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India’s Sustainable Operations: A Growing Commitment

sustainability in India by businesses

It is no longer new for Indian businesses to adopt environmentally responsible methods as seen with the steadily growing request for sustainability assurance services. Mollshree Garg, India Managing Partner, ERM, pioneers a highly-acclaimed sustainability consultancy and offers an interesting view on the really huge growth opportunities in this sector. Throughout 2023, sustainability consulting field in India was worth $ 255 million USD, and it is forecasted that this number will see high single-digit growth in the future. In fact, it would exceed the estimated CAGR of 7.5% from $2021 to 2030.

Its increasing

This optimistic reason for the growth is evidenced by a 30-35% increase in companies’ sustainability budgets in the last five years. The energy sector, financial industry, healthcare services, manufacture of goods and pharmaceutical business are the quickest to address the sustainability needs and hence they are actively going for sustainability consultancy services. This influx signifies transition from a view of sustainability and ‘ESG’ (environmental, social, and governance) parameters to operations at the core of business activities and capitalism due to the pressures of regulators, the demands from the shareholders; as well as consumer preference.

Prominent Indian conglomerates like JSW Steel, Hindalco, and the Adani Group are leading the way with substantial investments in green initiatives. JSW Steel is investing in green steel plants, Hindalco is focusing on renewable energy integration, and the Adani Group is developing the world’s largest green-energy park, signaling a strong commitment to sustainable development.

The core areas

Key areas of demand for sustainability consultancy include supply-chain management, materiality assessments, sustainable finance, and climate risk adaptation. Companies like Mercedes-Benz, Tata Steel, Dabur, Amazon, and Tech Mahindra are adopting green transport solutions, showcasing the broadening scope of sustainability efforts.

Despite these advances, Garg notes a lag in the Indian market’s readiness to embrace and pay a premium for green products compared to developed Western markets. The lack of mandatory standards or incentives for low-carbon products hinders consumer demand and, consequently, corporate investment in greener production methods. However, with the right government policies and interventions, there’s a significant opportunity for growth in India’s green product market.

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