World Environment Day: Sustainability, plastic pollution high on marketers’ agenda
World Environment Day is an annual event celebrated every year on June 5th to raise awareness and encourage action for the protection of our environment. This day provides an excellent opportunity for businesses to showcase their commitment to sustainability, engage with customers, and contribute to positive environmental change.
The United Nations established World Environment Day in 1972, and since then, it has been celebrated in over 100 countries worldwide. Each year, the day focuses on a specific environmental theme, providing an opportunity to highlight a particular concern and promote sustainable practices.
The theme for World Environment Day on June 5, 2023, will revolve around solutions to plastic pollution, as part of the campaign #BeatPlasticPollution. This theme emphasises on the urgent need to address one of the most significant environmental challenges we face today – the excessive and harmful use of plastic.
On the occasion of World Environment Day, Adgully reached out to various marketers to know more about the initiatives, their focus on sustainable development, how they are beating the plastic pollution, and much more…
Arnab Banerjee, Managing Director & CEO, CEAT:
“Embracing our duty to care for the environment is a commitment we owe to our planet and future generations. At CEAT, we are dedicated to combating plastic pollution and fostering sustainability in alignment with this year’s World Environment Day theme, #BeatPlasticPollution. Our initiative to use cloth bags at CEAT serves as a sustainable solution to reduce plastic pollution. These bags are produced in our community centre at the Bhandup plant, and three self-help groups have already reaped the benefits of this endeavour. By offering an alternative to single-use plastic bags, we aim to raise awareness about sustainability and inspire individuals to adopt eco-friendly practices. On World Environment Day 2023, we will distribute these bags across all our plants, as we join hands in our pledge to protect our planet and work towards a greener future.”
Nidhi Pundhir, Vice President, Global CSR, HCL Foundation:
“At HCLTech and HCL Foundation, we are committed to creating value for all our stakeholders across the value chain while keeping true to our mission of transforming lives and spreading smiles. Our various flagship programs and special initiatives contribute towards national and international development goals, bringing about lasting positive impacts on people and the planet through long-term sustainable initiatives with a focus on education, health & sanitation, skill development & livelihoods, environment, and disaster risk reduction & response. In line with the 2023 World Environment Day Campaign #BeatPlasticPollution, HCL Foundation has been working with various stakeholders in combating the menace of plastic pollution. It is time to accelerate this action and transition to a circular economy. Our goal is to empower communities, foster clean and green environments, and contribute to global initiatives like the recent UN 2023 Water Conference. Together, let us shape a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable future for all.”
Sooraj Balakrishnan, Head of Marketing, Acer India:
“On this World Environment Day, let us unite against the grave consequences of plastic pollution. It is an environmental crisis that devastates ecosystems, imperils marine life, and threatens human health. Urgent action is paramount, and technology companies play a pivotal role in combating this peril. Through eco-friendly technologies and responsible consumption, we can reduce our reliance on single-use plastics and champion the principles of a circular economy. Collaboration among industry leaders, investors, policymakers, and governments is vital for lasting change. As a frontrunner in technology, Acer embraces its duty to minimise plastic waste across our operations. We actively seek sustainable alternatives, integrating them into our products and processes to pave the way for a more sustainable future. Acer’s Earthion initiative leads the charge in developing eco-friendly technologies and forging alliances with like-minded organisations. Together, we can spark innovation, raise awareness, and build a plastic-free future. Our collective actions today will carve an indelible legacy of sustainability for generations to come.”
Yeshasvini Ramaswamy, Serial Entrepreneur & CEO, Great Place To Work India:
“As we commemorate World Environment Day, we recognise that true corporate success goes beyond financial prowess. It hinges on the delicate balance between investor interests and advancing ESG goals. Today, we stand at the precipice of a paradigm shift, where sustainability, workplace well-being, and a greener future must be seamlessly integrated. On this occasion, we rally around the principles of ESG, which have become our guiding compass in the pursuit of organisational sustainability. By embracing these principles, we chart a course towards a holistic approach that not only ensures our sustainability goals but also enhances employee engagement, fosters innovation, and attracts purpose-driven talent. We must acknowledge the Indian Government's unwavering commitment to global ESG objectives. Through laws such as the Environment Protection Act of 1986 and the National Green Tribunal, as well as labour codes and guidelines on corporate governance, India sets an example for uniformity in defining and implementing workers’ well-being. My advice to India Inc is simple – set a true north for ESG and accelerate sustainability. You will only build exceptional workplaces but also lay the foundation for a remarkable future. Let us join hands and work together to create a world where business success is intrinsically linked to environmental stewardship and the well-being of our people.”
Rajat Verma, Founder & CEO, Lohum:
“This World Environment Day, let us recognise the generational shift happening across the globe in the form of the energy transition. The entire energy transition is riding on the back of critical and precious materials out in the world. It is very important for us to ensure that these critical materials are produced sustainably to ensure that the transition to clean energy is truly clean and truly green.”
Katsuhisa Asari, Managing Director, Konica Minolta India:
“World Environment Day holds immense global significance as it is a prominent platform for fostering climate consciousness and aims to encourage a collective pursuit of a sustainable future. Commemorating this day, we at Konica Minolta India reaffirm our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint and preserving the planet for generations to come. As trailblazers in multifunctional printing solutions, we recognize that sustainability entails not just an inherent responsibility but also an opportunity to innovate and create positive change. We take pride in our diligent efforts to mitigate carbon emissions. We have switched to battery-powered vehicles for local deliveries to reduce our carbon footprint. This move aligns with our overarching environmental objectives, aiming to observe a 60% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 and an 80% reduction by 2050. Moving ahead, we can cooperatively forge a sustainable path where every choice considers Earth’s well-being as Environment Day has transcended the essence of being a mere day but has assumed a lifelong commitment to safeguarding our natural heritage.”
Manish Bandlish, Managing Director, Mother Dairy Fruit & Vegetable:
“On the occasion of World Environment Day, we remain committed to incorporate sustainable practices across our entire value chain. In our procurement operations, we are harnessing solar energy to power milk collection units at our milk pooling points in around 5,500 villages generating around 0.7 giga watt hours/year. In addition, we have installed solar plants at four of our processing facilities which have assisted us in generating over 9 lakh solar units alone in the last fiscal. As we progress, we are in the process of installing a solar plant at our facility in Bhiwandi, Maharashtra. We have also installed rainwater harvesting pits across all our processing/ manufacturing locations. Moreover, our water recycling plants at Patparganj and Pilkhuwa plants, with a capacity of 6 lakh litres per day, have further assisted us in using water judiciously.
At the consumer level, our Token Milk assists us in preventing the generation of over 700MT of plastic per year. Besides, we have switched from plastic spoons & plastic straws to eco-friendly alternatives and are using clean fuel-based vehicles in our distribution fleet. We are also amongst the leading dairy companies to voluntarily undertake the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) program for plastic waste management beginning 2018. Currently the program is running across 27 states and so far we have collected and recycled/ co-processed approx. 19,000MT of post-consumer used plastic waste till March 2023.
With continuous execution of the EPR program, we are on track to become a plastic waste neutral company in FY24. At Mother Dairy, we are proud of the fact that sustainability is deeply embedded in our ethos, and we will continuously strive to imbibe responsible business practices wherever possible.”
Sneha Arora, Chief Human Resources Officer, Simpl:
“As a committed corporate citizen, Simpl is dedicated to minimising its carbon footprint while actively contributing to the global campaign for combating climate change. Our headquarters are designed to ensure it receives sufficient natural light to reduce dependency on renewable resources and minimise energy usage. Taking this initiative ahead, we are rolling out a month-long campaign on the occasion of World Environment Day with an array of initiatives towards building a greener workplace and driving awareness around sustainable living with our employees. By empowering employees to embrace eco-friendly practices, we remain united in our campaign to facilitate positive change and help create a sustainable world for future generations.”
Nimish Trivedi, CEO & Co-Founder, Evera:
“The impending dangers from elevated pollution levels are largely the consequence of vehicular emissions, which contribute nearly 20-30% to the country’s entire PM 2.5 emissions. With ecologically sound road transit becoming a prime concern for policymakers, environmentalists, and governments, the electric vehicle ecosystem of cab aggregators, mechanics and manufacturers must gear up to make a quantum jump in decarbonising road fleets and establishing electric vehicles as a dependable choice among private vehicle owners, cab service providers, and public transportation. Hailing as the future of mobility, electric vehicles produce half as much CO2 emissions on the road as compared to conventional internal combustion engine cars.
To empower EV adoption among car buyers, the Government has been investing in subsidy schemes such as the FAME I and II. Additionally, the Delhi Motor Vehicle Aggregator Scheme, 2023 will introduce regulations for controlling vehicular emissions, while ensuring passenger safety. Moreover, the government has also been promoting the establishment of EV charging infrastructure across the country to address range anxiety among EV owners. Electrifying the road fleet and reducing its reliance on fossil fuels makes communities more liveable, cities greener, and people healthier.”
Rohit Varma, Co-Founder, Nature inFocus:
“I am happy there is a day when the environment is highlighted and gets spoken about. But words alone are never enough. We need action. It is not the responsibility of the government, forest department or NGOs alone. Each and every one of us should live day-to-day being sensitive to our actions, and with the awareness of the repercussions of not safeguarding the natural world. Photographs and films are strong visual mediums that can generate awareness and inspire people to take action. When people see what is happening around them and when they get to know how it impacts their lives, it is bound to invoke a reaction. This World Environment Day, I wish we all make lifestyle changes, no matter big or small, to help the environment. These small actions can not only help the environment, but also help save humankind.”