India’s Net Zero Development model should follow the Farm to the Green Frontier route and not the traditional Farm to Factory, which is not sustainable, said Shri Jayant Sinha, Chairperson of standing committee on Finance, Parliament of India and BJP Lok Sabha Member of Parliament from Hazaribagh, Jharkhand.


Shri Sinha was speaking at the third edition of Bombay Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s annual Sustainability Conclave themed ‘Sustainability for Growth and Value Creation’.


He said that India must bend the curve now, create more green jobs and combine digitisation with decarbonisation to reach our Net Zero targets. “Continuous innovation can help us get to the Green Frontier and beyond. The Green Frontier Development Model includes the following actions: Convert electricity system to renewables and build out storage and grid infrastructure; Mandate 100% EVs by 2035 for all transportation except for heavy vehicles and aviation; Integrate with global Carbon Trading System with Carbon pricing and necessary duties and Massively scale up disruptive green businesses in areas such as Green Hydrogen, biofuels, distributed energy,” he added.


The event, which was held at the Four Seasons Hotel Mumbai, was attended by the who’s who of industry. In his welcome address, Mr Ritesh Tiwari, President Bombay Chamber and CFO for HUL and Unilever South Asia, and independent director, ONDC Board, said, “These days, while the importance of Sustainability is undeniable, a question I still often get is on how we can all operate at the sweet spot of business and sustainability. This reflects the journey we each still need to take because a sweet spot seems to suggest that business and sustainability are two different circles in a Venn diagram with a limited sphere of overlap. They are not. Business needs to operate 100% in the sphere of sustainability – it is a subset of it. It is the same spot. It is existential.”


The Conclave also hosted a Fireside Chat between Mr Abhijit Ghorpade, Director, State Climate Action Cell, Department of Environment and Climate Change, Government of Maharashtra and Anirban Ghosh, Chairperson, Sustainability Committee, Bombay Chamber & Head – Centre for Sustainability, Mahindra University. “The State’s Climate Action plan has now given equal importance to adaptation and mitigation. For the first time, climate finance has also been included in the plan with 11.95% state funds being earmarked for climate activities.” Commenting on the choice between development and environment, Ghorpade said that there is always an opportunity cost. He cited the example of Majhi Vasundhara Abhiyaan 3.0, an holistic movement initiated by the Environment and Climate Change Department, Government of Maharashtra. “Nearly 22,000 village panchayats in the state participated in this. About 2 crore trees were planted and 16,000+ green spaces were created, and 175-megawatt solar power plants were installed.”


Some of the esteemed speakers in the three panel discussions at the Sustainability Conclave included Anjali Bansal, founder, Avaana Capital; R. Mukundan, MD & CEO of Tata Chemicals; Rajiv Anand, Deputy Managing Director, Axis Bank; Satish Mandhana, Senior Managing Director & Chief Investment Officer, Eversource Capital; Abhishek Poddar, India Country Head, Macquarie Group; Kavita Saha, Managing Director, Head of Infrastructure & Sustainable Energies, India, CPP Investments, Investissements RPC; Manish Chourasia, Managing DIrector, Tata Cleantech Capital; Dhruba Purkayastha, India Director & USICEF Director (US India Clean Energy Finance); Padmanabh Sinha, Executive Director & CIO, Private Equity, National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF). The moderators were Nisha Poddar, Market Anchor & Editor – M&A, CNBC-TV18; Madhura Mitra, Executive Director, Climate Change and Sustainability, PwC India and Raman Kalra, Vice President & Senior Partner, Communications Sector Leader & Sustainability Consulting Leader, IBM.


This conclave was supported by HUL, HSBC , PwC & DTDC


At the Conclave, Bombay Chamber also announced the third edition of its Workplace Safety Awards. Dow Chemical International Pvt. Ltd, Mumbai Office was the winner in the 100-500 Employees Category while Lanxess India Pvt Ltd, Thane Office was the Runner up. In the 500+ Employees Category, Godrej Industries Limited, Mumbai was the winner with Sanofi, Sanofi House, Mumbai,as the First Runner up and Tata AIG General Insurance Company Limited, Peninsula Business Park, Mumbai, the Second Runner up. There was also a Special Category (Construction) Award given to the Mumbai Coastal Road Project Package 4, L&T Heavy Civil Infrastructure, Mumbai.

On the same evening, Bombay Chamber celebrated its 188th Foundation Day where Mr Rohit Jawa President, Unilever, South Asia and CEO and Managing Director, Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) was the Chief Guest. In his Keynote Address, Mr Jawa highlighted the uniqueness of India’s growth journey and said, “India’s growth will be supported by both the manufacturing and services industries. While most growing economies depend on export markets, India is witnessing a rise in consumption. This presents a huge headroom for growth and opportunities.” He added that favourable demographics and the ‘Make in Inda’ drive will also provide impetus for growth. “ The five key areas the nation needs to work on include creating employment, boosting employability, women’s participation in the workforce, strengthening the rural economy and being cognizant of the climate crisis, he said.


Later, Dr. Sachchidanand Shukla, Chairman, Economic Policy, Research & Development, Bombay Chamber & Group Chief Economist, Larsen & Toubro presented the key highlights of Bombay Chamber’s 6th Economic Outlook Survey.


The Foundation Day was attended by Board members, past presidents and leading industry stalwarts.

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