A recent study by the World Health Organization on the most polluted places on the planet positioned 9 Indian cities in the top 10. Increasing air pollution and e-waste, growing scarcity of natural resources, and inadequate waste collection and disposal systems are some of the few immediate and imminent environmental threats that the country faces.
In a rising Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) movement in India, organisations can make a positive impact with the availability of dedicated financial and human resources. It is optimistic to see growing number of companies making a conscious effort towards environmental sustainability and effective natural resource management. But are these efforts and investments in protecting the environment keeping up with the pace and complexity of the challenge? Is it a pressing need for organisations to act on conserving the environment?
Given this context, Societe Generale Global Solution Centre hosted a panel discussion on CSR Investments in Environment in India to discuss the interventions in environment protection, challenges tackled, best practices and need areas. Sowmya Suryanarayanan, Head of CSR – Societe Generale Global Solution Centre shares highlights.
- CSR Sponsorship and Responsible Business – CSR Investments in environment in India have moved beyond planting saplings. Many organisations are sponsoring CSR programs that focus on creating a sustainable, long- term impact on the environment. Such investments range from solar lighting for households, solar street lighting, to rain water harvesting, and so on. A handful of organisations have also started to bring responsible business to the forefront, that can have a cascading effect on the social and economic development of the community, as well as within the organisation.
- Push from the Top – The panel also discussed the key role played by top management in pushing environmental initiatives. Buy-in from the management can ensure that a company fully commits to environment protection and a significant portion of their CSR budget on environment.
- Collaboration and Co-creation – CSR interventions, especially with respect to the environment, entail participation from multiple stakeholders such as government bodies, community, NGO partners and Corporates. These interconnections and interactions between stakeholders can be complex at times; a collaborative approach and co-creation of solutions to address key environmental challenges is therefore necessary for a sustained positive impact.
- Focus on Employee Volunteering – Bringing about a mindset change and creating awareness is key for successful implementation of environmental programs. Today, employees are increasingly focusing on purpose-driven work and making an impact on the job, people, and the society at large. Where allocation of large budgets to environmental conservation programs is not feasible, organisations can consider using volunteering as a channel to promote environmental programs.
Use of Technology – The panel discussed how technology can be an enabler to resolve environment issues. Co-creating and adopting innovative technological solutions could be the path forward for environmental conversation and mitigating the negative impacts on the environment.
Find out more on Societe Generale’s Climate commitments here.
About the event
Societe Generale Global Solution Centre hosted in December 2018 a panel discussion on CSR investments in Environment, a key topic given the shifting focus of major corporations towards climate change impact, water use footprint and effectiveness of energy use. This event was a part of the CSR Leadership Conference 2018 hosted by the NASSCOM Foundation in Bangalore, with the objective to gather industry leaders on CSR issues.
Moderated by Anshul Ojha, Head of Ecosystem & Channel, Karo Sambhav, the panellists of the session included:
- Pratyush Panda, VP Corporate Citizenship – ACC Limited
- Hariprasad Hegde, Sr. VP Global Head operations – Wipro Ltd
- Deepak Prabhu Matti, Global Head Outreach Volunteering Program – Cognizant
- Sowmya Suryanarayanan, Head of CSR – Societe Generale Global Solution Centre
About the Nasscom Foundation
NASSCOM Foundation is a leading non-profit organization driving technology for good. The foundation’s work is just as expansive and evolutionary as the potential that technology and corporate India entail. Drawing strength from its parent body NASSCOM, the foundation works closely with four major stakeholders: NASSCOM member companies, NGOs, emerging social enterprises and Government to foster a strategic relationship between technology and development.
The foundation aims to leverage the capabilities of IT-BPM member companies of NASSCOM along with emerging social enterprises to meet the technology needs of non-profits and underserved communities across India with continuous support from the Government. By doing so, the foundation aims to facilitate the achievement of development objectives of all:
- Member companies, by helping them go beyond traditional CSR and exercise strategic CSR as a way of business conduction.
- NGOs, by providing easier access to technology hence increasing their capacity to achieve their ground objectives.
- Social enterprises, by creating an eco-system that supports innovative models for development
And, finally an inclusive India by driving social good through the largest sector of the country.