Climate Change and Sustainability Services

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Climate Change and Sustainability issues are core to the operations of businesses and governments. We support our clients to manage risks and optimize opportunities.

The number of new regulations which have been enacted in the area of carbon, energy, waste and water is very high both globally as well as in India since the rolling out of the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC). Further, proactive identification and management of EHS and social risks do make businesses sustainable with a low carbon growth trajectory.

With our climate change and sustainability insights, knowledge and experiences; we help businesses across sectors and geographies to be pro-active on business and regulatory matters. 

Our solution offerings

Integration of sustainability into long-term business strategy and growth plans is becoming increasingly important. A well defined sustainability strategy enables an organization to devise a road map that:

  • Considers stakeholder views
  • Is realistic
  • Provides measureable sustainability metrics to track performance against stated goals

 This creates sustainable value for stakeholders while improving the bottom-line. Research has shown that companies with a strong sustainability agenda demonstrate marked differences in addressing and managing risks and opportunities.

A proactive approach in addressing sustainability results in effective risk management, cost and resource savings as well as brand enhancement. For companies with high ambition, reputation and brand as key drivers, it is important to instill a culture of corporate responsibility within. For that to happen, diversification and growth of business with a clear sustainability context is perceived to promote larger visibility and intrinsic value in the long run.

We understand the sustainability drivers of our clients’ businesses while putting in place a strategy that is designed following a well-accepted methodology. The process of developing a sustainable strategy is founded on an understanding on internal “as is” situation through the assessment of baseline and compliance and external benchmarking.  

Key benefits to business:

  • Alignment of sustainability goals and objectives with business strategy.
  • Enhancement of image, reputation and brand recognition
  • Cost reduction – revenue enhancement potential
  • Stakeholder engagement and reporting of sustainability performance through Sustainability Reports/Business Responsibility Reports
  • Ease in complying with applicable regulations (e.g., SEBI Business Responsibility Circular, Department of Public Enterprises Guidelines, Extended Producers’ Responsibility, among others)

Energy security concerns and increasing costs of energy now plague the profitability of many a successful enterprise. Added to these are the climate woes in exacerbating vulnerability of energy generators.

There is thus an urgency to diversify into low carbon energy sources. Corporate action on climate has intensified through initiatives such as the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), stock market carbon indices and national ambitions to transcend to low carbon growth.

The need is to secure investments through demand side cuts in emissions, the adoption of appropriate technology and to decouple emissions from growth. This demands a fine balance between business needs of energy and sustainability drivers for a low carbon transformation through a well designed energy strategy.

With the advent of energy legislation in India under the Energy Conservation Act and the National Action Plan on Climate Change in the form of Perform, Achieve and Trade (PAT) and Renewable Purchase Obligations (RPO), the business case for an energy strategy has moved to the board rooms of progressive organizations.

Our solutions in LCT and energy strategy are geared to address all regulatory and compliance requirements to optimize energy costs, earn energy certificates (Ecerts) or renewable energy certificates (RECs). In light of these regulations there is a strong case for revisiting or developing an organization’s energy strategy.

Our carbon solutions also include life cycle based carbon footprint for organizations, products and processes. We provide solutions for green building and green factory that have several concomitant sustainability benefits beyond carbon and energy. Our services in the space of LCT/energy strategy benefit corporations as follows:

  • Business issue – addressing energy costs, assessing strategic risks and financial implication of sourcing and supply and managing energy through energy management systems, including advisory on ISO 50001 certification
  • New market opportunities – transforming business processes, creating new markets and industries through innovation
  • Regulatory environment – addressing new regulations & policies, reassessing liabilities
  • New risks– managing new risks: the threat of climate change, challenges due to regulations
  • Energy availability – addressing ever increasing energy requirement for business growth

Water scarcity is slated to be one of mankind’s biggest challenges in this century. As aridity and scarcity looms large on society and corporations alike, policies are rapidly evolving to harmonize water as an equitable resource with value that needs to be shared among stakeholders.

The world commission on water (a multi-stakeholder platform) co-sponsored by UNESCO, UNICEF and WHO estimates that in 2025 some 4 billon people or about half the global population will be living is “severely water stressed” areas.

As a part of NAPCC, the comprehensive National Water Mission (Driven by MoWR) outlines the various water related strategies approved by the government. The new Water Tariff Policy, calls for the abolition of subsidies to agricultural and domestic consumers while recommending “subsidies and incentives” to private industry, for recycling and reuse of treated effluents.

The future of water governance advises addressing water costs, assessing strategic risks and financial implication of sourcing and supply. These national goals under the water mission are most relevant to industry. In order to coexist with society and ensure sustainability of water resources in terms of quality and quantity, industry would need to work closely with communities for the promotion of citizen and state action for water conservation, augmentation and preservation.

Within industry, increasing water use efficiency by 20% is a national goal today. There is a heightened requirement to assess water sustainability in the region surrounding facilities over longer periods of time and in assessing risk to water supply and quality so that robust countermeasures are planned in consultation with stakeholders.

Operations in water scarce areas, particularly the ones that are water intensive or have regulated wastewater discharge, need effective and comprehensive water management.
Benefits of our water strategy engagement include:

  • Source water vulnerability assessments
  • Savings in fresh water usage, direct cost and treatment cost
  • Green corporate image and trust of stakeholders
  • Compliance to relevant regulations

The menace of solid waste and hazardous waste has prompted the Indian Government to bring major policy changes in recent years. There is urgent need for scientific waste management based on the principles of good governance.

Waste management is critical in making operations and supply chains resource efficient, dematerialized to the extent feasible thus reducing environmental impacts. The Ministry of Environment and Forest, had notified the (Waste Management and Handling) Rules including for e-waste management in 2011, which have come into effect since 1st May 2012.

These rules are applicable to “producer; consumer/bulk consumer involved in manufacturing, sale, purchase and processing of electrical and electronic equipment; collection centre; dismantler; and recycler of e-waste”.

This rule brings into existence a number of responsibilities for various stakeholders including extended producer responsibilities (EPR). Waste management in India has also recognized the role of the informal sector in collection and segregation of waste and in bringing in workable public, private partnership models to encourage waste to energy and other types of projects.

We assist clients in creating waste inventories, conducting “as-is” analysis, developing waste management programs as per regulation in identifying recycler/technology provider and in reviewing downstream value chain for compliance. We also assist with Environmental Product declarations based on a standardized life cycle methodology based on ISO 14040 and ISO 14020 series.

Sustainability reporting has assumed new dimensions of corporate responsibility reporting in India. New regulations mandating companies to address sustainable Development (SD) & CSR have been introduced over the past years.

The Securities and Exchange board of India (SEBI) mandated the top 100 listed companies (by market capitalization) to submit Business Responsibility (BR) Reports as part of their annual reports. The Ministry of Corporate Affairs launched the National Voluntary Guidelines (NVG) on Social, Environmental and Economic Responsibilities while the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) brought out the guidelines for Sustainable Development and Corporate Social Responsibility for Central Public Sector Enterprises for aligning SD into the core of their business planning.

While the initiatives for corporate responsibility reporting in India compliments the international endeavors such as the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the proposed Companies Bill 2011 makes CSR spend  a mandatory requirement. Likewise, the draft mining bill and the new forest act provides for larger responsibility and spend in order to ensure the rights of indigenous people including forest and rural communities.

Large organizations with business footprints in core and allied sectors are required to follow guidelines mandating sustainability performance disclosure by Financial Institutions. Organizations listed in national as well as international stock exchanges are also required to report on their environmental and social governance or sustainability governance and performance.

We assist organizations in reporting starting with policy development, strategy and institutional framework, gap analysis, identification of sustainability or CSR programs, development of SD and CSR roadmap and development of SD metrics. Once internal capacity is built and the report is independently prepared by the organization, we provide sustainability assurance services in line with ISAE 3000, AA1000 or other recognized assurance standards. We also assist organizations with their sustainability management systems such as ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 and environmental and social management system for banks and financial institutions.

We have provided sustainability reporting and assurance to a large number of reputed Indian organizations for many years. We recently assisted Balmer Lawrie  & Company Ltd., a leading public sector undertaking adhere to SD guidelines for the CPSEs that were issued on 23rd September, 2011. Our work included assistance in achieving key objectives of this guideline and alignment of SD & CSR into the core business planning.

The salient advantage of our sustainability advisory/assurance services are:

  • Internal fine-tuning and planning of sustainability governance and performance
  • Capacity development for core corporate committee on sustainability
  • Reputation and trust for corporates obtaining assurance on their reports
  • Sustainable social spending / need based assessments for social spending / CSR activities
  • A comprehensive Sustainability strategy for long term planning along with CSR activities planned in line with the Corporate strategy and framework