Sustainability Summit, 2013

FIIB’s conducted it’s 3rd, one of a kind, Sustainability Summit, on the occasion of FIIB’s 19th Founder’s Day on 21st Februray 2013

The Sustainability Summit was hosted by the Sustainability Development Centre or SDC which was founded by FIIB in 2011 with the aim of contributing to sustainability development in the developing world. The SDC is unique in its integration of diverse interests to develop creative, balanced, and achievable solutions to the environmental, economic and social challenges facing organisations and communities.

The inaugural session was graced by the key note speaker, Ms Anita George, Regional Industry Director, Asia Infrastructure and Natural Resources, IFC, Ms. Radhika Srivastava, Executive Director and Member of the Governing Board, FIIB, Mr. Manish Kheterpal, Chairman and Member of the Governing Board, Dr. AK Sinha, Director FIIB; and Dr. K B C Saxena, Dean and Chair of the SDC and a tribute was given to our late founder.

According to Ms Anita George, Sustainability is the capacity to endure. For humans, sustainability is the potential for long-term maintenance of well being, which has environmental, economic, and social dimensions.  IFC introduced Sustainability as a main plank of our business 15 years ago.  “I remember when we first began we IFC staff and clients thought that being sustainable was adding to cost rather than an opportunity to minimize life time costs and create opportunity”, she said.

IFC is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector – the global leader in private sector development finance. They create opportunity for people – to escape poverty and improve their lives. Driven by their vision and purpose, they make a unique contribution
to development. They invest, advise, mobilize capital, and manage assets – providing solutions for an inclusive and sustainable world. Building Prosperity, Eradicating Poverty in a sustainable way is what IFC does.

IFC sees a huge role of private sector in promoting sustainability.  Typically they think of sustainability as Renewable Energy which is a very important core.  They see sustainability in much broader way.  It is a way of doing business which will endure. People should have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives in a sustainable manner is what motivates IFC.

Innovation is the key to sustainability. Each year, the World Economic Forum selects 25 technology companies that have the potential to transform business and society. In 2011, they selected IFC equity client Attero – an Indian e-waste recycling firm. Attero is the only recycling company in India operating across the full spectrum of e-waste management. The company has developed a recycling technology to extract metals and plastics from e-waste, such as computers and mobile phones. In the process it has created jobs, reduced pollution and conserved metal resources. IFC Advisory team is working with Attero to incorporate into its business groups of low-skilled workers who collect and informally recycle most of India’s e-waste.

What is the impact? Providing companies with reliable power could boost annual job growth by at least 4 percent. In 2003, IFC committed a loan of $75 million to Powerlinks Transmission Limited, a joint-venture company, to construct power transmission lines to carry hydropower from Bhutan to northern and eastern states in India. This project has a significant effect on poverty, as the transmission lines were constructed through some of the poorest states in India. Estimates show that the construction, maintenance, and operation of the lines will create about 9,700 direct and indirect jobs over the 25-year life of the project. In addition, the second-order growth effects of the increased supply of power and its improved reliability have generated 75,000 jobs from 2006 to 2012, of which 4600 jobs were created in West Bengal.

In India, more than 50 million farmers depend on sugarcane cultivation for their livelihood. IFC is working with DCM Sriram Sugar Limited, DSCL, a major sugar company in India, to improve the productivity of farmers in its supply chain by training them on advanced farming techniques. As a result, the productivity of farmers who received training is estimated to have increased by 86%, compared with a 19% increase among farmers who did not receive training. This successful business model will reach 50,000 farmers in DSCL’s supply chain and also be replicated by other companies in India’s sugar sector.

IFC is working on developing innovative and environmentally sustainable solutions with the private sector. IFC conducted a cleaner production assessment of plant sites of our client, JK Paper Limited. The assessment covered operational sustainability in five areas – Energy, Water, Raw Materials, Technology, Operations and suggested way forward. Through this initiative, JK Paper reduced greenhouse gases of over 67,000 tons of CO2e/year (equal to taking12,270 cars off of the roads for a year).it generated water savings of 3.4 million cubic  meters (equivalent water consumption of  75,000 average Indian households). It generated electricity of 30 GWh (equivalent energy consumption of 9110 average Indian households).

IFC works with Lanka Orix Leasing Company Micro Credit Limited, LOMC to provide group lending to improve lives in post-conflict Sri Lanka. With IFC’s investment and advice, the company offered a new type of loan to a group of people who lost everything (homes, jobs, businesses) in a region emerging from conflict. This loan helps them start a small business and does not require collaterals as security against loans. LOMC has benefitted 100,000 micro and small entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka. The company is now scaling up its activities in Northern and Eastern parts to bring financial services to those who need it the most.  Many banks consider lending to small and medium enterprises too risky and cumbersome. IFC has shown that it is actually about customizing financing as part of a larger business strategy. The short term SME Liquidity Facility is of $105 million to four partner banks including BRAC Bank. IFC responded to a major foreign currency liquidity crisis in 2011 by establishing the liquidity facility. This fund provides SMEs with working capital, trade financing solutions, and access to critical funding .In addition, IFC is also bringing in outside investors in a country which has no venture capital industry. This is often critical for high-potential small and mid-sized companies which often need investments of upto $500,000 and related advice to reach the next level.

IFC has a long-standing association with India’s largest network of self-employed women called SEWA. Through their investment and advisory, SEWA is providing start-up capital and credit to women in Gujarat. They are helping SEWA Bank secure a national banking license and expand to underserved rural areas building on its already strong reputation. IFC is also helping SEWA provide energy-efficient cook stoves and solar lanterns to its members and by linking them with a commercial bank to provide credit facility for purchase of these equipments. Through various initiatives, IFC is helping expand the parent organization, SEWA, a diversified family of more than 120 organizations.

IFC is promoting water conservation practices to ensure sustainability in client operations. They invested in Jain Irrigation to modify Global Agricultural Practices and adapt them to Indian conditions and applied the new water conservation benchmarks among onion and mango growers. It achieved water savings equal to the annual water consumption of more than 10 million households. Through this initiative, 16,300 small farmers have raised annual incomes by up to $1000. IFC is now working with Tata Group to develop strategy to improve water efficiency in their operations, across 11 Tata group companies. This will set the paradigm of water conservation in industries for India.

And on a concluding note, ma’am made a remark that last year, their clients provided 2.5 million jobs, $200 billion in micro, small, and medium enterprise loans, 12.2 million patients with health care treatment, 34.3 million people with clean water, 41.9 million people with power connections and 900,000 million students with education.

It was an exciting day of deliberations ahead for all.  The 2 Panel Discussions lined up were, “Implementing Sustainability from Board Room to Shop Floor” before lunch and “Sustainability and Entrepreneurship: Turn Ideas into Projects, and Projects into Successful Businesses” post lunch.

After the meaningful inaugural session, our first panel discussion of the day, titled: “Implementing Sustainability from Board Room to Shop Floor” commenced.

Our first panelist was Dr. Annapurna Vancheswaran, Director Sustainable Development, Outreach Divison at The Energy and Resources Institute or TERI.The focus of Dr. Annapurna’s work is in the area of global sustainable development that includes interactions with organisations in India and globally, Government Departments, NGOs and the private sector with particular application to the diverse problems of India.

According to ma’am, the basic components of sustainability are:

  • Ecological sustainability
  • Development
  • Equity with the same generation
  • Equity between generations

“The roads we take are more important than the goals we announce”- Frederick Speakman

The corporate iceberg consists of both tangibles and intangibles. By tangibles, we mean for example, the balance sheet and intangibles include the public, media, government, insurers, investors, competitors, employees, NGOs. In short, tangibles capture the market share.

“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it”- Warren Buffet

Our 2nd panelist, Mr. Pranshu Singhal, head of sustainability at Nokia India discussed Enabling Sustainable Production and Consumption.  We are 1 planet with 7 billion expectations. The critical need at this hour is Producing “Better & More with Less” and Consuming “Better & Wiser”. Sir discussed “Producing Better – Life Cycle Thinking”.

  • Product & technology development: Energy/Eco efficiency in products, solutions and operations
  • Suppliers’ activities: Sustainable supply chain and logistics
  • Manufacturing and Use: Sustainable operations
  • Reuse, recovery, recycling, disposal: End of life, Take-back and recycling
  • Raw materials: Sustainable materials

Nokia considers the environment during the entire life cycle of all their products. Most of the greenhouse gas emissions occur in component manufacturing by their suppliers or in the usage of their products.


All Nokia devices are:

•free of BFR and RFR since the end 2009*

•free of PVC since 2006

•free of mercury, lead and numerous other substances of concern for many years now

•constructed of materials that can be recovered and used to make new products or generate energy, so nothing goes to waste

•supplied in a recyclable package

They improve their offices, factories, logistical operations and use of technologies in ways that save energy and reduce emissions. Smaller and lighter packaging has reduced transportation needs. In theory, Nokia now only needs one third of the trucks to transport these products. Nokia works with their suppliers to ensure they meet their own high standards of ENVIRONMENTAL & SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. 100% of the materials in your old phone can be recovered and used to make new products or generate energy. You can drop off your old phone at any local electronics recycling point. Nokia has also own recycling points around the world.

Every Nokia device is created with the environment in mind. Every Nokia product comes with an Eco profile, which tells you about its materials, energy efficiency, packaging, environmental impact and recycling.

Consuming Better and Wiser

•Bring behavioural change on how goods are consumed

•Enroll & Inspire People to make Sustainable Choices in all spheres of Life: Living, working, eating, buying, commuting, entertaining,…

Indian Consumer Research Results : Very Stark Contrasts in the society:

•High environmental concerns amongst individual Vs. Aspiration to consume more

•Strong fears of getting impacted Vs. it’s very little that an individual can do

•Rising environmental awareness Vs. Little/No action

•Belief – we need to consume less Vs. High aspirations for a luxury car

•Highest level of guilt amongst individuals Vs. No actions to change the situation

•WTP high for greener products Vs. Absence of a green product market

•I want to do a lot Vs. I do nothing

How to bring about Sustainable Consumption? By People, by the roles people play daily, their reasons, their influences and things that inspire & drive them.

Sir also threw a light on Nokia Create to Inspire Fellowship:

  • Initiative to inspire people on Sustainable Consumption
  • Platform to use creative arts for building innovative projects that initiate fun and exciting conversations
  • Creative fusion of – music, dance, theatre, drama, film, photography, handicraft, design and technology – with sustainability
  • Create ownership on judicious consumption and management of water, energy, transport and e-waste

Make a difference which makes a difference.

Other eminent panelists were Mr. Santanu Roy, General Manager (Corporate Planning), GAIL India Ltd and Mr. Aveg Agarwal, Country Manager, FERSA.

The second panel discussion on Sustainability and Entrepreneurship: Turn Ideas into Projects, and Projects into Successful Businesses” witnessed legendaries like Padma Bhushan Mr. Devendra Raj Mehta- Founder and Chief Patron of JaipurFoot, world’s largest organization providing solutions for the handicapped and giving them mobility and dignity options in their lives. Mr Anshu Gupta, who founded GOONJ with a mission to make clothing a matter of concern and to bring it among the list of subjects for the development sector. An Ashoka Fellow and the Global Ambassador of Ashoka, Mr. Anshu is creating a mass movement for recycling and reuse of waste. Ms. Bharati Chaturvedi, founder and director of Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group Ma’am conceived Chintan as a partnership between the urban poor in the informal sector. The objective of such a partnership was to advocate for cities that are green, sustainable and inclusive of the poor in their terms. Ms. Vasudha Mehta who is passionately and empathetically inclined towards environmental and animal issues; and is the Co- founder of ‘Jaagruti’, a Trust formed in 2009. Jaagruti serves as a platform that uses information disseminated through its blog and helpline, to sensitize, educate and empower people to care for animals and environment around them. Besides this, Jaagruti works with around 80 respected institutions, including FIIB, under its ‘Waste Paper Recycling Initiative.  Mr. Saurabh Bardhan, Co-founder of GreenBandhu and Co-founder/Technical Head of Earthima Technologies, an organization involved in training, consultation and implementation of innovative products and solutions related to the environment.