NEW DELHI, 6 March 2018: Mr. PP Chaudhary, Minister of State for Law & Justice and Corporate Affairs, today urged industry to look at sustainable development issues relevant to different regions in the country and avoid a 'one size fits all' approach to meet the growing requirements of building robust companies and an inclusive and responsive society.
Addressing FICCI's 'India Sustainability Conclave 2018' on theme Balancing business goals in a sustainable paradigm, Mr. Chaudhry said that good corporate governance was not just a means of enhancing long term value for companies but also to provide lasting benefits tot consumers and other stakeholders. Corporates, therefore, need to look beyond the four walls of their companies and strive to match the drive to become responsible and accountable entities with the benevolent impact of their actions on the environment and society, he emphasised.
The Minister said the role of corporates in CSR and delivery of SDGs was important as the amount spent by them on CSR activity was much higher than government spending on development. This is borne out by CSR data captured in the National CSR portal which disseminates CSR-related data and information filed by the companies registered with it.
On the occasion, Mr. Chaudhry launched a FICCI compilation titled 'Corporates for Change'.
Mr. Ashok Chawla, Chairman, National Stock Exchange of India Ltd & Former Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, in his address, underlined the need for a full-time Chief Sustainability Officer who could push the sustainability agenda of a company. He affirmed that the global corporate community had realised that resources were finite and they needed to be used efficiently. He said the delivery mechanism and implementation needed to be strengthened, else valuable resources would be lost. While acknowledging that multilateral and bilateral funds had dried up as they were being diverted to countries like Africa, there were funds available which focused on green issues and those could be tapped by the Indian corporates.
Mr. Lorenzo Pavone, Deputy Head, Partnerships and Networks Unit, OECD Development Centre, in his presentation, spelt out the opportunities and challenges for corporates in building better businesses for 2030 with SDGs at the core. He said companies that are more sustainable are more competitive, sustainability increases access to markets, leads to technological innovations and attracts talent. However, for businesses the route of sustainable development was full of challenges in the shape of the SDGs' awareness gap, dilemma of reconciling profitability, risk management and sustainability, of seeing SDGs as a strategic part of core business, inclusion of sustainability in management education, lack of coordination across supply chains, addressing SMEs engagement with SDGs through MNCs and measuring progress against SDGs.
Mr. V Parthasarathy, Chairman, FICCI CFO Council & Group CFO & CIO, Member of the Executive Board, Mahindra & Mahindra Group, said that the four pillars of sustainable business were devising a framework for sustainability, strategic action at the grassroots level, looking at global and national actions being taken and the risks and opportunities associated in the pursuit of sustainable business.
Mr. Dilip Chenoy, Director General, FICCI also shared his perspective on the issue.
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