Indian industry contributes significantly to the national economy, but not without a corresponding amount of pressure on the environment. In this decade of action, business must focus on climate risk mitigation to ensure business sustainability and safeguard the society from the impact climate change and sustainability issues.

To achieve this, a holistic framework which will drive the entire ecosystem through a collaborative approach towards set goals is the need of the hour. A clearly defined vision can drive the critical changes towards a sustainable future.

CII Vision 2030 on Climate Change and Sustainability

The CII Vision 2030 on Climate Change and Sustainability envisages that, by year 2030, India will achieve an industrial sector that is low carbon, circular and collaborative, with a focus on balanced ecosystems. Low Carbon, Circularity, Collaborations and Balanced Ecosystems form the four pillars of this Vision. 

This vision lays out the aspirations for 2025 and 2030 under these four pillars, each marked with pathways, intervention areas and enablers. The pathways are overall guiding frameworks, while the intervention areas talk about specific aspects that will require action from industry. The document also offers enablers for each of these intervention areas – policy/regulatory actions required, technology inputs, finance, and industry awareness, to drive them to the desired outcomes.

  1. Pillar 1- Low Carbon

The ‘Low Carbon’ pillar lays emphasis on the de-carbonization journey of Indian industry, primarily through the transition to Renewable Energy (RE), adoption of green technologies, and the development of carbon markets. Unfortunately, despite price optimisation and aggressive augmentation of RE capacity, industry has not been able to fully leverage the benefits of these measures, largely because the distribution mechanisms are very complex. 

A smooth transition will require collective advocacy for reforms. Green hydrogen is increasingly gaining momentum, riding on policy focus. The commercial viability of carbon capture, utilization and storage, though, remains a topic of debate for industry, particularly for the ‘hard-to-abate’ sectors. We also need to proactively approach the institutionalization of a carbon market in the context of international business, especially after the COP26 Glasgow agreement.

  • Pillar 2- Circularity

The second pillar of ‘Circularity’ looks at altering business models from a ‘produce and sell’ mindset to a more conscious ‘reuse and recycle’ approach. Under the CII Vision 2030, circularity embraces both a renewed business model as well as technology aspects. Achieving circularity through new business models will require us to fundamentally change the way we produce and distribute our goods and services, and, alongside, influence our customers to generate demand for these new sustainable goods and services. 

This will only be possible through the adoption of technologies that can provide us insights on how our customers use the goods and services we produce, how they dispose of them, and how well we can bring these back into our systems and processes. In India, where a significant proportion of waste management lies with the informal sector, the pursuit of a truly circular economy will also depend on how well we collaborate with local informal players and empower them to be more effective and efficient.

  • Pillar 3- Collaborations

The third pillar, ‘Collaborations’, is about sharing common but differentiated responsibilities for all our efforts – towards de-carbonization, circularity, or creating balanced ecosystems. A ‘just transition’ that works for everyone in the economic value chain will require collaborations to share the burden of upfront costs that may not be economically viable for one player in isolation. 

We, as industry, will also need to work with the Government to create the right signals and incentives to enable us to remain competitive in global markets. Technology and finance, the key drivers of sustainable action, will also require collaborations so that the pioneering actions trickle down to the last industrial units in the value chains. 

  • Pillar 4- Balanced Ecosystems

This pillar is about the protection and conservation of our natural ecosystems. We see addressing water scarcity as the major challenge of the decade. It is also critical to promote sustainable agriculture as a source of livelihood for people, and of raw material for industry, while conserving biodiversity as a support system for all life forms and ecological balance. We must make concerted efforts in this direction, collectively mobilizing resources, to halt further losses immediately, and restore and protect the natural ecosystems around us.

The coming decade calls for concentrated efforts towards building a climate-resilient future, aligning with the ‘Decade of Action’ for delivering the Global Goals of the United Nations. This can come only from collaborative action towards emissions reduction, water-use efficiency, climate-smart agriculture, and a shift from the ‘take-make-waste’ approach towards conscious preservation of natural ecosystems.

To know more, read the CII Vision 2030 – Climate Change and Sustainability report.

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