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Human centric development approach is key to SDGs

Mar 22, 2018

Experts at a national conference on sustainability suggested human centric approach with the use of inclusive innovation and effective partnerships.

New Delhi/Noida: Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) could only be successful if the development agenda across the board is people centric. This was the central thought that emerged at a national conference organised by Amity University in Noida.

Sachin Joshi, Executive Director at CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development said that the the purpose of SDGs is to tap into the last man standing in the queue. “Sustainable and inclusive innovation has the potential to carry forward the shared vision of 193 countries to fulfil the 169 targets of SDGs. The purpose of SDGs is to tap into the last man standing in the queue, leaving no one behind, poor and rich alike.”

Professor Kamal Vatta, an Agricultural Economist and Director, CIPT, said that sustainability is directly linked with a human centric appraoch to development. “To achieve the ideals of sustainable development, economic system should focus on human development,” he said.

Vatta elaborated that the tenets of a sound and sustainable economy were imbued in the mind and act of its people. “Emphasis must be on harnessing demographic dividend and expanding it. Thus, labour intensive avenues must be generated which in turn can foster innovation,” he said.

Dr R P Singh, Secretary General, Quality Council of India, said that growth without equity is a dangerous thing. “The concept of sustainability has garnered immense support from a multitude of industrial units. Indian economy is growing faster than any other economy in the world but having high growth rates is not enough without creating employment opportunities for the masses,” he cautioned.

Sumit Roy, Associate Director, WWF India, highlighted the growing significance of sustainability and the emerging role of CSR.

Sandeep Srivastava, Head, Sustainability & Environment, Ambuja Cement, informed about the various initiatives undertaken by Ambuja cement towards water conservation and waste reuse leading to climate preservation and resource efficiency. “Ambuja cement has been able to recharge water twice as much than they use and meet 5% of their energy needs from waste reuse and aim to reach at 20%. We have in place a partnership with farmer owned co-operatives for supply of bio-mass (carbon neutral) to replace carbon positive fuels,” he said.

Srinivasan, IKEA Services-India, discussed at length about ways of ensuring sustainability in their business processes wherein they mandate franchises to follow the sustainable way of doing business.

Sharing his company’s approach, Srinivasan said, “The underlying mechanism of sustainability is the adoption of a bottom-up approach, wherein focus is made on building capacity for sustainability, at the bottom of the pyramid, by incentivizing it. We can achieve the same through a close integration with academia so that minimum input cost for the growers can be ensured. This can help us to track any product back to the farmer. While we may not have a robust model to do so, we intend on establishing the same.”

Nidhi Pundhir, Director, CSR, HCL Foundation, dwelled on the distinction between sustainability and CSR. “CSR is mandatory by law while sustainability is a conscious choice.” Further she explained about the various initiatives undertaken by the HCL foundation as a part of their CSR strategy ranging from healthcare to quality education.

She emphasised the importance of partnerships and collaborations in achieving SDGs.

According to Nidhi, proposing a comprehensive baseline strategy and the need for a multi-pronged approach towards utilizing technology is a quintessential component for driving sustainability in industry as well as non-industrial areas.

Renu Bajpai, President, USD Consortium and Dr Halima Rizwi, Professor at Jamila Milia Islamia, spoke about the need of synergy between skilling and human capital.

Skill development and human capital bear a symbiotic relationship and the required skills to harmonize the link between the same must be achieved in a way as to arrive at practical long term sustainable solutions, underlined Renu and Halima.

The third national conference titled, ‘Leveraging SDGs to drive Socio-Economic Development :Mission 2030’ was organsied by Amity School of Economics in partnership with with Centre for International Projects Trust (CIPT), Quality Council of India, CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development and OneWorld.  Edited by: OneWorld South Asia.

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