Unlocking Indias potential to build a more sustainable tomorrow

The CII-ITC’s 8th Sustainability Summit held in New Delhi saw the release of a new report on ‘How India Innovates: The promise of sustainable and inclusive innovation.’ As economic growth rates go down and global climate temperatures go up, innovation has become nothing short of a necessity. India, too, has declared 2010-2020 as the Decade of Innovation.

Under the framework of Indo-German bilateral cooperation the Umbrella Programme for the Promotion of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) funded by the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), GIZ India has partnered with CII-ITC-CESD to strengthen sustainable and inclusive innovations and to support the dissemination of knowledge and the scaling up of successful SI2.

As part of this partnership GIZ and CII-ITC-CESD have conducted this study with the objective to provide the innovation eco-system with information on how business in India innovates and the promise it sees in Sustainable & Inclusive Innovation.

According to the report, 79% companies in India innovate with radical solutions while 71% innovate with incremental or radical solutions. Companies have also identified exploiting green growth opportunities and reducing environmental impacts as other important factors to innovate. However, the bottom-of-pyramid market is still not an important driver for companies to innovate.

According to Ms. Seema Arora, Executive Director, CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development, awareness on sustainability issues has come a long way in the 30 years since the Brundtland Commission, with leading companies taking proactive steps towards building a more secure, sustainable and equitable future. She adds, “Regardless of whether it is called climate change, responsible business or CSR; the message today is clear – sustainable business is here to stay and industry must change the way it operates.”

Sharing her thoughts on the event, Ms Arora, states, “The Centre is pivotal in spearheading the sustainability agenda in the country in that it was created by the industry itself. And the Summit is the realisation of the fact that by bringing civil society, government and industry together on one platform, we can truly succeed in co-creating a more sustainable India.”

The Prime Minister’s Office set up the National Innovation Council with a mandate to substantially enhance the innovation ecosystem in India. The Council has developed a roadmap that would, among other things, create State Innovation Councils and innovation clusters. CII is a member of the National Innovation Council and is helping set up innovation clusters in a couple of sectors.

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