President of India Confers CII-ITC Corporate Sustainability Awards 2012

Hon'ble President of India and Mr. Y. C. Deveshwar, ITC Chairman giving away the CII-ITC Sustainability Awards 2012

The CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development rewards Indian corporate houses that have developed sustainability strategies through tangible green initiatives and are creating real impact. The awards recognise the foresight of such companies which are driving an agenda that goes beyond incremental change, and also serves the purpose of motivating others. The awards are conferred to Indian business that demonstrate excellent performance in the area of Sustainable Development. The corporate greening Award ceremony for INDIA’S MOST SUSTAINABLE companies during the year 2012 took place in Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi on January 14, 2013. The ceremony was held in the presence of dignitaries and representative from the Government of India as well as leaders from the corporate world. The Chief Guest for the event, who also conferred the awards, was none other than the President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee.

Highlighting the need to promote sustainable industrialization in his keynote speech, the Hon’ble President noted, “Our country is the fourth biggest consumer of energy in the world, after the USA, China and Russia. Energy Intensity, a measure of energy efficiency of an economy that indicates the cost of converting energy into GDP, is higher for India than developed nations such as the UK, Germany, Japan and the USA. Thus, the high economic growth rate of above 8% per annum that we have envisaged for our country in the next five years could entail significant consumption of energy. We must vigorously pursue policies that promote energy efficiency.” The Hon’ble President informed that policies to reduce energy in the XI Fiver Year plan led to savings equivalent to 10,836 MW of avoided power generation. This, in monetary terms, has resulted in annual savings of about Rs. 3000 crore for the country. “But much more needs to be done as our journey towards pursuing sustainable development has only begun”, Hon’ble President concluded.

In his opening remarks Y.C. Deveshwar, former President, CII, Chairman, CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development Advisory Council and Chairman, ITC Limited, highlighted the importance and value of the Sustainability Award at  at a time that India faces challenges of resource constraint, environmental degradation growing population and poverty. Ajay Shriram, Vice-President, CII and Chairman & Senior Managing Director, DCM Shriram Consolidated Ltd also spoke about how the industry is acknowledging the need to institute sustainability in their day-to-day thinking and how many companies are adopting an internal Corporate Sustainability Index whereby they are developing internal indices to assess the effectiveness of their initiatives. His address was followed by Mr. Suresh Prabhu, Chairman, Jury, CII-ITC Sustainability Awards, and Chairman, Council for Energy, Environment and Water, who said that these award represent today’s India and are ‘holistic as they capture not only environmental issues but also social and economic issue.’ The Awards were then given out by the President to the 25 winners for the year 2012.

The CII-ITC Sustainability Awards winners are decided based on rigourous assessment which involves two stages and is an eight month long assessment with 1000 man hours dedicated to it. Tata Steel Limited and Tata Chemicals Limited, Haldia, both received the Sustainability Prize 2013. At the third level of recognition, Certificate of Commendation for Significant Achievement was awarded to the TVS Motor Company Ltd., Yes Bank Ltd., Hindustan Zinc Ltd., Bharat Aluminium Company Ltd., Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd., Infosys Ltd., Ambuja Cements Ltd., Bhoruka Power Corporation Ltd., Reliance Industries Limited – Hazira Manufacturing Division, ONGC – Hazira Plant and SAIL – Bhilai Steel Plant. Finally, the fourth-highest recognition, the Certificate of Commendation for Strong Commitment, was awarded to The Tata Power Company Ltd., Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Ltd. – Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, Toyota Kirloskar Motor Private Ltd., Mahindra Lifespace Developers Ltd., Steel Authority of India, Dalmia Cements (Bharat) Ltd., Mantri Developers Pvt. Ltd., JSW Steel Ltd. – Salem Works and BHEL – High Pressure Boiler Plant, Tiruchirappalli.

Corporate greening can indeed go a long way in ensuring sustainable development of India, which will further contribute to creating a sustainable planet. This was emphasized by Mr. Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII in this vote of thanks where he noted, “the time has come when we ingrain the concept of sustainability within the very framework of business and transform the way our businesses function.” The 2013 application cycle for CII-ITC Corporate Sustainability Awards will begin in April 2013.

Aastha Kukreti

Aastha Kukreti holds a Master’s degree in Environment Management and her areas of expertise range from waste management, pollution ecology, green audits, ecofeminism, environmental equity and social justice.

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