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environment | IST

Big Deal: Experts discuss ESG thrust and future goals

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To discuss India Inc’s road to sustainability CNBC-TV18’s Nisha Poddar spoke to two key proponents of building sustainable businesses, Kaku Nakhate of Bank of America and Amish Mehta from CRISIL.

We have been consistently mapping India Inc’s road to sustainability. With almost all top corporate leaders paying close attention to their companies’ ESG standards, are we at par with the global standards and what lies ahead?
To discuss this, CNBC-TV18’s Nisha Poddar spoke to two key proponents of building sustainable businesses, Kaku Nakhate of Bank of America and Amish Mehta from CRISIL.
Kaku Nakhate said, “There is a big momentum in the last 18 months, where ESG (environmental, social and governance) is becoming more and more important for even our top business houses. Everybody is really geared towards it and I see us, having come from behind, actually getting ahead of many of the countries in the next five years.”
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On CRISIL findings, Mehta said, “I think CRISIL has used sustainability as a key platform for all its offerings. We have launched the scores for ESG valuation of 225 large corporates in India in July. We have used 100 parameters for evaluating, and we have tried to get a consistent local and a global benchmark, where we have tried to use best in class local benchmarks for companies in India.”
He added, “When we look at some of the findings, clearly companies in the services sector BFSI, IT, ITES, which are less polluting, stand out in terms of sustainability score and evaluation. However, some of the best in class companies in sectors like metal and mining, energy, given that they are finding themselves against the best in class companies in the BFSI space… you see them in the top quartile.”
Nakhate said, “I think everybody has been focused on environment… for quite some time. But the global push is how do you really, as a company, not only earn profits, but also live with a purpose. Brian Moynihan, our CEO has been really focused on ESG since 2014. We are the part of the World Economic Forum to develop the ESG metrics.”
She added, “All our buildings today are LEED buildings, we have reduced the prints headcount, the paper which we use, and the packaging material, we have done away with plastic water bottles in the company, reduced the number of bins. It was a real effort … but everybody changed and it became a part of the culture.”
For full interview, watch accompanying video...