Can India achieve its dream of Corporate Sustainability, Clean Energy and Green Infra?

A World Bank study conducted last year found that environmental degradation resulting from natural disasters, deforestation and water/air pollution cost India close to $80 billion.


Photo source: Facebook

Photo source: Facebook

With a rapidly increasing population of 1.252 billion (2013), India is on the verge of enduring a drastic resources scarcity. The country is facing similar challenges faced by other BRIC countries. These challenges include human rights, unhygienic energy supplies and water scarcity.

A World Bank study conducted last year found that environmental degradation resulting from natural disasters, deforestation and water/air pollution cost India close to $80 billion  of which more than 50% comes from air pollution.

Move on from China’s smog, as Delhi’s air pollution levels are expected to be double as compared to that of China’s smoky clouds. In fact, the quality of air in India is so bad that it is affecting the photosynthesizing ability of plants significantly and destroying half of crop yields.

mumbai_pollution

Mumbai choking under the smoke of factories. Via flickr cc Tawheed Manzoor

Whilst the exploding population is one of the broader problems suffered by India, lack of access to basic human amenities and poverty are other severe issues that require immediate attention from people, businesses and government. Unfortunately, more than 30% of the country’s population does not have access to better sanitation and hygiene amenities.

These alarming statistics have led to focus on sustainable development across the nation. A lot of businesses have joined the Clean India Initiative with a keen interest to invest in the betterment of sustainable and clean communities, education and other initiatives.

Multinational and domestic businesses have emerged as key partners for various sustainable development initiatives and programs. The government has also made it mandatory for businesses across the nation to embrace the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) practices which will see around 8000 companies across the country would be investing 2% of their profits towards the CRS initiatives.

Infosys for example, has set a fantastic example for other IT companies. It came up with a green building for one of its campuses in Hyderabad using 38% fewer energy and saved 1% of total cost compared to traditional practices. This helped Infosys earn the prestigious Leed Platinum Certification. The company has set a great benchmark for other companies to attain sustainability goals.

infosys-pocharam-hydrabaddotolx

Another key area that needs immediate attention is renewable energy. With only 75% of the country’s population having access to reliable electricity, India is energy-starved and relies on Himalayan neighbours for hydropower resources. In addition, the country in the future will be focusing extensively on solar energy. India has already made a huge solar commitment of 100 gigawatts of solar energy production by 2022 that would not only create around 1 million employment opportunities, but would also provide access to clean and cheap energy.

According to an UN report, India is expected to be the most populous nation in the world by the year 2028. This calls for better and robust infrastructure upgrades in both urban and rural areas as well as upgraded energy generation means.

Growing population means urbanization, which in turn would lead to expansion of cities and thus, there is a dire need to equip existing cities to be able to absorb more people. This is achievable only through sustainable and mobile infrastructure.

via flickr cc Ian D. Keating

via flickr cc Ian D. Keating

Although the country is essentially engaged with its own set of domestic issues, a number of other nations rely on India for supply of energy resources. Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan to name a few. Nevertheless, if India works toward finding a sustainable path, it could definitely play a huge role in assisting other nations, particularly the ones with densely populated metropolis do the same.

 

 

 


  ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Anwar Shaikh writes about business management software that include CRM, ERP and payroll solutions. A self-made and reared up writer, Anwar writes for Sage Software Solutions Pvt. Ltd., a leading provider of wide range of cost-effective, environment-friendly cloud based enterprise management solutions to small and mid-sized businesses in India (http://www.sagesoftware.co.in/) more

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  ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Anwar Shaikh writes about business management software that include CRM, ERP and payroll solutions. A self-made and reared up writer, Anwar writes for Sage Software Solutions Pvt. Ltd., a leading provider of wide range of cost-effective, environment-friendly cloud based enterprise management solutions to small and mid-sized businesses in India (http://www.sagesoftware.co.in/) more

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