Sustainability Conversations

Industry leaders voice unanimous call to find convergent solutions towards creating a more sustainable India at the 8th Sustainability Solutions Summit in New Delhi. STORAI reports on the event.

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With the view to highlighting India’s sustainability potential, the CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development organised the eighth edition of its flagship event – “The Sustainability Solutions Summit “– on October 14 and 15 2013 in New Delhi.

Delivering the keynote address, Mr. Paul Druckman, CEO, The International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), said  “We live in a century where physical borders mean less and less; where companies are larger than governments; and where we are constantly bombarded with a call for increased transparency.”

Mr. Druckman and all other dignitaries called for finding convergent solutions to achieving sustainability. Detailing his case, Mr. Venkatesh Valluri, Chairman, CII National Committee on Technology and Chairman, Ingersoll Rand (India) Ltd., said, “We clearly have the technologies available that can be deployed to help look through the world’s challenges. What is needed now”, he added, “is to find convergent solutions in areas where we can have real impact.”

Mr. Y C Deveshwar, Past President, CII, Chairman, CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development Advisory Council and Chairman, ITC Ltd., stated that the purpose of business must be redefined to include a composite of social, economic and environmental issues.Event-2

He said, “Currently, only consumer satisfaction and shareholder value govern business behaviour. Instead, we need to create business models that create synergies between social, economic and environmental incentives.”

Promoting Sustainability in Retail

It is estimated that 40% of the food produced in India is wasted on account of improper handling, transportation and storage. This and other issues were discussed during a special session on Sustainability in Retail at the Summit.

According to Mr. Bejon Mishra, Founder Director, Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM) India Initiative, “Consumer behaviour is moving towards sustainable consumption as they begin to prioritise organic/eco products over others. What is needed now”, he added, “is for retailers to establish accountability and provide consumers clear communication on and access to sustainable products”.

Mr. Atul Chand, Chief Executive, ITC Lifestyle Retailing Business, highlighted that the Wills Lifestyle brand – Ecostyle – has witnessed an increasing level of loyalty among consumers towards buying eco-friendly garments.  “Today, 7% of products sold are from the Ecostyle brand and we are also initiating programmes for educating other consumers on sustainable consumption,” he added.

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The CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development, in partnership with Retailers Association of India (RAI) and the Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production (CSCP), among others, is also working towards greening India’s retail sector. Over the next four years, the Centre will help integrate sustainable consumption and production practices (SCP) in 300 SMEs in the supply chain of retailers; train 100 green retail experts and sensitise 100,000 consumers on SCP practices to create a consumer market for sustainable products in India. According to the Executive Director of the Centre, Ms. Seema Arora, “India is capable of the next Google of sustainable and inclusive innovations. But there is a lot of capacity to be built before getting there. And to that end, CII and the Centre will continue to bring the latest in sustainability to make business in India truly competitive and future-ready.”

For details on the Centre’s activities, visit www.SustainableDevelopment.in

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RAI
Retailers Association of India (RAI) is the unified voice of Indian retailers. RAI is a not for profit organization (registered under section 25 of Companies Act, 1956), works with all the stakeholders for creating the right environment for the growth of the modern retail industry in India. RAI is the body that encourages, develops, facilitates and supports retailers to become modern and adopt best practices that will delight customers. RAI has a three charter aim of Retail Development, Facilitation and Propagation.