The 2020 India Sustainability Leadership Summit and the 11th edition of the Sustainability 4.0 Awards were hosted on a virtual platform by Frost & Sullivan and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). The Awards recognized excellence in sustainable development practices among corporates that provide a measurable and verifiable framework for sustainability, while the Summit drew business leaders and industry thought leaders to discuss how to jumpstart the Decade of Action despite the COVID-19 setback.
The distinguished speakers at the Summit represented policymakers, thought leaders in the field of sustainability, and business heads from renowned organizations, including:
The Summit was followed by the Sustainability 4.0 Awards 2020. This year’s Awards were open to companies across manufacturing, logistics, hospitality, IT & ITES, KPO, BPO, banking, financial services & insurance, construction, telecommunications, and healthcare sectors in India and the Middle East. The Awards evaluation model comprises of four major parameters—people, planet, purpose, and partnership—and 13 sub-parameters. Each participant was evaluated and benchmarked against peers and competitors by a team of experts from Frost & Sullivan and TERI.
This year, 21 awards were presented to companies in five major categories: Super Achievers, Leaders, Challengers, Jury Special Mention, and Safety Excellence. Reliance Industries Limited, Navi Mumbai, received the Sustainable Corporate of the Year Award. Mondelez India Foods Private Limited, Mumbai, won the Sustainable Corporate of the Year Award-1st Runner-Up, while ITC Ltd, Bengaluru, won the Sustainable Factory of the Year Award.
The Jury Special Mention Award was won by Vardhman Fabrics - A Unit of Vardhman Textiles Limited, Budni, for its water-savings initiatives. Vedanta Limited - Cairn Oil & Gas Division, Gurgaon, was declared the 1st Runner-Up for recycling of produced water for injection purposes, and Century Pulp & Paper, Lalkua, was the 2nd Runner-Up for its power plant optimization.
L&T Hydrocarbon Engineering Limited - Modular Fabrication Facility, Hazira, won the Safety Excellence Award for the second consecutive year, while Pantnagar Metal Plant - HZL was the 1st Runner-Up. The Safety Excellence Awards assessment framework entailed evaluation under five major parameters—safety management, process safety, equipment safety, people safety, and occupational health.
India Sustainability Leadership Summit Highlights:
At the India Sustainability Leadership Summit, the Thought Leadership panel chaired by Amb. Ajai Malhotra, Distinguished Fellow, TERI, highlighted the need for an early global bounce back to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
Shloka Nath, Executive Director, India Climate Collaborative, and Head-Sustainability & Special Projects, Tata Trusts, emphasized the need to prioritize investment in skill-building, create a green finance strategy, and transition to clean energy. She also added that sustainability needs to go from ‘niche to mainstream,’ and the focus should be on promoting domestic solar manufacturing and attracting additional investment in the renewable energy market.
Atul Bagai, Country Head of UN Environment in India, said businesses must realize they can no longer pollute their way to profits and nature-based solutions and sustainability should be an integral part of any recovery package.
In the CEO Panel, Chairperson Dr. Ajay Mathur, Director General, TERI, set the context for the session by stressing the need to focus on sustainable development as we emerge from the havoc wreaked by the ongoing pandemic.
R. Mukundan, Managing Director, Tata Chemicals Ltd., spoke about the need to start with consumers, build a transparent supply chain with a regulatory framework that ensures inclusivity, and make use of technology to accelerate the change.
Sarwant Singh, Managing Partner & Regional Leader, Frost & Sullivan - Middle East, Africa and South Asia, discussed the increasing adoption of electric vehicles and the emergence of trillion-dollar industries of the future, including the renewable energy sector and circular economy. He also highlighted the growing importance of innovating to zero and the rising adoption of the concept of smart cities in India with a vision of carbon-neutral factories and cities.
Amol Kotwal, Vice President, Industrial Practice, Frost & Sullivan, said, “The 11th edition of these awards focused on highlighting the significance of successfully integrating environmental, social and governance risks by award winners into their business operations and investment decisions. With the growing challenges and calls for a healthier ecosystem, all award winners showcased incredible commitment towards focusing on a sustainable, long-term future ahead of short-term gains. Frost & Sullivan and TERI are proud to recognize these companies for their ability to promote holistic development. We hope this will further motivate more organizations to push the boundaries of excellence.”
Dr. Mathur pointed out that, “Today, India is juxtaposed to overcome the dual challenges of a public healthcare crisis and tackle the adverse impacts of climate change. As we look towards a green recovery from the COVID economy meltdown, India needs new solutions. The Summit brought out that companies are now focusing on developing technologies that shall meet our future needs. Consumers are at the heart of this movement; companies will follow where consumers take them. Hence, it is important to tell consumers what is possible. We need to create excitement for people at large about sustainability.”
Congratulating the award winners, he called upon the Indian corporate leadership: “Short-term profitability has to be nurtured together with the long-term sustainability for recovering from the pandemic today as well as to put us onto the path of a low-carbon future in a 2040 or 2050 timeline. Businesses reflect the changing values and changing economics, which the world is currently witnessing, by focusing on resource efficiency and clean energy. As businesses carry out such initiatives, we need to make sure that others learn about it and the first-movers become the pioneers to inspire action by many.”
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