Given the fundamental axiom that sustainability is about maximizing social and environmental ‘good’, it requires an engagement template that emphasizes informed advocacy of the underlying issues amongst all stakeholders. Each stakeholder – Business, Government, Academia, and Civil Society – brings a dynamic and energy to the table that is unique and complementary. We think that industry’s role must go beyond its own boundaries and should be one that seeks to vigorously promote advocacy of sustainability challenges. In doing so, the conscious emphasis must be on the difficult and the long term in preference to the easy and the short term.
Our areas of focus on policy and advocacy have centered on Water, Energy and Climate Change, e-Waste, Education and Diversity. We work through different industry platforms as well as with research partners who carry expertise in these domains.
Our primary identified stakeholders for public policy and advocacy are
- Relevant government ministries and departments, both at the center and the states where we operate in; Our interactions have been largely with the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, and Ministry of Corporate Affairs
- Industry networks and associations play a crucial role as catalysts for awareness, advocacy and action on the multiple dimensions of sustainability; by providing a common platform for industry representatives to share and exchange ideas and practices, industry association can help foster a virtuous cycle of feedback led improvement. Industry networks also lend strength and credibility in the dialogue process with government on important matters of policy and directives. The industry networks that we have been an integral part of are:
- The CII-Godrej Green Business Center (GBC)
- The CII-ITC Center for Sustainable Development
- CII National Environment Committee
- The TERI-CBS (Council for Business Sustainability) forum
- The CII led Indian Business for Biodiversity Initiative (CIIIBBI)
- The Leaders for Nature (LFN) framework of the India, Chapter of the International Union of Conservation Networks (IUCN)
- U.N. Global Compact (UNGC)
- Research and Advocacy NGOs: Issues like Energy, Climate Change, Water, Biodiversity, Community Education, Health etc. require strong civil society involvement as the third pillar along with government policy and business engagement. NGOs and academic institutions, by combining the right blend of field work and academic rigor can generate valuable insights that can inform the work of practitioners, policy makers and industry professionals. Illustrative examples of such organizations that we work with are : Carbon Disclosure Project in the area of Climate Change, BIOME and ACWADAM in the area of Water, ATREE and IUCN ( India chapter) in the areas of Biodiversity , and our network of nearly 30 education partners across the country.