CSO (Chief Sustainability Officers) Forum - TERI CBS

CSO Forum

Co-creating business case backed sustainability projects.

  • About CSO Forum
  • Focus Theme & Industry Groups
  • Members

About CSO Forum

The CSO ('Chief Sustainability Officers') Forum is a community of India's leading chief sustainability officers and thought leaders working together towards driving sustainable development from the forefront.

This yearlong continual engagement of CSOs aims to facilitate the business case for sustainability for the corporate whilst ensuring on-ground implementation of co-created project ideas on issues of materiality for the organizations CSOs from any organization can join the Forum at any point of time and continue for an entire year from thereon.

The Objective of the Forum

The CSO Forum endevours to create an active learning and knowledge sharing platform for the community of CSOs through:

  • Regular interaction with peers from a cross section of industries to learn from their best practices
  • Consultations with the subject matter experts of TERI and other global partners
  • Interactions on policy imperatives and insights on specific issues under the ambit of sustainability
  • Practical exposure by means of industrial field visits
  • Co-creation of tools and best practice case-study resources for companies to implement in their organization

Benefits of Joining the Forum

  • Discover innovative and practical solutions to your organization's sustainability problems
  • Engage with peers from a cross section of industries to learn from their best practices
  • Leverage subject matter expertise of TERI and its partners
  • Gain policy insights
  • Co-create business case backed sustainability projects
  • Engage with other business professionals and organizations to network, share knowledge and experience
  • Use co–created tools and services to cut risk and cost, drive growth and profitability
  • Learn to manage your risks effectively

CSO Forum 2014-2015

The CSO Forum is an active knowledge sharing platform for thought leaders from leading organizations to come forth and discuss the issues of importance to their organization with their peers. This platform engages CSOs and other senior level executives from a diverse set of industries to plan and implement co-created projects which bring value to their respective organizations.

Energy Efficiency in Buildings
The Energy Efficiency in Buildings track of the Chief Sustainability Officers' Forum 2014 – 15 is looking at using retrofits in existing buildings to increase their efficiency.The CSO Forum will guide the track members to increase the efficiency in their buildings by leveraging the professional expertise at TERI.

Sustainability in Value Chain
This track of the Chief Sustainability Officers' Forum 2014 – 15 will work towards improvisation and implementing of the framework developed during 2012-13 labeled Operationalizing Sustainability in Value Chains.

Waste Management
This track of the Chief Sustainability Officers' Forum 2014 – 15 is looking at identifying, inventorizing, segregating and processing of the waste generated in the businesses of the participating organizations. The CSO Forum will guide the track members through their waste management issues with experience sharing and by leveraging the professional expertise at TERI.

For more information, please contact Ms. Smriti Bhatnagar at smriti.bhatnagar@teri.res.in

CSO Forum 2013-14

The focus themes for the year 2013-14 are :

  • Energy Efficiency in Buildings
  • Waste Management
  • Social Responsibility
  • Water Use Efficiency

The Industry Focus for the year 2013-14 is :

  • Chemical Industry
  • Banking Financial and Services Industry

CSO Forum 2012-13

The focus themes of the last years' engagement were :

  • Energy
  • Water
  • Value Chain

Projects under CSO Forum 2012-13

1. Energy Focus Theme:

Compendium of Energy Efficiency and Use of Renewable Energy practices in Leading Indian corporate : A compendium of energy efficiency and renewable energy best practices has been compiled with best practice inputs from leaders in the Indian corporate sector across industries. The compendium also contains The compendium will facilitate learning from industry-wide practices and trends in the field of energy efficiency and use of renewable energy and shall provide practical insight on energy efficiency measures and renewable energy interventions undertaken by corporates

2. Water Focus Theme

Industrial Water Management Framework:

A generic set of guidelines that addresses issues related to source vulnerability assessment, compliance/regulatory aspects, impact on community and industrial Water Use Efficiency

The need of the Framework : Given the state of resource availability, use and competing demand, the critical challenge lies in foresight of the issues and preparedness to respond to them for sustainable business operations. Management of water resources need a multifarious approach of not only improving the in-plant water use efficiency, but also to look beyond the paradigm of in-situ water management. This involves critical extrinsic factors such as source vulnerability, climate, allocation, access, competing use (irrigation, domestic – industrial), regional water quality – availability, regional policies – regulations, socio-economic setup, and importantly the stakeholders (Govt. agencies, local community, etc.) including the industrial value chain.

With growing demand, competing use and scarcity scenarios in a region, there may not be enough water to meet societal, environmental, agricultural, or industrial needs. Besides, with the growing awareness, industries have a reputational stake if perceived as mismanaging their water resources or impacting on others directly or indirectly. Thus there is a need of holistic approach to management of water resources necessitating formulation of an integrated water management framework, as a first step, with responsive corporate water policies and programs in order to respond to the potential challenges related to water within and outside the plant boundaries.

3. Value Chain Focus Theme

Knowledge paper on operationalizing a sustainable value chain

While many businesses recognize the importance of sustainable practices, sustainability has not yet become a mainstream phenomenon in the Indian context. India's rapid development exerts a lot of pressure on its limited natural resources and it might not be too long before there is stricter regulation and soaring international pressure for accountability and responsible management of resources. The impact of business practices on the society, environment and the ecology in which it operates is also assuming greater significance.

While sustainability is gaining importance for Indian businesses, for it to become a mature practice there need to be direct benefits to business in the near term. The Knowledge paper on operationalizing a sustainable value chain has been prepared with the collective wisdom of the Chief Sustainability Officers’ of leading organizations under the ambit of the CSO (Chief Sustainability Officers’) Forum 2012-13. The paper makes a case for sustainability by listing the benefits to businesses in operationalizing sustainable practices and also proves to be a ready reckoner for those interested in mainstreaming sustainability within their organisations.

As pressures for accountability from business increase, it will pose a significant threat to businesses that do not follow responsible and sustainable practices. To stay competitive, organisations will have to work closely with their value chain partners and other key stakeholders for effective resource management and risk mitigation. Companies often perceive undertaking sustainability measures to be a cost centre for their organisation. However, the paper argues that there are compelling reasons to take action to improve the social and environmental impacts throughout the value chain which benefit the business directly. Immense business value can be added and shared through a comprehensive and integrated approach towards a sustainable value chain like better risk management, increasing efficiencies across the chain, reaching new markets, and better supplier relationships. While these have direct monetary benefits there is also gainful impact on the brand image.

Sustainability cannot be achieved by an organisation alone. There are various stakeholders that must be partnered with to institutionalise sustainability in value chains. There are important roles for the Upstream (suppliers), Instream (employees of all stakeholders) and Downstream (clients and distributors) and other major stakeholders to take forward this exercise to ensure that the value chain on its own is sustainable. The paper recommends a step-by-step approach that covers engagement with all stakeholders and aims at eternalising sustainability in the value chain of any organisation. While the process must be top management driven with a clear vision, scope and objectives it must also set out clear expectations from all the value chain players. Since it is not easy to control sourcing practices of all suppliers, to begin with, the critical players (largest or most important players) in the value chain must be addressed and partnered with early on. Post that, certain conditions can be implemented contractually and the process as whole must encourage self-regulation and self-assessment.

While the process is recommended for any organisation the two viewpoints that have been considered in this paper are for the financial and manufacturing sectors.


II. CSO Forum/How to Join


1st Nomination: Rs 90,000

Additional Nomination : Rs 50,000


1st Nomination : Rs 1,50,000

Additional Nomination : Rs 85,000

For more information please contact: Ms. Smriti Bhatnagar at smriti.bhatnagar@teri.res.in

CSO Forum Knowledge Reports

CSO Forum Picture Gallery

Contact us

Abhishek Kaushik
Ph: 011 24682100
Ext : 2427
Email : abhishek.kaushik@teri.res.in


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