Climate ChangeSustainability & ESG

Sustainable Development Goals: The Key to Resilience and Progress

By Lionel Alva

Can you imagine living in a world where the skies were charred, the oceans ran green, and the ground was blighted? This nightmarish scenario is far removed from the realms of fiction and could be a default reality if we don’t act today. This is exactly why ‘sustainability’ has become a key agenda for businesses and individuals across the world.

The word ‘sustainability’ conjures up images of ‘going green’. Often, a kaleidoscopic ensemble of eco-friendly technologies comes to mind. For businesses, the term sustainability is synonymous with efficiency programs and technologies that allow for energy renewal.  Some of the most widely used renewable technologies often harness the power of the sun, wind, and water.  Today, we see a clear shift in how sustainability is perceived en-masse and it is no longer relegated to being merely an idyllic vision for the future. Consequently, terms like environmental, social, and governance (ESG), as well as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), have become buzzwords that are currently driving business imperatives.

This shift towards sustainability by businesses is more pragmatic than altruistic: Consumers today are focussing more on brands that resonate with their core values which include sustainability, which has been brought to a sharp focus by the pandemic. There is also a widespread cognizance of sustainable business practices. But, can businesses strike a balance between Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their shareholder interests?

The Economic Times SDGs Summit offers a glimpse into the corporate community’s think-tank that is shaping the business blueprint keeping SDGs in focus. Since SDGs have very quantifiable and concrete targets and the governments alone cannot set the mandate for change, coercive action has to be taken by businesses across the world.  The line-up of partners for the event includes EY as principal knowledge advisor for the evening, co-powered by Skoda Volkswagen, along with a stellar basket of knowledge partners including IBM, Capgemini, Bayer Crop Sciences, SAP Labs India, Welspun, Hero Electric Vehicles, AB InBev, Quess Corp, Corteva Agriscience, MG Motors, Pearson, and Futurescape.

The event will see business leaders discuss the Business Case for the Pathways for net-zero carbon emissions and how sustainability can be blended in with business transformation. Further, some of the key topics that will be discussed are:

  • Vision 2030: Transforming the world: Peace, Prosperity, Partnerships and Planet
  • Much more than just a statement: Championing sustainable business growth for nations
  • Keynote Conversation: Thinking People, Thinking Planet, Thinking Business
  • Leadership Matters: How the C-Suite is seizing the ESG Opportunity
  • Leading the energy transition: Decarbonized, Decentralized and Digitized

The highlight of the event will be the launch of ‘The ET and Futurescape 8th Sustainability Index: ESG Report’ which will further set the impetus for sustainable change in India.

The SDG goals depict a clear path and opportunities via epoch-making business initiatives, products, and services.  It heralds a more pragmatic path ahead for life and business.

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