Indian Inc has to move towards decarbonisation: Thermax MD & CEO

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August 1, 2020 4:10 AM

Once that happens, only what is sustainable on earth will be permissible in the future so the capital that the industry will be utilising whether human capital, financial capital or any other capital has got to be sustainable, he said.

In the coming days, CEOs will be rated not just for billions of top line or millions of bottom line created but for the amount of resources preserved, Unnikrishnan said.In the coming days, CEOs will be rated not just for billions of top line or millions of bottom line created but for the amount of resources preserved, Unnikrishnan said. (Representative image)

Decarbonisation will soon be part of the Indian boardroom agenda.

MS Unnikrishnan, managing director and chief executive of Thermax, said the country was at present dependent on equipment and technologies based on carbon while the world is moving towards decarbonisation so India needs to have a decarbonisation agenda in place in its corporate offices and boardrooms.

They would have to drive it down to individual decarbonisation and target reduction of carbon footprint of the company, the factories and its employees, Unnikrishnan said. He was speaking at the CII Green Conclave 2020 organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry over virtual platform.

In the coming days, CEOs will be rated not just for billions of top line or millions of bottom line created but for the amount of resources preserved, Unnikrishnan said.

“What is recycled, whether whatever you have consumed is biodegradable and if in the process any harm has been cause to the earth will be looked at.”

What carbon footprint the company’s growth plans leaves will become important. The model of continued growth in top line, increased profits /profitability and a good shareholder return will no longer be enough, Unnikrishnan said.

According to Unnikrishnan, integrated reporting that goes beyond financial reporting and adopts sustainable development goals is becoming mandatory across the world and currently only top 500 companies in India have to do this but integrated reporting will soon be extended to every company in India.

Once that happens, only what is sustainable on earth will be permissible in the future so the capital that the industry will be utilising whether human capital, financial capital or any other capital has got to be sustainable, he said.

He suggested sustainable development goals will be the prime motive and mover for industrialised world in future so let’s be prepared.

According to Unnikrishnan, the RBI governor, in a recent interaction with the Indian industry, articulated these very ideas and spoke on cleantech, green energy and climate change mitigation technologies being the second highest priority for country over the next 10 years.

Thermax MD said India was a water scarce and energy-deprived country and would have to move from a linear economy to a circular economy. Any resource taken from earth and used in the process of manufacturing cannot be linearly consumed every time so either you recycle or else whatever is remaining has to biodegradable and while doing this you cannot be causing damage to the earth anymore, he said.

In the next five to six years no industry would be allowed to release effluence into the clean water bodies nor will they be able to take fresh water, he warned Industry will not be able to consume any fresh water as availability becomes an issue and water gets reserved for people, agriculture and cattle. “Industry will have to go for sea water desalination or zero water discharge.”

When it comes to air pollution, Particulate Matter 2.5 is the greater challenge for the country and industry has to take care of this, too. As of now only larger polluters have to take care of SOx and NOx emissions but soon every chimney in the country will have to control these emissions and ensure clean air, Unnikrishanan said.

K S Venkatagiri, executive director of the CII-Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre, said there was a potential to have a $150 to $200-billion business of supplying these clean and green technologies to industries. The CII green council for entrepreneurship will help around 100 SMEs to scale up the green technologies market by three to five times in the next three years and the CII Green Business Council is ready to work with these companies, Venkatagiri said. Achieving efficiency on the environment front would need a lot of technology and these suppliers of these technologies would become extremely important for making companies efficient and innovative, Venkatagiri said.

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