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Voluntary Carbon Disclosure in India: TCS, Wipro Lead the Way

Accelerating Low Carbon GrowthThe top 10 companies in the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI) for the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) in India for 2011 include TCS, Wipro, Yes Bank, ACC, Tata Chemicals, Tata Global Beverages, Sesa Goa, GVK Power & Infrastructure, ABB and Tata Power.

This was announced at a half-day event organised by the CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development along with its partners WWF-India and the CDP, with the support of the British High Commission, to release the India report of the Carbon Disclosure Project in 2011 on November 15 in New Delhi. 

Speaking at the inaugural session, Mr. Gregory Barker, UK’s Minister of State for Climate Change, Department of Energy & Climate Change, said, “The best way to attract the attention of business leaders and investors is to give them the numbers of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Energy efficiency and resource use efficiency are of competitive interest for all businesses, and lead to sustainability.” He referred to the Global 500 Report of the CDP released in September 2011; the financial performance of the climate performers under the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI) was twice as better than the average. 

Elaborating on the role of the government for managing climate change, Mr. Barker added governments must provide clear, long-term vision to the industry. Public policy on climate change needs to have transparency, certainty and longevity. The biggest risk to business was the policy risk. In this respect, he espoused the leadership of CII was visionary. He said the Government of UK had recently announced a £ 2.9 billion ($ 5 billion) corpus International Climate Finance to be disbursed between 2011 and 2015 for developing countries to adapt to climate change. This was in addition to the grant of nearly $ 6 million to the ADB. Further, there was a Capital Markets Climate Initiative set up to work with various countries; they would soon publish a report on the case study of India’s Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission. 

Sharing the global perspective of the CDP, its Executive Chairman Mr. Paul Dickinson said, “Indian industry is showing increasing interest in the enormous commercial opportunities presented by sustainability, which is the first predictable industrial revolution. Information, entertainment, education and communications can grow without limit. As economic value moves from atoms and molecules to bits and bytes, India’s great size and technological leadership provides the foundation to dominate in fast growing global markets for services of all kinds.” He added that 57 out of the top 200 companies in India responded as compared to 8 companies in Russia, 67% of the top 75 companies in Brazil, 81% of the companies listed on the Johannesburg Exchange and 91% of the top 300 companies in the EU. ONGC was into working with their suppliers for their carbon disclosure. 

Presenting the Indian industry perspectives, Mr. Arun Bharat Ram, Past President, CII, and Chairman, SRF Ltd., said that while globally businesses agreed on the relevance of green products and processes, they were faced by three challenges: stabilising the economy, revitalising the economy and reversing the environmental degradation. There were numerous efforts by Indian industry in this direction, as exemplified by the expected lowering of cost of the solar-powered electricity by 40% by 2015, making it competitive with the conventional electricity. The renewable energy trade market alone was an estimated $ 2.5 billion, and the market for low carbon goods in India is an estimated $ 135 billion. 

The highlights of the CDP India 200 Report 2011 were presented. Nearly 96% of the top India companies responding to CDP see opportunities arising out of corporate action to address climate change. In addition, 87% of the respondents see avenues for growth from regulatory changes affecting companies in emerging economies. However, two-thirds are also wary of uncertainty surrounding the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. 

Ahead of the upcoming COP17 in Durban, the India 200 report entitled “Accelerating Low Carbon Growth” provides significant insights on how leading Indian companies are demonstrating global best practices in disclosing their carbon emissions and setting performance targets for mitigation of GHG emissions. The report highlights the need for strong governance to manage the complexity of climate change issues, the increasing integration of climate strategy with business strategy and the associated financial opportunities that present to Indian industry. 

This year 57 of the top 200 Indian companies responded to the CDP, a 12% increase over the 2010 response rate. TCS and Wipro topped the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI) which shows a diverse mix of sectors indicating wide-spread awareness of the issues. Over the last five years, the number of companies reporting their GHG emissions is on an upward trend. In 2011, 89% of the responding companies reported their Scope 1, 2 or 3 emissions; this is more than a two-fold increase since CDP 2008. 

Ms. Seema Arora, Executive Director, CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development, welcomed the gathering by saying corporate India was initially hesitant, but now was looking at using the CDP disclosures strategically. 

Concluding the inaugural session and also moderating the ensuing panel discussion, Mr. Ravi Singh, Secretary General & CEO, WWF-India, commented, “WWF sees CDP as a key partner in encouraging carbon disclosure in the Indian industrial sector. CDP, in partnership with CII and WWF-India, has entered its fifth year since inception, and has seen improvement in quality and gained wider appreciation towards the importance of reducing institutional carbon footprint.” 

The panel discussion that followed witnessed the views of leading persons such as Mr. Suresh Prabhu, Former Minister and Chairman of CEEW, Mr. Arunavo Mukerjee of Tata Quality Management Systems, Mr. Sunil Sinha of CRISIL and Mr. Alok Dayal of IDFC. Nearly 200 participants attended the event to release the report. 


Check the following link to read/download the Full Report:


Source: CII.