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Role of Corporates in Advancing Climate Education in India
BW Businessworld’s second edition of the BW Sustainable World Conclave also celebrating India’s Most Sustainable Companies, was held on the 30th of March, 2022 in the Capital at The Imperial Hotel
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The theme of the conclave was – New Horizons. Chaired by Sudhir Mishra, Founding and Managing Partner, Trust Legal, the first panel discussion for the day was on the topic of – “Role of Corporates in Advancing Climate Education in India”. The eminent speakers were Bose Varghese, Head - Green Initiatives, Infosys, Chandni Khosla, Joint General Manager, Sustainability & ESG, HDFC, Mita Nangia Goswami, Education for Sustainable Development, Project of Swiss Agency for Development and Corporation in Mongolia, P.S. Narayan, Global Head, Sustainability & Social Initiatives, Wipro and Sandeep Chandna, Chief Sustainability Officer, Tech Mahindra.
The panel discussion began with Sudhir Mishra, the session chairperson, making his opening statement by saying, “There is some good news and some bad news. The good news is that at the time of independence, our forest cover was 9% while at present it is at 16%. A lot of institutions have played a major role. India’s climate situation is a different reality from the rest of the world. Companies have started appreciating the sustainability first model. The bad news is that in most of the world rankings, such as the trust deficient, happiness deficient, India is ranked at 150 or 160, 150 to 160 so far as the sustainability is concerned.” Sandeep Chandna mentioned that the journey on sustainability started 15 to 16 years ago, where they were still figuring out what it means starting from people profit environments, triple bottom line etc. There is a lot of data that has to studied, according to him.
Chandni Khosla stated that, “The environment and social impact assessment or risk framework did not exist for the longest time across various banks.” She also said they reached out to a lot of banks about environment and social safeguards when undertaking project finance. P.S. Narayan focussed on sustainability education and said that, “We started the sustainability journey in 2006-2007 and that has to do a lot with our employees who were typically young and looked to work in a certain kind of company, that has a strong sense of business responsibility. That is a critical factor in how companies start and evolve when it comes to sustainability.”
Bose Verghese spoke about green initiatives and carbon education which is very important as well. He stated, “We look to where we are creating adverse impacts and how to address them.” On the other hand, Mita Nangia Goswami who represented a country, which is doing a lot on environment protection, mentioned, “I am working in Mongolia with the Ministry of Education and Environment. How our education system functions perhaps lies at the root of the kind of citizens we are building. Climate change and loss of biodiversity around us is done through humankind.”
On a conclusive note, we can say that education in the last decade has changed a lot and people are working towards not only profits but also in building a sustainable environment.
You can watch the complete panel here: