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World Environment Day: Sustainable Living High Thinking

Simple lifestyle changes such as switching to renewables and energy-efficient resources can be a long way to go.

June 05, 2023. By Anurima Mondal

As the world geared up to celebrate World Environment Day, millions of people came together for awareness and action for the environment. This year, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change envisages to celebrating World Environment Day 2023 with a thrust on the Mission LiFE.
Introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the concept of LiFE, aims to promote sustainable living by encouraging individuals to make changes in their lifestyles and emphasises responsible and conscious use of resources to safeguard and conserve the environment.
Switching to renewables can help industries in every sector to reduce global carbon emissions significantly. Talking about the role of solar energy in mitigating climate change, Gyanesh Chaudhary, Chairman and Managing Director, Vikram Solar said, "As the world progresses towards energy transition and climate neutrality, we are committed to protect the ecosystem through the Power of the Sun. This year’s World Environment Day makes the perfect time to harness solar to sustainably power the world and walk a safer path towards global health. The best way to predict the future is to create it. Let us come together in building a carbon free world."
India has ambitious plans of achieving 500 GW of non-fossil fuel based electricity installed capacity by 2030, which includes 280 GW from solar, 140 GW from wind, and the remaining 80 GW from other sources like biomass, waste-to-energy, and hydropower.

Elaborating on the importance of biofuels, Kishan Karunakaran, CEO of Buyofuel said, "The World Environment Day is a reminder of our duty towards safeguarding the planet and building a sustainable future for all. In the face of escalating environmental challenges, the need of the hour is to leverage technology and innovation to combat climate change and come up with sustainable energy solutions. Transitioning to renewables is encouraging but this is just the beginning. I believe now is the time to tap into the vast potential of biofuels. For a country like India which is blessed with abundant biofuel resources, it is imperative that we ramp up our reliance on this renewable energy source, not only to reduce carbon footprint but also to reduce our dependence on finite fossil fuels. The advantages of biofuels are manifold and far-reaching. They reduce greenhouse gas emissions, empower farmers, utilize waste efficiently, generate revenue, and create jobs.  It is thus crucial to prioritize sustainable biofuel production, and innovative and purpose-driven startups can help achieve this target. Since startups bring fresh ideas, innovation and new technologies, they can advance biofuel production to meet the demand and minimize environmental impacts of fossil fuels for a sustainable future."

Piyush Sohani, India Managing Director, Sistema.bio added, “Through our modern and innovative biogas technology, we are not only breathing new life into our surroundings but also taking a stand against environmental pollution. Each tonne of animal organic waste processed unleashes a powerful renewable energy that protects the environment. Biogas has numerous benefits for the environment and the agricultural ecosystem, and it improves the well-being of farmers from an economic, environmental, and health perspective. The technology of Sistema.bio has touched the lives of more than 50,000 farmers in 21 states in India, empowering them and helping them achieve self-sustainability. With our sights set on reducing global annual greenhouse gas emissions by 1 percent by 2030, we stand united on this World Environment Day, ready to combat environmental pollution with global solutions. Together, let us continue our journey towards a greener and more sustainable future for all, where environmental pollution becomes a thing of the past."

Commenting on the vision and mission of NXP Semiconductors Hitesh Garg, India Country Manager, NXP, said, “NXP Semiconductors ESG's mission is to drive innovation in order to create a better, safer, more secure, and sustainable world. Our commitment to sustainability involves constant improvement, from developing and producing technology that positively impacts the environment and society, to taking steps towards achieving carbon neutrality in our operations.

To address our carbon emissions, we have set goals in line with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). Our primary objective is to reach carbon neutrality by 2035, with interim targets of reducing carbon emissions by 35 percent in 2027 and optimizing the use of natural resources by 2027 (including sourcing 50 percent of our energy from renewable sources, recycling 60 percent of wastewater, and recycling 90 percent of waste). Alongside the carbon neutrality goal for 2035, our long-term goal is to transition to 100 percent renewable energy sources. We are also working on enhancing the energy efficiency of power adapters, reducing power consumption in running our R&D labs, and enabling energy-efficient edge computing for IoT devices.

With a vision of a smarter world, our focus is on making the world more sustainable and environmentally friendly, with carbon neutrality as our top priority. Looking ahead, NXP is exploring innovative methods of generating electricity from alternative renewable sources. Recently, we have conducted tests using an integrated circuit (IC) powered by bacteria found in the soil. NXP will continue to develop new and creative approaches to minimize our environmental footprint and positively impact the planet.”

Switching to energy-efficient resources might not be same as switching to renewables, but they have a similar goal, i.e. to reduce energy use. While people are moving to energy-efficient buildings and using smart appliances, industries are trying to create energy-efficient manufacturing facilities.
Sharing his views, Bishal Thapa, Senior Director - India, CLASP said, "Our consciousness about the impact we have on our world is today our biggest asset in the fight against climate change. India’s climate goals aim to harness the power of synergy between our environmental consciousness and our capacity for technological innovation to drive a future that is energy-efficient and energy-conscious. The need of the hour is to collectively work towards a sustainable future as an ecosystem and as a nation, that draws from our environmental consciousness and capacity for technological innovation."
Arun Awasthy, Vice President & Managing Director, Johnson Controls India added, “We live in an era where sustainability and sustainable solutions have become the need of the hour, and we stand at the precipice of change - squarely confronted by some of the biggest climate challenges of our time. One of these challenges include building and construction emissions, which generates nearly 40 percent of emissions together with other processes including cooling and heating. The most critical thing when it comes to sustainable transformation today is to recognise whether it is scalable or not. At Johnson Controls, we believe that the technology and data led solutions for decarbonisation of buildings is ready to be scaled up. The immediate implementation of this can achieve huge gains in favour of the nation’s NetZero goals!
We are in the ‘decade of action’ and as a people, ought to look at every possible measure we can take collectively and individually to make a difference to the planet. The only way change will be seen and felt at a steady pace is if micro-interventions - like waste management, water conservation, reduction of plastic consumption - are emphasised and implemented alongside macro-interventions like renewable energy, alternate sources of energy, energy efficiency in vehicles, buildings, appliances, etc.”
Kunal Nagarkatti, CEO, Clover Infotech commented, "The world has realized the importance of moving to renewable sources of energy. Across all aspects of life from travel to power consumption to industrial usage and smart cities, there is a very strong thrust on adopting ‘green’ technologies. Our government has introduced many favourable policies to ensure that green technologies are embraced by all. At Clover Infotech, we have been using our resources judiciously and have been designing processes to optimize the consumption of electricity, water, paper, etc. We have moved our own financial systems to the cloud in our endeavour to reduce the per-user carbon footprint. We have been accredited with the relevant ISO certifications for our ESG practices. As a responsible corporate, we have been publishing our ESG report to our customers as well. I believe every organization and individual must leverage the power of new-age digital technologies to accelerate India’s mission of attaining carbon neutrality and creating a more sustainable, equitable, and prosperous future for all”.

The concept of lifestyle changes to protect the environment would be incomplete without the mention of sustainable transport.  

Electric vehicles have been recognised as the preferred sustainable mobility platform to combat the climate crisis and help India reach its 2070 zero-carbon emission objective. According to the Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, more than 18 lakh electric vehicles have been registered in the country. This number is expected to grow by almost three times to 50 lakh units by 2030. 

Commenting on it, Nikhil Bhatia, Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer, HOP Electric Mobility said, “Coming of age of the Electric Vehicles will be an understatement, considering the previous month (April) when the sector witnessed seventh month in a row that overall EV sales in the country crossed the 100,000-unit mark, as per government estimates. This signifies the acceptance among customers about the benefits of buying an EV and the consciousness towards climate concerns. Achieving true sustainability is yet a milestone we have to achieve, but we have chosen a conscious path towards that. At HOP Electric, from Day ‘0’ we had electric vehicles, energy and environment as part of our mission statement. We, across our teams, are promoting an environment-conscious culture. From small actions like using less paper to much larger initiatives like Battery recycling, we are mindful of our actions as a company.”

"Amid mounting environmental concerns and global climate change issues, the need for clean energy adoption has become urgent, prompting countries to strategize for sustainable energy economies. In line with India's commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2070, Revfin is dedicated to driving a 'Green Growth vision.' We aim to take a leading role in enhancing the adoption of electric vehicles at the grassroots level, focusing on an ecosystem approach. This includes easing access to easy digital financing for financially excluded individuals and businesses, strengthening the EV ecosystem, and facilitating charging infrastructure, battery management, and swapping infrastructure. We work closely with OEMs and partners to create a sustainable future and contribute to the vision set forth by Hon'ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for a cleaner and greener India," added Sameer Aggarwal, Founder & CEO, Revfin Services

The electric vehicle industry is witnessing a plethora of digital transformations with advancements in battery technology, growing network of charging infrastructure, and artificial intelligence.

Varun Goenka, CEO & Co-Founder, Chargeup said, “The EV industry is not just about revolutionizing transportation; it represents a paradigm shift towards a cleaner, more sustainable world. At Chargeup, we have embraced this vision wholeheartedly. By integrating ESG principles into our DNA, we prioritise environmental preservation, social impact, and ethical governance. Together with other like-minded founders, we are driving innovation, reducing carbon emissions, and inspiring positive change on a global scale. We are committed to leading the way in sustainable mobility. Our innovative solutions are designed to accelerate the transition to electric mobility, making it more accessible and convenient for all. Through our unwavering commitment to ESG, we are not only shaping the growth of the EV industry but also redefining our relationship with the environment and society. By embracing sustainability and responsible business practices, we pave the way for a more inclusive, equitable, and prosperous future. On this Environment Day, let us unite as pioneers in the EV industry, forging an unbreakable alliance to amplify our collective impact. Together, we can accelerate the transition to electric mobility, minimise our carbon footprint, and foster a more sustainable world for generations to come.”

Rajat Verma, Founder & CEO of Lohum added, "This World Environment Day, let us recognize the generational shift happening across the globe in the form of the energy transition. The entire energy transition is riding on the back of critical and precious materials out in the world. It is very important for us to ensure that these critical materials are produced sustainably to ensure that the transition to clean energy is truly clean and truly green.”

While people are switching to electric vehicles and other modes of sustainable transport, companies are also trying to make energy-efficient parking spaces.

Talking about it, Rajesh Kabra, Managing Director, RR Parkon said, "World Environment Day serves as a powerful reminder of the need to safeguard our planet from pollution and the devastating effects of climate change. As pioneers in the automated car parking industry, we recognise our responsibility to contribute to global efforts to preserve the environment. Our smart parking systems have a profound and positive impact on reducing carbon emissions and mitigating environmental degradation. By revolutionising how we approach parking, we address the pressing challenges of urbanisation, resource depletion, and air pollution. Our solutions not only provide efficient and secure parking spaces but also prioritise eco-friendly practices. By optimising parking space utilisation and reducing idle driving time, our smart parking systems help minimize traffic congestion and its associated environmental harm. Let us seize this opportunity to inspire change and make a lasting difference. Through embracing innovative solutions, we can pave the way for a greener, healthier, and more sustainable future. Together, let us make every day an ‘environment day’ and preserve our planet for generations to come."

World Environment Day 2023 marks the completion of 50 years of its establishment. Talking about this year’s theme, ‘#BeatPlasticPollution’, Pallavee Dhaundiyal Panthry, Spokesperson and Chief Communication Advisor, World of Circular Economy (WOCE), said, "The theme of this year's World Environment Day, 'Beating Plastic Pollution,' deeply resonates with the mission of World of Circular Economy. Plastic pollution continues to pose a significant threat to our ecosystems, exacerbating the issue of carbon emissions at every stage of its existence. In response to this urgent challenge, WOCE is dedicated to addressing both problems concurrently. As part of our ongoing initiatives, we are thrilled to announce a new enhancement to the Carbon Book app. Acknowledging the pressing need to combat plastic pollution, the app will soon feature a dedicated section within the 'Waste' category, empowering users to take a proactive stance against single-use plastics. This addition underscores our unwavering commitment to combating plastic pollution and fostering a sustainable future."

Celebrated worldwide on 5 June every year, World Environment Day is a reminder to everyone to adopt sustainable practices as well as encourage awareness and action for the protection of the environment.
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