Opinion

Renewing our pledge towards combating climate change

Sanjay Khajuria | Updated on April 21, 2021

The World Earth Day is a good time to renew our commitment towards combating climate change

The spread, scale, speed and severity of Covid-19 reveals that in an interconnected world, our susceptibility to health, environmental and economic crisis is high, we must work together to restore the earth and build back better.

Like Covid-19, climate change knows no borders.

These times call for urgent action to restore our planet, its people and forging partnerships to reach our shared purpose.

The UN Sustainable Development Goal - 13 focusses on taking urgent action to combat climate change and its impact. Countries around the globe are channelising considerable time and effort towards tackling climate change to build a more sustainable future.

While globally, there are several initiatives which are being undertaken to combat climate change, we in India too are taking decisive steps on renewable energy generation, waste to energy generation and solid waste management through the Swachh Bharat Mission. The need of the hour is for organisations and businesses to stay committed to the planet and foster economic growth that complements the environment. Make thoughtful changes and shifts, stay aware and stay alert. Organisations must use their capabilities and expertise to lead and participate in programmes that are designed to support the development of long-term climate policy. They should commit themselves to renew efforts to improve energy efficiency, reduce GHG emissions, set voluntary targets and publicly report the progress of their initiatives.

It also takes unprecedented levels of collaboration and innovation to trigger the big, systemic changes required to achieve these ambitious goals. The power to accelerate this change will require a multi-stakeholder approach to collaborate and monitor progress, laying the foundation for a better world.

The realisation of the urgency of the present situation has led to an acceleration of companies’ commitment to the cause. A collaboration of technology, expertise and experience between corporates can help expedite adoption of evidence based GHG emission reduction targets.

The increased understanding of the ecosystem and the actions that need to be taken have led to a focus on developing sustainable packaging and more sustainable agriculture.

Responsible sourcing and removal of deforestation from supply chain is also an essential part of this equation. This requires an organisation where farmers and suppliers are empowered to sustainably produce the raw materials being used. Guidelines and policies can help enable implementation and provide operational support for sustainable procurement and supplier management for a better value chain. Transparency in the supply chains and responsible sourcing of materials are essential to ensuring a sustainable future. We need to work collaboratively to protect the health of our habitats, improve soil management, protect the oceans and preserving biodiversity. Work with partners to preserve shared water resources, promote regenerative agriculture and improve water management practices.

Collaboration action

There is an immediate need for all organisations to support, implement and provide solutions and actions to contribute to the conservation of resources and steward them for future generations and meet the climate goals collectively.

This requires collaborative commitment through dialogue, engagement and partnerships with all stakeholder such as corporates, governments, non-governmental organizations, and individuals, and most importantly a change in human behaviour.

This World Earth Day let us renew our commitment and forge together with a common purpose to restore our planet and take prompt action.

The writer is Director, Corporate Affairs, Nestlé India

Published on April 21, 2021

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