A special plenary session was held, to introduce the Leaders for Nature – India, at the CII’s 8th Sustainability Solutions Summit this evening in New Delhi.
With attendance of Chief Executive Officers, Chief Sustainability Officers, Senior Environment and Sustainability officials from a number of leading national and multi-national companies with operations in India, the session saw unveiling of the programme’s strategy, followed by discussions to get inputs from the business community.
The Indian complement of a global initiative by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Leaders for Nature – India, is a joint initiative of IUCN, Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), Hivos and Wildlife Trust of India (WTI). Leaders for Nature India envisions to inspire, guide, facilitate and support companies in incorporating natural capital into their business strategy and thereby drives the transformation towards an Indian economy that values and conserves nature.
Mr. Daan Wensing, Managing Director, Leaders for Nature said, “Industries, businesses and economy depend on services provided by nature and likewise they have an impact on it. By incorporating natural capital into your core businesses, companies not just helps promote overall green economy but also enhance profits and in fact their very existence over long-term”. Mr. Wensing continued “We’re all looking for that next step and going beyond the examples to get into the strategic area”.
Presenting the Vision and Mission of the Leaders for Nature – India, Mr. PR Sinha, Country Representative, IUCN India said, “We are not very far from the time when all services of nature will be charged, and its time that we start taking nature into account into our thinking processes and our functioning.”
Mr. Hem Pande, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India encouraged the business participants to become ‘biodiversity champions’ and indicated that initiatives such as Leaders for Nature – India can efficiently drive this agenda forward.
The panel also included Mr. Chanakya Chaudhary, Chief Resident Executive, Tata Steel, Mr. Nazeeb Arif, Vice President, ITC Limited, Mr. Neil Marshman, Chief Advisor, Rio Tinto and Joe Phelan, Director, WBCSD India, who shared their respective experiences with managing natural capital linked to their businesses and overall benefits they generated.
The event ended with Ms. Seema Arora, Executive Director, CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development calling upon the participants to become Leaders for Nature.