We have always been encouraged to do the right thing, so when conversation on sustainability became important it was just the right thing to do. The question before us was how to encourage colleagues to understand that sustainability will help them do better business. Fortunately, the projects that were taken up were not only important for the business, but also crucial from the planet’s perspective. However, there is still a long way to go and much more needs to be done.
The Circular economy will be key for the economic development of India, especially in light of the fact that the world faces resource constraints. Mining for virgin materials is not great for the planet and we are reaching a stage where we will have an abundance of resources, without mining for them. A Circular economy can be very useful for the country and the industries, and the question of reverse logistics can be handled by engaging the informal economy, which is already part of the ecosystem, and help them do their job better.
Also important is reducing and recycling waste. Within the Mahindra Group, 15 locations have been certified as Zero Waste to Landfill (ZWL) and this achievement is only possible because of the relentless efforts of the employees in the manufacturing locations who figured out ways to achieve this commendable feat. There are parts of India that are doing it at scale.
Several solutions are available today which can help us make our lifestyles less carbon intensive and it is imperative that we adopt them to save the planet. If we want to pursue Alternativism then we must adopt solutions that are available today.
The Mahindra Group has a number of investments in ‘green businesses’. Apart from electric mobility, the group has invested in converting waste including food waste into clean energy, green buildings, micro irrigation, solar energy, recycling old automobiles in a responsible manner, etc. Our green businesses revenues have witnessed a steady increase and we are hopeful that they will be bigger thanwhat they are today.
The Mahindra Group was the first Indian company to join the EP100 campaign. The campaign, led by The Climate Group, aims to work with businesses to double energy productivity and maximize economic output.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a major interruption and it will take us time to get back. However, it will fail to dampen the demand for green business. The growth rate of the green businesses might slow, but it will continue on its upward trajectory.
We conducted a survey in five metros of the country to ascertain the awareness about climate change and we found that awareness was high and there was a readiness to adopt green solutions. It bolstered our belief that planet action will succeed.
The Group's 'Be a sustainability person' stems from that. More than 25,000 employees have been encouraged to adopt energy efficient lighting. Other initiatives such as reducing electricity consumption have not only created awareness but thousands of our employees have proactively reduced their energy consumption.
The sustainability efforts have also encouraged our dealers to move towards green certification of their showrooms. We have also incorporated sustainability efforts into our dealer evaluation programme. A similar approach has been adopted for our suppliers as well and they have been encouraged to reduce waste, increase energy efficiency, biodiversity, etc. The Group is a strong votary of knowledge transfer by which vendors and suppliers are encouraged to engage with us, adopt best practices and implement them at their plants and work sites.