~ ITC, Bhadrachalam and Bangalore International Airport (BLR) receive the first GreenCo Rating award today ~
~ Green building market potential estimated to be 100 billion dollars ~
~ GoM providing water-bill subsidies to companies that recycle 20% water ~
So far preservation of environment was cited as the main reason for making businesses green. Today however, we have reached a point where the main driver for business to go green, is profit. This was the message from the first day of the Confederation of Indian Industry’s (CII) flagship summit, the ‘GreenCo Summit, 2012’ titled, “How to “GREEN your company”
GreenCo rating, the first of its kind green rating in the world, was initiated by CII with the intention of pushing the green agenda in the country. The first awards were given today.
ITC Limited, Bhadrachalam unit won the golden plaque and Bangalore International Airport won the silver plaque for their green initiatives.
Mr. R V Sonje, Deputy CEO – Environment & Chief Engineer, Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation, showed what MIDC is doing to go green. “As part of our initiative, any company that recycles 20% of their water gets rebate on their water bill. The idea is to give a monetary gain to the push for going green.”
He highlighted the need for cooperation between Large Scale Industries (LSI) and Small Scale Industries (SSI). “Treatment of waste has substantial cost. It is not possible for everyone to go for a completely integrated facility where you have waste recycling plant. Hence we not only encourage common infrastructure but are encouraging LSIs to take the initiative and contribute more to the green agenda that the SSIs,” Mr. Sonje said. He highlighted Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs) and Sewage Treatment Parks (STPs) constructed across Maharashtra and talked about utilising them to their potential.
Mr. Firdose Vandervala, Chairman & Managing Direcor, HIRCO, said, “Our society is overusing every kind of resource. It won’t be long before we reach our limit. To avert this disaster we have to cooperate and go green together.”
Talking about the industry he said, “Industry has today realised that ecological sustainability is important for business because it helps reduce the consumption of energy, water and resources making industry that much more competitive and profitable. Going green has never made better business sense than now.”
He went on, “Market potential for green building is estimated to be 100 billion dollars. This may trigger entrepreneurship.” The biggest challenge for businesses to go green, he believes, is attitudinal.
Mr. Pradeep Bhargava, Chairman, Greenco Summit 2012 & Chairman, CII (WR) said, “Most people have a myth that development and environment can’t co exist. Just like we dispelled another myth of quality and quantity not being compatible, we have to do the same for development and sustainability.”
He further urged the industry to own up to going green. “The Green agenda is ours. Let us not outsource it to the government. We have to solve it ourselves and we have the resources and flexibility to do so. And just as you don’t leave profitability to the government, you shouldn’t leave green to them as well.”
Bringing the looming recession and green agenda together, he said, “I have always believed that there is a business case for going green. The economy is down, so you might as well go green and make more sense of it. Just the way you do production and operation efficiency during business downturn, so you might as well take the opportunity to go green.”
Mr. Lindsey K Parnell, President & CEO, InterfaceFLOR Europe, Middle East, Africa and India, talked about how his company that has been one of the global pioneers in the green industry movement managed to do so. He laid out their secret to how they saved a whooping Euro 430 million by going green, “Set ambitious targets that inspire people, have the courage to face up to tough challenges, link the sustainability strategy to the business case, create a culture of ‘there has to be a better way’, lead from the top with visible and sustained commitment from senior executives, Inform, engage and motivate employees to put the strategy into action, encourage a dialog with employees and be open to their ideas and use employee creativity to come up with solutions to the challenge.”
He added, “The fact that there is a business case in going green will become a business imperative soon enough.”
A CII Environment Directory and GreenCo reference material was also released during the event.
Mr. S Raghupathy, Executive Director, CII – Soharabji Godrej Green Business Centre, said, “The vision of CII is to make India a developed country by 2022. To achieve that India must be a global player in key industries. India must achieve world class status in the green business. The purpose is to enable Indian businesses to pursue world class ratings that will transform green markets. Together as a combination, a bulk of our industry can be made greener. We believe that green rating will impact 1000 companies by 2015.”
For years Industry has looked down at green as being optional. What emerged from the first day of the summit is that if a company wants to maximise profit, being green is no longer an option. It has become a necessity.