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A-Z of Sustainability

The mounting importance of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has made the Ministry of Corporate Affairs update the National Guidelines on the Economic, Social and Environmental Responsibilities of Business. For accurate and transparent accounting of sustainability plans and performance and to enhance stakeholder confidence; businesses have chosen sustainability reporting as an established communication tool. Terms like sustainability strategy, management commitment, materiality, neutrality etc. are commonly being used within the sustainability domain. Professionals often use several terms and jargons in this domain to express and articulate an array of concepts. These are commonly being used in the business reports, scienti?c journals/papers, policy documents, and even in the mainstream media.

TERI Council for Business Sustainability engages with the core issue of what businesses must do to shape and lead in sustainability. "A-Z of Sustainability" is one of our endeavours in this direction to provide a repository of words and phrases - comprising a range of environmental, social and economic topics - that could be useful and contemporary and useful for sustainability professionals.

To access the first Edition click here.

Sustainability Super Trends 2018 - Report

Transformation, Momentum and Collaboration emerge as the keywords for Indian companies exhibiting their leadership on sustainability. The term "sustainability" having reached boardrooms, the practices is being increasingly mainstreamed.

The TERI CBS report captures the Sustainability Super Trends of 2018 that - CEOs, Business Heads, Chief Sustainability Officers and/or such designated officers leading sustainability function - should be cognizant about. These trends become vital while shaping sustainability roadmaps and materiality evaluation for Indian companies.

The Report argues that as more companies understand the link between economic prosperity and environmental-social aspects, the importance of including sustainability in business strategy and growth is increasing. Accompanied with the Sustainability Super Trends, the Report articulates key response actions that Indian businesses must take to demonstrate its foresight and preparedness on sustainability maturity.

Circular Economy: A Business Imperative for India

The report provides insights and perspectives on how policy and businesses have to come together towards closing the loop. The report presents specific opportunities in four sectors that are cornerstones to the Indian economy - Agriculture, Automotive, Construction and Electronic & Electricals. These sectors have high potential for growth and are assessed for benefits accrued by adopting circular economy.

Specifically for businesses, the report offers 'Material Circularity Indicator' which would act as a self evaluation tool for businesses looking to assess their current circularity status. Further, the report highlights the policy framework and financing mechanisms required for transitioning India's growth from the current linear economy towards a futuristic circular economy, through carefully selected case studies. This is only a preliminary assessment, and hopefully, this will generate debates and discussions on the subject and will also generate interests among the business community who might eventually come out with hundreds of business models, contributing to promoting a circular economy in India, and setting an example for the entire world.

Electric Mobility Paradigm Shift: Capturing the Opportunities

The electrification of road transport sector can be one of the pathways to reduce dependence on fossil fuel, and mitigate vehicular pollution. While there are several technologies like hybrid EV, plug-in hybrid vehicles, all electric/battery EV and fuel cell vehicles that can help achieve these objectives, this paper focuses only on all-electric/battery EV, with specific attention to passenger vehicles only.

The study in partnership with YES Bank suggests interventions for increasing the adoption of electric vehicles by capturing the front runners in EVs that can give the desired push to the electric mobility transition. It identifies the barriers impeding the large scale adoption of the identified front runners in this segment. The study also suggests policy and financial interventions required to upscale their adoption. The study is based on stakeholder interactions with key sector experts to gauge perspectives on the topic and identify key gaps that need to be fulfilled to build long-term solutions towards adoption of EV on a large scale in India. The study also draws learning from international models and best practices.

Valuation of Energy Costs in the Indian Context

This report is an outcome of a survey based study conducted by TERI CBS under the aegis of the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition (CPLC), with an objective to gauge corporate sector's preparedness in internalizing carbon pricing. The three phase project included extensive corporate consultations and deliberations, with 100+ business leaders on internal carbon pricing, its challenges, opportunities and possible methods of introducing carbon pricing among Indian businesses.

  • 17% of the Indian businesses surveyed as a part of TERI CBS study titled as 'Valuation of Energy Costs in the Indian Context', are already pricing carbon internally and another 40% were planning to do so in the next 1-2 years.
  • The awareness among the private sector regarding carbon pricing is still low and usage of carbon pricing is at a nascent stage for most corporate enterprises. This can be pushed through peer learning, both inter sector and intra sector.
  • The momentum on internal carbon pricing is rising among Indian Inc. as they see it as a good tool to make their investments future proof;
  • There is a need for hand-holding for improved technical understanding in arriving at the 'right price' of carbon emissions and adoption of the carbon pricing process.

Reinforcing India's Commitments - Delhi to Paris: Corporate Vision on Climate Change

This report captures a snapshot of the numerous initiatives taken by the corporate sector to tackle climate change and depicts several innovations illustrating India's sustained efforts towards reducing its greenhouse gas emissions. The report is an outcome of TERI CBS initiative- Delhi to Paris: Corporate Vision on Climate Change, led by business members aims to be the Indian corporate vision on the various aspects of tackling climate change and aligning this vision with the Government of India schemes. TERI CBS conducted corporate consultations that witnessed participation from 200 companies and took place via webinars, thus making them carbon neutral. Discussions at the corporate consultations included India Inc.'s experiences, best practices, current interventions, and scope for improvement, thereby strengthening India's position with regard to tackling climate change on the global platform. Of the participating companies, 60 organisations submitted comprehensive case studies on the four identified themes, which have been analysed by TERI experts and are presented in the following pages.

The initiative subtitled Reinforcing India's Commitments focuses on four pressing themes that are of utmost importance to achieve a low-carbon and climate-resilient future:

  • Improving the Efficiency of Energy Use
  • Expanding the Use of Renewable Energy
  • Ensure Water Availability in a Changing Climate
  • Efficient Waste Management
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