Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Wednesday, Nov 27, 2002

Port Info

Group Sites

Corporate - Environment

Of green issues & luncheons

Our Bureau

NEW DELHI, Nov. 26

`WHY should business care' was the theme deliberated over lunch at the World Economic Forum's session on environment, hosted by Coca-Cola. And as the session concluded, one could not help wondering does business care at all?

With the clatter of cutlery drowning out the panelists, it seemed environment was the last thing on anyone's mind. Coca-Cola's group President, East and South Asia, Mr Patrick T. Siewert was the moderator for the session whose participants included the cola major's India chief, Mr Alex Von Behr, besides Nestle India's chief, Mr Carlo M. Donati. But despite the presence of pro-greens like Ms Sunita Narain, Director, Centre for Science and Environment, all that the session could come up with was the need for greater transparency in the system.

Contentious issues like the need for reducing emissions and effluents and need for cleaner technology were not something this session was keen on biting into. And given that Coca-Cola, along with its competitor Pepsi, had been hauled up by no less than the Supreme Court for vandalising rocks of the Himalayan range — the rationale behind having Coca-Cola sponsor this luncheon-session had many bewildered.

In fact, Coca-Cola has also been grabbing headlines, particularly in South India, for its alleged role in "appropriating ground water resources", an issue raised by a Kerala-based non-governmental organisation.

Meanwhile, given the United Nations Framework for Climate Change (UNFCC) meeting hosted in the Capital recently, where the US reiterated its refusal to ratify the Kyoto Protocol — no questions were asked here on the commitment level of US-based companies, like Atlanta-based Coca-Cola, and their implementation plans for green technologies.

In fact, there were almost no questions at all; thanks to an imploring moderator, there eventually were a few questions.

While none can grudge the participants a decent lunch, should the organisers have clubbed a serious topic like environment with lunch is something the sponsors should chew on for future sessions.

The commitment of corporates was illustrated from the luncheon-session, where the limited deliberation that took place too was lost in the din. May be grave environmental concerns like global warming and climate change, to mention just the tip of the ice-berg, will be food for serious thought at least at next year's session.

Send this article to Friends by E-Mail
Comment on this article to

Stories in this Section
Kawasaki to source small bikes from Bajaj Auto

Reliance to hike PSF capacity
Coke, Pepsi agree to end dispute
Of green issues & luncheons
KNNL to raise Rs 125 crore through bonds
HPL may ask for extension of Nov 30 deadline
Electrolux board okays AP plant closure
Consultant named for Air India, IA revamp
Gillette to sell Geep battery business
Grasim hearing today as SEBI makes its case
SEBI argument
Lafarge still eyeing L&T's cement biz
Aztec mandates ING to scout for buy-outs
Ranbaxy chief says due diligence not properly done
NPIL proposes merger with Global Bulk Drugs
SEBI to review `takeover code'
Cabinet approves Bill on company tribunals
`Perform or perish' diktat has helped us: Indian Seamless MD
Himalaya looks to double turnover in 2 yrs
M&M bets on Bolero Sportz
Sonata pins hopes on small, medium sectors

The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | Home |

Copyright 2002, The Hindu Business Line. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu Business Line