBC Asia Pacific; Mr. R. Mukundan, Managing Director, Tata Chemicals Ltd; Mr. Prasad Chandran, Advisor, BASF India Ltd and Mr. Mahindra Singhi, Executive Director, Shree Cement Ltd. The session was moderated by Mr. Martin Wright, Founding Editor – Green Future, Forum for the Future, UK.

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