INDUSTRY’S IMPERATIVES FOR SUSTAINABILITY IN PRESENT TIMES
The Brundtland Commission,set up under the aegis of the United Nations, in its report submitted in 1987, described sustainability as meeting the needs of the current generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet its own needs.
That definition of sustainability assumes immense significance today as industrial activity gets ramped up at a faster pace globally. In present times, it is imperative for an environmentally aware business enterprise to consider more than just profits.It should consider its impact on society and the environment. Such a business model is sustainable because it contributes to the health of the structure within which it operates, thereby facilitating an environment in which businesses can thrive.
Today, business sustainability is defined as managing the triple bottom line, a process by which firms manage their financial, social and environmental risks and obligations. These three pillars of sustainability are often referred to as ‘profit, people and planet.’
In the year 2015, the United Nations set up the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that were agreed upon by 193 Member-States of the UN. These SDGs are a collection of 17 inter linked global goals designed to be a ”blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.” These goals include Clean Water & Sanitation, Affordable & Clean Energy, Sustainable Cities & Communities and Climate Action, among others. The SDGs are intended to be achieved by the year 2030. Unlike for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), corporates are expected to play a substantial role in the fulfilment of SDGs. The financial community has gradually begun to not only actively support businesses that embed sustainability in their core strategy but have a lso begun to demand disclosures of their sustainable performance and future strategy around it.
At Tata Steel, sustainability has always been a core principle that is embedded in its business philosophy and is backed by a long-term, holistic vision of achieving identified targets. The Company’s operating philosophy is deep-rooted in its principles of zero harm, resource efficiency, circular economy, minimising its ecological footprint and care for the community and workforce.
This approach of the Company is aligned with its overall vision to be industry leader in the domains of Climate Change, Water, Waste Utilisation and Biodiversity. Underpinning this are strategies on low-carbon transition, reducing dependence on freshwater consumption, maximising value from waste and exploring opportunities in the circular economy. It also includes enhancing biodiversity in areas where the Company has its operations, building a sustainable and resilient supply chain and customer-focussed product stewardship.