Union Minister for Law & Justice and Minority Affairs, Government of India Salman Khurshid speaking at the Sustainability Summit
The CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development, an India-based apex body that creates a conducive, enabling climate for Indian businesses to pursue sustainability goals recently organized the sixth edition of the one-of-its-kind Annual Conference on sustainable development in the capital city. The two-day event called “Sustainability Solutions: Summit & Exhibition” was held at The Lalit Hotel on 25th and 26th November, 2011 and explored challenges, opportunities, and strategies for bringing sustainability solutions to Indian Businesses. The Summit was essentially a dialogue in a conference style where CEOs of leading organizations were present, including Ms. Roopa Kudva, Managing Director & CEO, CRISIL; Mr. S Gopalakrishnan, Vice President, CII and CEO & Managing Director, Infosys Ltd; Mr Sanjay Kirloskar, Chairman and Managing Director, Kirloskar Brothers Ltd.; R Mukundan, Managing Director, Tata Chemicals Ltd and Mr. Anil Sardana, Managing Director, Tata Power Ltd.
The Chief Guests for the Summit included prominent leaders such as Union Minister Salman Khurshid; Mr. Y. C. Deveshwar, Past President, CII, Chairman, CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development Advisory Council and Chairman, ITC Ltd; Mr. Harish Hande, Co-founder and Managing Director, Selco India and Ramon Magasasay awardee 2011; Dr. Gunter Pauli, Founder, Zero Emissions Research & Initiatives ITC Ltd; Mr. Suresh P Prabhu Chairperson, Council for Energy, Environment & Water and Dr. Veerappa Molly, Union Minster for Corporate Affairs. With a focus on significant topics such as corporate governance, vision of green economy, sustainable and inclusive innovation and much more, this year’s summit had a right blend of participants from large, medium, small and micro organizations, representing for profits, not for profits cooperatives and federations, private, public, NGOs and social entrepreneurs.
Following the success of the previous summits, the annual conference packed more substance by combining an exhibition to the conference where businesses of all sizes, social entrepreneurs, academia, consulting firms, industry and NGOs, national and international governments along with community based organizations represented themselves. The exhibition provided an excellent opportunity for the participants to exhibit their success stories and to present what a sustainable world would be in future. There were parallel sessions on subjects such as green economy, new energy revolution, business model innovation, speed dating for 4BN etc. CII-ITC Center of Excellence for Sustainable Development also unveiled its forthcoming thought piece-‘The Next in Corporate Governance’ supported by Ministry of Corporate Affairs and National Foundation of Corporate Governance. A first of its kind in the country, the report is based on an all-inclusive methodology working very closely with the Ministry and the industry and gives a broad perspective on how companies in India could move towards convergence of sustainable development and corporate governance.
Sharing her thoughts on the forthcoming conference and unveiling the report, Ms. Seema Arora, Executive Director, and CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development said, “The Sustainability Solutions Summit & Exhibition underscore the fact that, with a focused and a correct approach, sustainability is achievable by Indian organizations. Moreover, businesses will flourish if they have the foresight to address the issue of sustainability today and best business practices should include strong principles in their strategies. Businesses have to look at not just economics, but ecology too, and the summit very well addresses these facts”. The Sustainability Summit coupled with the exhibition was definitely a first step in the right direction and became an excellent platform to bring together government agencies, industry and the civil society. The foundation of sustainable development will indeed be laid on such a holistic approach involving the greening of industrial processes in an inclusive manner.