New Delhi, 06/12/19: Today, United Nations Global Compact Network India in association with BMW India group organized the 4th edition of India Sustainability Dialogue.
The platform enabled discussion on social, economic and environmental challenges that India faces and a possible road map to address them which will contribute to achieving the SDGs by 2030.
India’s progress on meeting the Paris Agreement, importance of a circular economic model for a resource growth country like India, role of CSR initiatives in transforming the SDG agenda, were some key themes of India Sustainability Dialogue 4.0.
The inauguration session began with the welcome address by Chairman Emeritus at CIDC – Uddesh Kohli.
The Welcome address was followed by opening remarks by Rudrajeet Singh, President and CEO at BMW Group India. Singh, in his address, talked about the key milestones that BMW India is looking to achieve under the 17 SDG’s. He said “We are focusing on the holistic approach to reduce the carbon emission using renewable energy. We will be reducing the carbon emissions by 15℅ in upcoming years. In our newly set up Chennai plant we use 40 ℅ of solar energy.”
He also emphasized on the use of electric vehicles and said the future of electric mobility is bright in India. “Government is also supporting the move and we are trying to reach half a million electric vehicles.” Singh added.
Accenture Strategy India, MD & Partner – Vishvesh Prabhakar, in his theme address, stated, Climate change, Resources overconsumption and Resource inequality as the major challenges to the Sustainable Development Goals.
While delivering a special address, Bishow Parajuli, Country Director, UN World Food Programme, acknowledged India’s achievements in overcoming poverty and hunger while stating that there’s a lot more that needs to be done. He shared the measures they have been taken to counter hunger which results in every third child in the world being undernourished.
The Keynote Address was delivered by the British Deputy High Commissioner, Jan Thompson who talked about India’s potential to meet one-half of the Global SDGs burden alone. She also stated India’s achievements in meeting SDGs including lifting one quarter of people from extreme poverty and increasing the adult literacy rate.
The inaugural session was concluded with the address by Kamal Singh, Executive Director, UN GCNI who acknowledged the huge role of India in meeting SDG’s Globally by stating “If India achieves sustainability targets, the world would achieve it by 50%.”
After a short break, the gathering was back in the hall to witness different perspectives on interesting themes that will ultimately impact the sustainability goals.
The first panel discussion of the day was organized to discuss, “Climate action: Moving economy grey to green” where the panelists formed a consensus over having more concrete plans and more ambition from countries and businesses. “We need all financial institutions, public and private, to choose, once and for all to move towards green economy together,” One panelist said.
One of the panelist, Aarushi Nishank, Chairperson, Sparsh Ganga presented the data on how the environment is being harmed. She said, “Every year we are cutting 7 billion trees, releasing 1.9 lakh liters of sewage water to ganga. This thing will certainly not allow us to achieve the SDG’s.” She said.
Second panel discussion was organized to discuss ‘Circular Economy’ in detail. The high panel discussed upon how to catalyze the adoption of innovations within the sector, with a larger aim to help foster cross learning which would impact the emerging sector of circular economy.
During the question answer session one of the person from audience stated his concern over the waste that is being generated because of the new ways that we are using to harness renewable energy.
While delivering Keynote Address during the Velidetary session, the Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog said, “Concurring the nature has never been our tradition, infact, nature has been an integral part of Indian culture.”
He also talked about the need for different model of transportation and said, “We can’t accommodate more cars on the road in upcoming future.”
The event concluded with Akshay Kasera from Accenture sharing the valuable key takeaways for the delegates.