Mr Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister of Railways recognised the winners for Excellence in Sustainable Business at a special presentation of the CII-ITC Sustainability Awards 2015 in New Delhi .
The Awards are a part of the CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development’s continued efforts to create awareness, promote policy and practices, and create capacity to mainstream sustainability practices. Not only do the Awards help reward exemplary enterprises for their pioneering efforts, but this recognition also helps create beacons of inspiration for others to follow.
The ceremony was attended by some of the most illustrious and distinguished CEOs who came to receive their Awards, such as, Mr MayankAshar, CEO, Cairn India Limited; Dr RupaliBasu, , President & CEO, Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals, Kolkata; Mr Harish Badami, CEO & Managing Director, ACC; and Mr Sunil Duggal, CEO, Hindustan Zinc Limited.
Mr Suresh Prabhu, Union Minister of Railways,emphasised the fact that sustainability is no longer a choice, it is a compulsion. “In denying this”, he stated, “you are not delaying action, you are hastening the process of your own instinction”. Sustainability, according to him, is not a threat but a great opportunity for business to grow faster.
Dr R A Mashelkar, Former Jury Chair and President, Global Research Alliance, congratulated CESD for pioneering the Awards as an effort towards sustainability. Sustainability, he suggested, requires a change in outlook, from People, Planet and Profit for some, to People, Planet and Prosperity for all. In the past, business was doing well and doing good, but now he said, “there is a new definition, doing well by doing good”.
Speaking at the ceremony, Ambassador Shyam Saran, Jury Chair and Chairman, Research and Information System for Developing Countries, said that in the transition to becoming sustainable business will have an important role to play. Sustainable development, he emphasised, “is no longer a kind of a side activity, but that, for businesses themselves to survive and flourish need to make sustainability a part of their mainstream operations”. The CII-ITC Sustainability Awards, he believes, is one of the ways to promote corporate sustainability.
Mr YC Deveshwar, Chairman, Advisory Council, CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development, in his address, stressed on the fact that, sustainability should be a composite thought about how to create value for society. He looks forward to stock exchange in the future, where, whichever company creates value for society, will have the highest value. Quoting Michael Porter, he said, “if you do philanthropy in the context of your business, then in the long run you can get unique sources of competitive advantage”.
Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, Confederation of Indian Industry, highlighted the immense challenges that the Indian economy faces – social inequality, environmental degradation, and haphazard growth. India, according to him, “stands at a crossroad, where it has to address local, national, and international issues in a reasonable manner, many of which are conflicting in nature”. To address these challenges, he credited India Inc with taking up environmentally friendly and socially motivated projects, many of them voluntary and beyond their call of duty.
This year, 89 applicants underwent a rigorous evaluation process that includes an on-site assessment by a peer team of CII-certified sustainability assessors, who spent approximately 1000 man-hours per application over a period of six months. The final shortlist of winning applicants was validated by a preeminent jury comprising leaders from government, civil society and academia.