The ETGBS 2022 brought together global CEOs and industry experts to discuss the implications of ESG conversions for the Indian economy, the global economy, and businesses. They also discussed how businesses and economies are facilitating the transition to an ESG
The COP-26 summit in Glasgow demonstrated many governments’, including India’s, commitment to walk the talk on saving the climate through appropriate policies and enforcement of laws and rules, the industry remains squarely accountable. Co-option, collaboration and a strong community-led participatory approach are critical to achieve these goals.
While growth models will need to be framed that are responsive to climate change goals and reducing carbon footprint, not just on paper, but also in practice, consistently over a sustained period of time. And as environmental, social and governance (ESG) becomes a core element of responsible investing, encompassing a wide range of aspects that, otherwise, falls outside the analytical framework of conventional financial analyses.
Experts and global CEOs at the ETGBS 2022, brainstormed on these critical concerns, offering solutions while they deliberated on the complexities of; How will conversions to ESG impact the Indian economy, the world, and businesses and by what means are businesses and economies enabling this transition to ESG?
Naveen Munjal, MD, Hero Electric, offered clarity. “When we look at it from a global perspective, and when we look at it from a climatic perspective, there’s obviously going to be a global goal in place to say that by when are we really getting how are we going to control the emissions that we’ve got at a global level? And then we funnel it down, we drain it down into countries, and then from the countries, it goes down into cities and cities, it goes down into urban planning and so on and so forth. And then it goes down to companies and individuals,” Munjal said while addressing a session on “Creating Sustainable Businesses”.
Sustainability, the exhortation across the world today, will have to take on a new incarnation and have to be embedded into the soul of every organization – business or otherwise. Businesses cannot succeed where lives are in danger of because of ecological erosion.
Werner Baumann, CEO, Bayer AG, put things in perspective.
“We see global warming having a massive impact. We see it with farmers who are deprived of their harvests. We see it with catastrophes around the world. And we simply have to take action. And business is an integral part of the solution going forward, both with the scale and the solutions that we have and the innovation that we can work on. If you don’t do anything,” Baumann said while speaking at a session on “ESG: The Next Big Leap”.
The planet will be seeing an increase of two degrees Celsius in global warming in virtually no time. “There’s not a lot of time left, and we are fully committed to contributing to the Paris Accord and the 1.5 degree objective that has been set for 2030. And since it is so important for the company and to me personally, I’m kind of operating as a CEO and the Chief Sustainability Officer at the same time, because these are two sides of the same coin for us in the company and for me personally,” Baumann said.
India’s budget for this year talks about green bonds being issued by the central government. The financing shift and the financing needs is a very big one. The other aspect that all organizations need is good data.
They need that data in terms of what is the carbon footprint, where do they generate it, what needs to be done about it? And not just that. There is a need for environmental data, social data, data around governance and put that all together in a manner that companies can take action.
“Clearly, sustainability is also the ability to look outside in. And what do I mean by outside in? As a company, to be sustainable, I have to be able to satisfy the needs of my consumer, the patient first or doctor. I have to be able to sustain the needs of our employees. We have 65,000 employees and 650,000 people who depend on this company for their welfare. I have to be sustainable for the bankers. And definitely this would not be possible without capital. So sustainability for me is to take a holistic approach of all the stakeholders who invest into the well being, into the health of our citizens and provide them with a return that is fundamental and ensures sustainability for their own enterprise. So it’s really an outside in approach”, said Suneeta Reddy, MD, Apollo Hospitals.
Written By Anupama Sughosh
Edited by Queenie Nair