The Rio+20 Summit will be held this year June. And WBSCD would be there in its full force hoping for singular change towards a low carbon economy. On June 1992, the eve of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) [also known as the Earth Summit or Rio Summit] in a new global organisation – Business Council for Sustainable Development (BCSD) – was founded to involve business in sustainable development issues. The primary focus then was to give industry and business a voice in the Earth Summit. Today, after 20 years, with more than 170 members of important global companies, the WBCSD (morphed from BCSD) continues its business leadership catalyzing change towards sustainable development, based on eco-efficiency, innovation, and corporate social responsibility.
INDIA – named after the river Indus, which the original inhabitants along its banks called -Sindhu and the ancient army from Greece under Alexander pronounced with a “H” thus the term “Hindu“. And then we have “Bhagiratha” who brought the Ganges to earth, as depicted in the mythology.
And the most telling – our country is called both India & “Bharat”, at once bridging the modern with the ancient. Reminding us in each word that, one must keep its roots to the glorious & Eco-responsive past while forging ahead into the future. India the very name itself has been derived from the life giving water, without which no life is Sustainable – anywhere in this Galaxy! And when one reads the story of Bhagiratha, one would find it so close to the story we once again are facing today; scarcity of water. Everyday articles are written about how future Wars would be fought for Water.
So, it comes as no surprise when modern India, whose soul is ancient and steeped in the culture of sustainable living, which I have mentioned more in my previous article, has its businessmen naturally adapt to what each must have learnt between the process of being a child – man – businessman ; Sustainability. Indians always knew of it, but it got buried in the sands of crony capitalism. Which is being dusted off by the efforts of CIICESD and the likes.
The sustainable face of Business India came out into the fore in 1991 – with a similar and parallel movement at the very same time as the BCSD; CII decided to establish an Environmental Management Division (EMD) that would work under the aegis of the CII National Environment Committee. EMD was established on Monday, June 1, 1992. This was the origin of Indian industry’s contribution towards meeting the goals of Agenda 21, a declaration that was passed during the Earth Summit. This with time, grew to become CII-ITC CESD of today headed by Ms. Seema Arora . The CII – ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development is an institution that creates a conducive, enabling climate for Indian businesses to pursue sustainability goals. It creates awareness, promote thought leadership and build capacity to achieve sustainability across a broad spectrum of issues.
Arm-in-arm with the NAPCC – ; CIICESD is the doer of what the Government of India envisages through the various missions within NAPCC. Lush green fields are found where the grass roots are strong, else the moisture from deep within the soil can not be extracted to nourish. The various programs on sustainability CIICESD conducts throughout the year, in training, seminars etc is towards a path of creating awareness among those who already know, yet need to understand how to impart their knowledge to others. This capacity building would enable India adapt to conduct all its business sustainably in the era of grave Business Risk due to human induced Climate Change.
The most interesting part, is that CIICESD with its depth of reach among all the leading industries, imparts the knowledge to the young managerial staff who are slated to move up the ladder, thus in the process inculcate the training received in all their real time assignments. But it is easier said than done, unless the Companies itself takes a board-room decision to implement the thoughts of CIICESD on their shop-floors. There is room for scope in this.
As awareness on Global Warming and Climate change will grow, with its immediate impacts felt around the World, ( as is happening ) the task of CIICESD and other forums engaged in the task of promoting sustainable economy would become more and more critical. As was evident with the recently concluded Business forum on Climate Change organised by CIICESD to devise strategies for effective long – term low carbon transformation. For without adapting to the challenges which are already critical, business in all sectors would suffer. The Stern Review concludes in its in-depth study that unless quick and effective measures are taken, beyond 2020, should the World continue in its path of high -carbon growth, the reactionary climate related devastation would cost the world nearly 20% of the World GDP.
- Update from the UN Negotiations on Rio+20 in New York (climate-connections.org)
- Waiting for Rio (envirorhi.wordpress.com)
- Kiyotaka Akasaka: Sustainability Is the Sensible Alternative (huffingtonpost.com)
- Nick Clegg will attend Rio Earth summit (guardian.co.uk)
- Why Rio+20 must not leave politics out of sustainable development | Melissa Leach (guardian.co.uk)
- India’s most Sustainable Companies rewarded at CII-ITC Awards (linkingsustainability.com)
- Encyclopedia Of Sustainability: China And India, Assessing Sustainability Cheap Sale (dungarvansailing.com)
- Sustainable cities (mnn.com)