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BW Businessworld

Sustainability Is Like A Rainy Day With The Sun In The Sky And A Triple Rainbow: Saurabh Bardhan, Founder, Green Bandhu & Co-founder, Earthima Technologies

The discussion touches upon sensitive topics and addresses the pros and cons of what is happening to the environment.

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Dr Annurag Batra, Chairman & Editor-in-Chief, BW Businessworld & exchange4media Group (Session chair) – Sustainability is not a choice, it is imperative. It is imperative to make sure that the planet is better, the lives that we live are better so it is definitely not a choice. Corporates should not do only lip service with sustainability.

Ruchi Rastogi, Founder Director Hunar Foundation – We are making products from newspapers. They don’t harm nature in any way. We are creating employment for some really marginalized people. We have to think inside out, not outside in. We are working on sustainability at the grass-root level. We make natural eco-friendly products as well. We are working on a very base level with sustainability.

Saurabh Bardhan, Founder Green Bandhu and co-founder Earthima Technologies – For me sustainability is like a rainy day with a bright sun in the sky and a triple rainbow. So the triple rainbow is your environment, society and economics. To get a confluence of all these things it is a difficult task. We should start thinking about how we want to see ourselves tomorrow. Unfortunately, corporates look at compliances. The system is designed in a way that if someone wants to start anything genuine finances, knowledge and they have to have all the resources and a host of other things. We need people to create for the next generation. It is karma. We also need to be realistic. 

Mariyam Khatri, Sustainability Expert, Adidas – It is about a take and throw away culture which needs to change and instead of that we to take some steps such as circularity for one. Like everything in the business or each organization must be responsible for their product. There should be a proper product liability in the business. That is the futuristic way to be able to back up sustainability within the terms of the business. 

A.S. Mehta, President, Indian Paper Manufacturers Association & President Director, JK Paper – When we are in the business sector we think sustainability is the bottom line. For the last 15 to 20 years the paper sector had initiated plantation of trees and not a single forest tree has been cut. What happens is that the implementation at the grass-root level is a difficult task. We need to have transparent enforcement for sustainable systems for small and medium players. I can take an oath that we need a paradigm shift in the minds of the people involved. We need to work on the ecosystem with our communities. We have been compromising for ages on the sustainability aspect. Because at one point of time when you need to see and achieve the competitiveness sometimes what happens is that you do whatever is necessary for it. What you ignore at that time is what is needed in the short and medium-term. There are measures being taken by the paper sector.  

Sudhir Mishra, Founder & Managing Partner - Trust Legal, India's Leading Media, Broadcasting, Music, Environment & Healthcare Law Firm - Even if COVID has come as a dampener to sustainability we will come out stronger. We work with all the government and private agencies. I have been practising environmental law for 20 years. Just before COVID came into our lives I was in the World Plastic Congress in Italy. The entire nation was talking about how to reduce plastics. Sustainability has gone through various challenges in India. If you talk about the forest and wildlife I don’t think any other country has seen the success we have seen. We have got huge forest cover, we have an amazing tiger population but if you talk about the challenges to the infrastructural development and the kind of population we have and how do we balance the need of this population with protecting our environment is a huge challenge for this country. We should focus on the goals of clean water, clean air etc.