SustainPlus 3C Newsletter – Circular, Climate & Community
Founded in 2016, SustainPlus is an award winning multi-disciplinary advisory & consultancy. We work on a twofold approach to attain goals aligned with our clients’ initiatives – identifying opportunities and developing pioneering business cases, to make sustainability a source of perennial value creation. We believe that the key to achieving long-term resilience across any sectors is only through a business-first approach to sustainability. By adopting a sustainability agenda, businesses attract a win-win situation – for the planet, people and profits. The theme for this times quarterly newsletter is centered on Climate Action & Resilience. Read on to find out about the latest trends and opportunities that materialized in 2020.
A CIRCULAR REALITY
Circular Economy (CE) has taken over the development debates, resource security related discourses and sustainable development. The focus is on three areas key to the Indian economy and society: cities and construction, food and agriculture, and mobility and vehicle manufacturing. A circular economy trajectory could bring India annual benefits of ₹40 lakh crore (USD 624 billion) by 2050, and would in addition reduce negative externalities. Greenhouse gas emissions, for example, would be 44% lower in 2050 compared to the current development path.
BOLD CLIMATE COMMITMENTS
Over 1000 companies across the globe spanning various sectors have set science based targets and have committed to become carbon neutral before 2030. This involves a myriad of efforts including investment in clean technology and transportation, more effective incorporation of sustainability principles into operations, and greener supply chains amongst others.
ESG TRENDS IN 2020
Sustainability credentials and rankings now feature as a top priority for investors. In a move to improve their ESG performance, certain companies are linking their top management’s bonuses to how effectively they are able to deliver on defined ESG targets. Just as investors begin to estimate the physical damage of their assets due to climate change, the regulatory scene may also serve as a deterrent with several cities moving towards net zero building standards.
THE RISE OF GREEN MICROGRIDS
Microgrids are amongst the most popular trends of the year. As electrical interruptions and power scarcity increase due to worsening climate change, organizations need reliable and resilient infrastructure. This, coupled with the increasing affordability of this investment has led to its implementation across many sectors including commercial, military, infrastructure, and industrial.
INVESTING IN SUSTAINABILITY & CLIMATE RESILIENCE
Even with government level interventions, GHG emissions are still increasing by 1.5 percent every year! That would mean a 5 degree rise in temperature by 2100, which is catastrophic for all of us and the future generations. The coming decade is one of the most important decades for all humanity – this decade will determine whether humanity can limit warming to 1.5°C or even 2°C.
A smarter way to make business grow!
Climate action is frequently perceived as a trade-off with other business priorities. In reality, pursuing climate action and sustainability offers client tremendous cost benefits and the opportunity to boost brand perception across the value chain.
At SustainPlus, we provide solutions that can help simultaneously help achieve the global net zero target and avail tangible benefits.
by Anu Chaudhary (CEO & Founder)
The year 2020, will forever be remembered as a year of great transformation. Looking ahead , I am certain the year 2021 is going to be a year of fast paced recovery with a greater focus on resilience or like the hashtag suggests “#buildbackbetter”.
The entire world has been rapidly evolving and adapting to the uncertainties of the pandemic. Within the same year not only were we able to create and use new innovative tools that have permanently changed the way we work, but also developed a vaccine against the deadly coronavirus! Clearly, when we humans stand united, we become a force to reckon with.
This year has also proved to us that new solutions, no matter how big or radical, can be easily integrated into our society. Which can only mean a sustainable transformation is well within our reach if we start acting now!
- Circular Economy & Operational Excellence Strategies
- Carbon accounting/ GHG Inventorization
- Carbon sequestration assessment & carbon offsets Science Based Targets & Carbon Neutrality
- Forest coverage & conservation
- Disaster, risk & change management
- Water footprint assessment & water positive status
- Waste management & zero waste to landfill status
- Resource optimization& Energy Conservation
- Renewable Energy solutions & RE100
Our success stories of 2020: ESG Performance Evaluation & Reporting
Globally, Investors are increasingly seeking ESG information to enhance their understanding of risks that could affect companies’ market value over time. This perspective is directly in line with recent proof that many such ESG focused funds and assets outperformed the market during the recent downturn of February and March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Such investor relevant information can easily be communicated through ESG disclosure frameworks like CDP, Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), GRI Principles for Sustainability Reporting, International Integrated Reporting Framework, Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB),United Nations Global Compact.
The year 2019-2020 saw us work with a companies from diverse sectors like an international automotive firm, a multinational leisure and hospitality firm, an agri/ farm business and an Indian alloy & special steel manufacturer. Not only were we able to highlight environmental and climate-related risks and opportunities but we also successfully managed to survey and engage over 2500 internal and external stakeholders.
Additionally, the ESG driven frameworks we have developed for some of our clients have, over a period of 2 years, been merged seamlessly into their Enterprise Risk Management. This gives us the assurance that sustainability is at the core of business.
Our success stories of 2020: Circular Supply Chain & Sustainable Supply Chain Management
4 sectors have enormous potential for applying Renewable Energy & Circular Economy – Agriculture, Automotive, Construction and Electronics – which account for 2/3rds of the expenditure of an average Indian household.
In agriculture, there exists multiple points for interventions that include adoption of resource efficient input technologies (such as drip irrigation), biomass energy generation, cold chains, and shelf life enhancing packaging. Along the value chain of automotive sector, small and medium enterprises hold the most potential for resource efficiency across the value chain, while managing End of Life Vehicles (ELV) would be critical in view of 21 million vehicles reaching the end-of-life stages by 2030.
Processing and recycling of construction and demolition wastes is critical in aligning the construction sector with circularity.
In electronics, designing upgradable and repairable products and establishing a functional reverse logistic network are the two most important focal points. Above all, they must commit to a green philosophy and incorporate green manufacturing practices into their product lifecycle and supply chain operations.
We worked closely with 4 of our clients to develop a sustainable supply chain management strategy using key practices that are helping them gain consistent financial benefits. The strategy included developing a green procurement policy for their companies, a custom roadmap on how to work towards a sustainable value chain, to a robust supplier engagement strategy and a dynamic scorecard assessment methodology.
Our success stories of 2020: Carbon Neutraity
What ? Over a period of 13 months we aided 7 multi-national organizations commit, set, approve and announce Science Based Targets! What one must note is that so far there are 1000 Companies across the globe taking science-based climate action and just 14 of them from India who have their targets set!
Who? Some of the corporate leaders that we worked with are the first in their sector( hospitality, automotive, pharmaceutical and real estate) to come forward and set stringent targets for their organizations against scenario 1.5 degrees.
Another major automotive company that we work with, has also chosen several large community development based carbon reduction projects across India as a part of their carbon neutrality strategy
Benefits Gained- Apart from great environmental resiliency , these businesses, internally, will witness significant improvements in their overall operational efficiencies (will look into better and innovative process interventions, heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment, along with greater use of renewable energy, efficient lighting, and improved infrastructure.) Externally, By setting such a target companies are ensuring their operations remain lean and efficient, and are building resilience against a future where resources – particularly those derived from fossil fuels – will become increasingly scarce and expensive.
Our Success stories of 2020: CSR Project Net Zero Communities- Waste, Energy & Water
What ? As a kick off to our net zero communities project we initiated with Project Zero Waste which was centered on creating behavioral change with respect to the collection, segregation of waste including plastic waste, by encouraging citizens to do their Extended Citizen Responsibility (ECR). Who? Under this project we worked closely with RWAs, Schools, Corporate and Institutes to create a zero-waste strategy. We helped institutes and organization develop key policies, programs and implementation decisions.
Impact Generated – Overall we conducted awareness sessions across 42 Educational Institutes and 4 Housing societies. Through capacity building sessions the participants learnt the relevance of 4Rs in waste management, how to create a multi-stakeholder advisory board and how to define quantitative targets for the mid- term (within 10 years) and long- term (within 20 years). This project catered to 1,50,000 beneficiaries. And after just 7 months of implementing this project, 20 tons of plastic was successfully diverted from landfills, recycled, and even refashioned into new products.
This victory was one of our biggest social innovation of 2020 as not only did we manage to translate awareness into action but helped set up a formal recycling chain for over 1,00,000 citizens in Pune. Now as we look ahead, we will work with the old and new stakeholders to develop a net zero roadmap targeting solid waste mgmt., green energy, water conservation and green buildings.
Saving our planet, lifting people out of poverty, advancing economic growth… these are one and the same fight. We must connect the dots between climate change, water scarcity, energy shortages, global health, food security and women’s empowerment. Solutions to one problem must be solutions for all.