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India to create 100 million green jobs

Feb 13, 2012

Speaking at the CII-ITC Sustainability Awards on Friday, Union Minister for Commerce & Industry and Textiles, Anand Sharma said that the country plans to generate 100 million jobs through green technologies within the next 10 years. He added that this policy initiative will also make the country a “manufacturing hub of the world”.

India plans to generate 100 million jobs on green technologies within the next 10 years through a policy initiative that will make the country a “manufacturing hub of the world”. Union Minister for Commerce & Industry and Textiles, Anand Sharma said on Friday that this would be possible by creating manufacturing and investment zones in the country. 

Sharma was speaking at India’s Most Sustainable: CII-ITC Sustainability Awards in New Delhi on February 10. These awards are given by CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development to companies with a comprehensive sustainability strategy and which are actively implementing initiatives to create a real impact.

The minister said that companies create wealth and have a lot of resources. He urged the corporate to make sure that these resources must be invested in a manner that the benefit reaches all sections of the society. Sharma added that those who have the technology and resources, must share. “When it comes to health security, particularly availability of life-saving medicines at affordable prices; when it comes to green technologies, the intellect of the world must be shared for the benefit of the human kind. What’s the use of such intellect, if it becomes an exclusive preserve when we are talking about saving the planet?” asked Sharma.

"What’s the use of such intellect, if it becomes an exclusive preserve when we are talking about saving the planet? "
Anand Sharma, Union Minister for Commerce & Industry and Textiles

Highlighting the country’s commitment to a greener and a cleaner planet, the minister said that India has voluntarily taken the responsibility to bring down its emissions by 20-25% in a decade and also investing in green technology. Besides, India is the 4th largest green power producer in the world, he said. Giving a call to the people to act as responsible trustees of natural resources so as to preserve them for future generations, Sharma said that India has made a commitment that its green emissions will never cross the bottom threshold of the emissions from the developed world.

The event started with the panel discussion ‘Sustainability is Rewarding’. The panelists included Nazeeb Arif, Vice-President & Head, Corporate Communications, ITC; Dr Ajay Mathur, Director General, Bureau of Energy Efficiency; C. Hariharan, Chairman, Biodiversity Conservation India and Sanjiv Paul, Vice President, Corporate Services, Tata Steel.

“We need to give more support and preference to companies that do business in a sustainable way,” said Arif, while explaining ITC’s sustainable initiatives. He spoke about ITC's Paperboards and Specialty Papers Division, which is India's largest, technologically advanced and most eco-friendly, paper and paperboards business, and has initiated plantation programmes and transformed the lives of millions of people.

Talking about the idea of voluntary disclosure of assets by companies, Arif said: “ITC has subjected itself to voluntary disclosure of assets to let customers and shareholders know what our impact on the environment is and at the same time it gives us huge amount of data to assess ourselves in a very structured manner.”

Mathur said that in industries like cars, automobiles, trucks & buses, certification regarding the fuel efficiency of each model would help. He endorsed the view that companies should have a corporate sustainability policy.

Putting forth their suggestions on making sustainability a movement, the panelists said that buyers should be given a discount on green buildings; ‘trust marks’ should be given to companies which make green products and consumers should be enlightened about living in a sustainable manner.

A highlight of the ceremony was the ‘Sustainability Trophy’ given for the first time in the six-year-history of the awards to the Babrala Plant of Tata Chemicals. Another noteworthy thing this year was that ITC had ruled out its own participation from the awards. The awards involve an eight-month long rigorous assessment process to find out the most sustainable companies and identify green models that can be replicated.

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