Sustance — Issue 2

A weekly newsletter on the sum and substance of Sustainability.

Airports Authority Of India Bans Single-Use Plastic Items At 16 Airports

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has imposed a ban on single-use plastic items at its 16 airports across the country. The authorities have also issued directions to the airport directors seeking a ban on single-use plastic items. It has urged them to implement the order as early as possible.

The 16 airports in which the ban has been implemented are in Indore, Bhopal, Ahmedabad, Bhubaneswar, Tirupati, Trichy, Vijayawada, Dehradun, Chandigarh, Vadodara, Madurai, Raipur, Vizag, Pune, Kolkata, and Varanasi.

Spokesperson of AAI while speaking to the Hindustan Times said that the AAI is also trying to enhance its waste management systems. He added that the authority also aims to promote the use of eco-friendly sustainable alternatives. These “progressively” alternatives would include the use of bio-degradable garbage bags in the garbage bins apart from installation of plastic bottle crushing machines at airports premises.

Godrej spearheads transformation of Indian Agriculture

To ensure water security and increase the quantum of land under watershed, the Godrej Group has partnered with Indian government institutions such as NABARD. Today, the group has more than 13000 hectares of land under watershed.

The Godrej Group has recognised that the farmer and his family’s wellbeing through adequate nutrition and energy security is also important. As more than 40 million homes across the country do not have access to stable source of energy, the Godrej Group is partnering with local institutions and organizations to provide farmers with both nutrition and energy security.

Vikas Goswami, Head — Sustainability, Godrej Industries Ltd. said, “Women farmers are the backbone of Indian Agriculture. To create a vibrant rural economy it is important that in partnership with women farmers we revive sustainable agricultural practices. The revival of millets along with sustainable agricultural practices will also positively impact long-term soil health and productivity. With this conclave, we aim to not only acknowledge but also bring in the forefront, the important role women play in agriculture landscape.”

Tata Steel recognised for Excellence in Biodiversity at the CII-ITC Sustainability Awards 2018

Tata Steel has been bestowed with the CII-ITC Sustainability Awards 2018 for Excellence in Biodiversity, a recognition for its commitment to play a leading role in conservation of biodiversity.

Tata Steel has been actively working with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) since 2013, to enhance its performance in biodiversity conservation and significantly reducing its impact on the ecosystem and biodiversity.

Today, sustainability and particularly creating and maintaining excellence in biodiversity is an essential element of how Tata Steel runs its business. Tata Steel launched its Biodiversity Policy in 2016. The policy provides guidelines for including biodiversity in every strategic and operational decision making. The Company is aligning its actions with the National Biodiversity Targets set in 2014 (India level), Aichi Biodiversity Targets set in 2010 (Global level) and Sustainable Development Goals to integrate biodiversity into its business ecosystem and enable a better tomorrow for future generations.

India, Norway ink MoU to boost blue economy

The two sides discussed cooperation in the areas of security, counter-terrorism, higher education, research and innovation, energy, ICT, climate and environment, maritime sector, fisheries, and aquaculture.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday held talks with his Norwegian counterpart Erna Solberg on bilateral, regional and multilateral issues, and on the ways and means to further strengthen the growing bilateral partnership.

Talking about rules-based order and the increased maritime aggression by some countries, alluding to China, Solberg said, “We commend India for respecting the rulings of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea on the question of disputed maritime areas. When large countries respect international law, smaller countries take note. The principle ‘might is right’ cannot be used as a basis for governing our oceans, or anything else, for that matter.”

Norway supported India’s application for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group and reaffirmed its commitment to work constructively within the Group with the aim of reaching a positive outcome regarding Indian membership at the earliest opportunity,” said the joint statement.

Clean water and solar homes: Zayed prize finalists present sustainability solutions

Operation Asha is a finalist in the health category and the largest non-government organisation for detection of tuberculosis in India. The country has been plagued by the disease, with 100,000 women abandoned and 300,000 children forced out of schools every year because of TB.

The operation has developed a treatment programme across India, Cambodia, and Afghanistan serving 16 million people, and providing 303 disadvantaged people with jobs as health workers.

Finalist Acumen is helping fund sustainability projects around the world, and is another innovator to make it through.

The company aims to raise seed funding for sustainable energy projects with the aim of improving the lives of eight million people.

Since 2007, Acumen has invested $21 million in 18 energy companies across east and west Africa, India, and Pakistan to build the largest global portfolio of energy companies serving the poorest communities.

World’s 1st fully green data centre to be solar-powered

Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani told TOI that the company has already acquired 100 acres at Kapuluppada in Vizag and will be investing about 10,000 crores in the first phase in setting up their maiden data centre and will scale this up to about 50,000 crores in the next 10 years.

“We are setting up the world’s first fully green data centre that will be powered entirely by solar power. We are also talking to various state governments to put up multiple green data centres at strategic locations in the country.”, said Adani.

The group will also be building captive renewable plants to power these data centre parks, putting it in a leading position in the renewable energy space.

THIS WEEK: OPINION

Can India Meet Sustainability Targets Despite the Growing Emissions?

India has vowed to cut down on its growing emission intensity of its GDP in its global climate action pledges. But the country’s carbon footprint continues to grow with the energy sector being the largest contributor.

India recently submitted its second ‘Biennial Update Report’ (BUR) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). According to the report, India has emitted 2.607 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent of GHG in 2014 when its energy sector polluted 73% of total emission followed by agriculture (16%), industries (8%) and waste (3%).

In its first BUR, submitted in January 2016, which had the national greenhouse gas inventory of the country for the year 2010 when India had emitted 2.136 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent of the greenhouse gases.

The emissions in India has steadily increased from 2010 to 2014. It’s among the top four current emitters in the world after China, USA and EU. But on the brighter side, India’s per capita GHG emission remained nearly one-third of the global average.

India’s compounded annual growth rate of emission between 2010 and 2014 was merely 5% and its annual emission is one-fourth of China’s emissions and half of that of the US’s. So, India is well on its path to meet its goal under the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Under its Copenhagen commitments, India made a voluntary pledge in 2010 to reduce the emission intensity of its GDP by 20–25% from 2005 levels by 2020 (excluding emissions from agriculture). Later in 2015, the country submitted its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) under the Paris Agreement, committing to reduce emission intensity of its GDP by 33–35% from 2005 levels by 2030.

“As a responsible country, India has been making efforts and is well on track to meet its Copenhagen commitments. However, to meet its Paris commitments, in a timely manner, India requires enhanced new, additional and climate specific financial, technological and capacity building support,” wrote India’s environment secretary, C K Mishra, in preface of the BUR-II.

As per India’s second BUR, about 12% of the country’s emission were offset by the carbon sink action of forests, cropland, and settlements.

After approving the BUR for submission, the government on Friday said the Report had been prepared based on a range of studies conducted at the national level. It had also undergone a multi-tier review process, through peer review, review by Technical Advisory Committee of Experts and by National Steering Committee (an inter-ministerial body).

Brought to you by The Mavericks India.