Mr Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, emphasised that India needs to develop its own model of sustainability. He was speaking at the inaugural session of the 14th Sustainability Summit of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in New Delhi on 28 August 2019.
Mr Kant offered a three-point agenda for development to be sustainable. These are eliminating single-use plastic; shared, connected and electric mobility; and tackling climate change. He stressed on the massive initiative of the government on the removal of single-use plastic as announced by the honourable Prime Minister during his Independence Day address.
Mr Kant elaborated that India’s sustainability challenges were a function of rapid urbanisation. Every minute 30 Indians move to urban areas. He expressed that for India to become a sustainable economy, urbanization needs to be dense, compact and mixed.
He added that for sustainable urbanization, mobility needs to be shared, connected and electric. India is committed to the Paris Accord and has already achieved 35% energy efficiency, being on track to meet the renewable energy target of 175 GW. The government is providing economic incentives in terms of lower interest on loans and deduction in tax for electric vehicles. He stressed that industry needs to play a key role, while Government would be a facilitator for such initiatives.
Bringing to light the importance of science and innovation for sustainable development, Mr Sanjiv Puri, Chairman and Managing Director, ITC Limited, and Chairman, Advisory Council of CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development, stated that for greater, effective and faster solutions to challenges for sustainability, cutting edge information, knowledge and science needs to be applied. Businesses have a very big role to play, since they are endowed with resources and managerial talents. Progress of business and society are intertwined, and one cannot succeed without another. When corporates make societal value creation a bedrock of corporate strategy, powerful drivers of innovation emerge to make growth more enduring as well as responsive to the needs to environment and society.
Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, Confederation of Indian Industry stated that partnerships between government and business are the heart and soul of a sustainable future.