I firmly believe that sustainability is not just a watchword. It is imperative for our well-being. If we look at India’s contribution to global sustainable development missions, the country has made great strides towards achieving its sustainable development goals. At COP26, Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged that India will achieve its goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2070 and meet 50% of its energy needs from renewables by 2030. To achieve our sustainability goals, we must invest in disruptive practices and green technologies to optimize water use, improve air quality, ensure energy security, biodiversity and reduce carbon footprint .
Follow the net zero roadmap
India has made great strides in terms of green energy practices. It is one of the few major countries that has done exceptionally well in staying truly aligned with the commitments made in the Paris Agreement.
The country’s economy is growing and offers great opportunities to follow the path of sustainable development through innovative solutions. Today, the government is investing in systems to reduce the carbon footprint. For its part, the industry is adopting net zero transition practices.
we are taking significant steps to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 or earlier and investing $5 billion over the next 10 years for this transition.
Investments in energy
Increased investment in green technologies and energy resources can accelerate decarbonization efforts and also translate into huge economic gains.
The country is transforming its road traffic into electricity, reducing its dependence on fossil fuels, reducing imports and has set itself the goal of reaching 500 GW by 2030 from renewable energy. Green energy practices have great potential to attract investment and can provide funds to turn ideas into action. Energy-efficient equipment and large-scale technology adoption are essential for a sustainable future. A simple but massive campaign for the adoption of LED light bulbs reduces India’s emissions by 40 million tons a year. I am personally delighted to see that at Vedanta everyone is environmentally conscious and doing everything possible to take care of our planet.
Zero damage, zero waste, zero rejection
The focus of businesses shifts from making profits to adding value. Industries now have well thought out strategies in place for sourcing, allocating and using raw materials, fuel and water for sustainable practices. A “zero damage, zero waste, zero discharge” approach can be the step towards transforming industry practices for good through the recovery and reuse of materials. It is important to emphasize that effective waste management must prevent environmental degradation. Adopting innovative methods for full material utilization and zero waste can minimize material usage and alleviate environmental challenges.
Focus on the circular economy
Careful attention to the circular economy can lead to 100% use of wastewater and solid waste. A circular economy has the potential to incorporate regenerative design thinking and efficient use of resources. It also increases the potential for economic growth and opens up new opportunities. Focusing on a circular economy can initiate actions on reduce, reuse and recycle for action-based solutions for sustainability.
World Environment Day reminds us to translate our commitments into action to protect the environment and reiterates our responsibility to the cause. The window for transformative change is shrinking, but it is still open. The choices we make now will define the health of the planet, not just for the next generation, but for many generations to come.
The author is President, Vedanta