3rd National Conference on Green CSR “Business Case for Sustainable CSR INTERVENTIONS” – Brings together leaders and decision makers of CSR, making this 3rd edition of the event successful
On the historic day of the launch of Skill India campaign, Sharp developments working in the area of energy, environment and education; in association with International Centre for Innovation, Leadership and Development (ICfILD), organized the third national conference on Green energy based CSR interventions. – ‘Business Case for Sustainable CSR INTERVENTIONS’. The theme focused on aligning CSR with national development goals, and to achieve Sustainability – in a manner that encompasses energy and environment in traditional definition of sustainability and also go beyond. Sessions discussions included ‘Skill India’, ‘Swachh Bharat’, and ‘Make in India’ – thus striving towards an encompassing world view of sustainability. The Conference offered a unique platform to adopt and promote Renewable Energy (RE) based CSR Interventions.
The Conference was supported by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India, and Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA). Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA) was the knowledge partner. Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) under Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, and Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MDWS) provided their guidance and support. Lloyd Insulations (India) Limited, and Ruchi Telecom Pvt. Ltd. shared the platform as corporate associates. Minda Energy, Verdia Technologies, and Overdrive Engineering were the technology partners; along with UNDP-GEF-SGP, Junxion Strategies, Cities Network Campaign and Indianpowersector.com as other associates for the event.
As the central theme of conference was Green CSR, the plenary session with Dr. Bhaskar Chatterjee, DG & CEO, Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs; Dr. Madhukar Gupta, Joint Secretary, Department of Public Enterprises; Shri Saraswati Prasad, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation; Ms. Varsha Joshi, Joint Secretary, Ministry of New & Renewable Energy; and Shri. K S Popli, CMD, Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) gave an insightful perspective on aligning CSR with national flagship programs of Government of India, to kick start the conference theme. A CSR publication produced by Sharp Developments – titled iMPACT*, was also released by the panel members. This publication covers related issues; case studies; views and opinions of diverse range of stakeholders including Government; Industry and Non-Government organizations. With this inauguration, the event witnessed a grand opening.
* A copy of the publication is available on Sharp Developments website – www.sharpdevelopments.org
The guest of honor Dr. Bhaskar Chatterjee, Director General and CEO – IICA, provided keynote address guiding the participants on how to move forward and realize the game changing potential of CSR in India. He also identified ways to effectively involve NGOs towards achieving this goal.
Ms. Varsha Joshi (IAS) – Joint Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, provided the audience with an overview on Renewable Energy based interventions which included details of Cook stoves program under the ministry program ‘Unnat Chulha Abhiyan (UCA)’. Shri. Saraswati Prasad, Joint Secretary, Swachh Bharat Mission, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, introduced about the ministry’s online portal to highlight the ‘Swachh Bharat’ interventions taken up by major corporates/PSUs/NGOs/foundations. Dr, Madhukar Gupta (IAS), Joint Secretary, Department of Public Enterprise (DPE) in Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises guided us with his insightful understanding of CSR and public sector undertakings – which have been on the forefront of CSR implementation. He reflected upon the crucial role of DPE in furthering the CSR mandate. He was followed by Shri. K S Popli, a veteran power sector professional and currently CMD Indian Renewable Energy Agency (IREDA) who addressed various aspects of renewable energy / green energy and how CSR funding can be leveraged to facilitate Green CSR interventions.
The Conference was structured into five 45 minutes technical sessions.
First Technical Session-
The Swachh Bharat Mission aims at putting in place over 11 crore toilets within a span of 5 years. In the first technical session on Sustainable CSR Promoting ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan’, Dr. DS Shyni, Sr. Consultant & Team Leader (Sanitation), Swachh Bharat Mission (Gramin), Ministry of Water and Sanitation, took off from the discussion put up by Shri. Sarawati Prasad on role of CSR funding in Swachh Bharat. She was followed by Dr. Lalit Kumar – Honorary Sr. V.P. at Sulabh International Social Service Organization, a pioneer in the field of sanitation in India. Prof. K K Pandey from Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA) highlighted the concept of Open Free Defecation (ODF) communities and strategies that can be taken to promote mobile toilets. Mr. KK Mitra, Vice President (Marketing and Technical), Lloyd Insulations (India) Ltd. shared their prefab toilets and solar cool field store models. In the end, Mr. Sanjay Daswani – Sr. Director – Resource Development and Communications, Habitat for Humanity discussed the need and their initiatives to build toilets in rural areas. Mentioning ‘The key for the demand is community acceptance’, he highlighted the need for community awareness in these backward areas of the society.
Through this session, all the eminent speakers threw light on Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, and shared their experiences for providing us with a roadmap for making India open defecation free by 2019.
Second Technical Session-
The next technical session highlighted the fulfilment of energy needs. Energy poverty is one of the most pressing issues of this century. It’s a problem of technology, of infrastructure, economics, and culture. The tone for this session was set right in the plenary session by Ms. Varsha Joshi Joint Secretary, MNRE.
Providing energy access to underserved communities using green technologies is one of the best ways to give back to the society. The energy needs can be met through both Solar and non-Solar means. Such models were explored by the panellists of this session.
With a hope that ‘CSR invention will increase the role of renewable’, Dr. Praveen Dhameeja, Director – MNRE, discussed about rural upliftment and providing clean energy for rural households and emphasized the role of CSR for doing the same. Dr B.C. Sabata, Department of Environment, Delhi Government, emphasized on the needs of 26 thousand villages that are not electrified yet because of the high distance from generating plants, out of total 6 lakh villages in India. He mentioned that the government has a lot of schemes, but are unable to reach them. Lt. Col. Monish Ahuja (Retd.), Punjab Renewable Energy Systems Pvt. Ltd. and Director of Bermaco Energy Limited, advocated the barriers faced by Biomass Project Developers. Their organization manages the ecosystem for such projects and lets it sustain on its own. Mr. Raj Prakash Mittal, Director Technical, Ruchi Telecom Pvt. Ltd. provided continuous power solutions for rural India. He mentioned about local generation and right technologies to facilitate clean power.
Third Technical Session-
Sh. R Saha, Senior Adviser CII and Former Adviser DST, Govt. Of India, talked about promoting Make in India through CSR. The need for training of women and training the trainers were highlighted in his discussion. Mr. Mukesh Gulati, Executive Director, Foundation for MSME Clusters captured the essence of the Make in India program of Govt. of India and further enlightened the participants with his knowledge and expertise on the importance of MSME in the Indian economy and their relevance for the inclusive growth of the nation. Mr. Ganga Charan Sharma, Country Head – CSR & Sustainability Services, TUV Rhineland stated that Make in India is a very good relevant CSR activity and discussed about 3 main factors to promote it – Infrastructure, Technology, and Skills. Following this discussion, Ms. Pallavi Deshpande introduced her model to promote apple farming in India, which has benefitted a lot of farmers already.
Fourth Technical Session-
The fourth panel discussion on ‘Skill India’, was a very aptly timed session as the event date -15th July marks the launch of ambitious program of Government of India towards Skill Development “The Kaushal Vikas Programme”. The theme for this session was aligned with the ministries goal of Skill India and it witnessed a diverse panel having panellists with subject expertise in various fields, who shared their experiences in the field of Skill development.
Dr. A.K. Tripathi, Director, Ministry of New & Renewable Energy moderated the session, and threw light upon the unique initiative of Ministry of New & Renewable Energy to promote Skill Building through empanelment of young entrepreneurs. He argued that Skill development should be linked with self employment. Emphasizing on a need for structural change in the education system, Ms. Anupam Nidhi – Head CSR at Reliance ADAG Group advised all to bring women in this space of ‘Skilling India’, followed by Ms. Nonika Raj Kumar – Head CSR and Sustainability at Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance Company who also conveyed the importance of a literacy program for all. Mr. Praveen Karn – Group Head CSR at Spark Minda took forward the same discussion and added that the training should match the company requirement. Col Prakash Tewari (Retd) – Group Vice President – CSR and Education at Jindal Steel and Power Limited(JSPL), and Ms. Sonia Shrivastava – head CSR for South Asia at Intel, shared their experiences throughout their respective journeys of crafting and driving their organization’s CSR strategy and programs.
Fifth Technical Session-
This session highlighted the strategies for achieving overall business sustainability through responsible Business and CSR.
Shri. Prabhjot Sodhi from UNDP-GEF-Small Grants Program; Mr. Peter Weeme from Junxion Strategies, Ms. Gayatri Subramaniam, Chief Programme Executive – CSR at IICA and Ms. Aparna Mahajan, Director – Resource Mobilization and Partnerships at Sehgal Foundation, shared their wealth of experience in the subject domain. They highlighted the need for an effective partnership between all the stakeholders, and focussed on having an effective merger between the Corporates and NGOs for the expected outcome.
This conference, dedicated to Sharp Developments founder president Dr. Shridhar, explored new ideas for various models in all the CSR verticals. It ended on a positive note leaving all the stakeholders discussing about more options for sustainable CSR interventions, and ideas to integrate them with the GoI missions.