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Tata Power and World Business Council for Sustainable Development come together to accelerate business action on SDGs for electric utilities
With the recently concluded COP26 reiterating the significance of the immediate and just transition to clean energy to meet the Paris Agreement goals, the electric utility sector holds critical responsibility to shape the future of sustainable energy. In line with this critical agenda, Tata Power in collaboration with World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) India, organized a global virtual event on ‘Accelerating business action in line with SDGs, with focus on electric utilities’ on 16th November 2021 to spearhead collective action and maximize progress.
The event highlighted the key findings from WBCSD’s report on SDG Sector Roadmap for electric utilities, which was released in March 2021. The roadmap brought together 11 global power utilities (ACCIONA, Celsia, CLP, EDF, EDP, Eletrobras, Enel, ENGIE, Iberdrola, Kansai Electric Power), with Tata Power representing India, to explore and develop a joint global vision on how the Power sector can best actualize & implement the SDGs through collaboration, innovation, and leveraging its influence.
Speaking at the event, Dr. Praveer Sinha, CEO & MD, Tata Power said, “Tata Power has been instrumental in designing the structured SDG roadmap for electric utilities with WBCSD along with 10 global power utility companies. Tata Power has set up an ambitious roadmap to implement 10 of 17 SDGs, which reflects its commitments made in the spirit of the recently concluded COP26. The core business and CSR SDGs have shaped Tata Power’s transformation journey as a responsible Utility of the future and influenced key strategic decisions to further energy transition.
Our efforts on decarbonisation, leveraging digital technology, and decentralisation will play a critical role in taking forward our SDG goals and implementing them in this decade. Today we have a portfolio of 32% clean energy and we aim to reach 80% by 2030. Tata Power has already committed to becoming carbon-neutral before 2050. We are working towards achieving this goal much earlier.
During COP26, the Prime Minister of India spoke about the mid-term goal of achieving 500GW non-carbon generation by 2030. I am sure that the electric utilities and the government stakeholders together will play a critical role in achieving this ambitious target”
During the inaugural session, James Gomme, Director, People, and Society, WBCSD, said, “We began the Electric utility SDG roadmap a couple of years ago, bringing together a group of leading electric utilities who were already moving the needle in their ways on achieving the SDG goals. We are now operationalising that roadmap and would like to thank Tata Power for its leadership in initiating a platform for evangelising the SDG roadmap for the Indian landscape.”
This was followed by multiple insightful sessions by sustainability experts and prominent speakers from leading Indian and global electric utilities who shared their progress with regards to efforts and actions undertaken in line with the roadmap.
Dr. B N Patil, Climate Change expert and Collector-Ratnagiri, Maharashtra brought in a rich context from a planning and development perspective and areas where collective action is anticipated. Dr. Vibha Dhawan, Director General-TERI, juxtaposed SDG action from developed and developing nations and highlighted the role of large private entities on sustainability. Shloka Nath- Acting CEO, India Climate Collaborative and Head-Sustainability, Policy & Advocacy (Tata Trusts), urged for global collective action, stressing the importance of partnerships beyond sectoral boundaries and innovation in the achievement of SDG goals.
The inaugural sessions were followed by two-panel discussions with global industry experts. The first panel moderated by Jyoti Kumar Bansal, Chief- Branding, Communications, CSR & Sustainability, Tata Power had members like Eduardo Moura Deputy Director of Sustainability, EDP, Dr. Ganesh Das, Chief – Strategy, Collaborations, and R&D – TPDDL, CEO – Clean Energy International Incubation Centre, Pritesh Vinay, CFO, JSW Energy, Mikel Ortiz de Latierro Imaz, Director, Environment, Social, Compliance, Health and Safety, and Quality, Acciona.
The panel shed light on how businesses should not only focus on aligning themselves to the SDG goals but should also give importance to tracking their periodic progress against set targets based on indicators, and how internalizing the indicators to daily operations can accelerate progress in the overall sustainability journey. The panel also discussed how companies should look beyond the concept of carbon neutrality and create shared value with communities through a social license to achieve the larger climate agenda.
The second panel moderated by Florian Micco, Associate, People and Society WBCSD had industry experts like Hendrik Rosenthal, Director of Group Sustainability, CLP Group, Ishan Purohit, Energy Specialist, APAC, IFC, Deeksha Vats, CSO, Aditya Birla Group, and Vicky Sins, Lead, Climate, and Energy Benchmarks, World Benchmarking Alliance.
The panel discussed the challenges faced by businesses to be on track with SDG 2030 Decade of Action and how it’s imperative to internalise finance mobilisation to assist SDG achievement. The conversation emphasized the need for accountability in processes and collective action from electric utilities which will pave a strong foundation in realizing the SDG roadmap and aligning the achievement of the below 1.5-degree centigrade target.
The event witnessed participation from global business leaders, regulatory authorities, investors, and academicians, making it an interactive and insightful session.
Over the years, Tata Power has been committed to sustainable growth, resource conservation, energy efficiency, and habitat protection. It has won the best Environment Social and Governance (ESG) disclosure at the Investor Relations Award 2020 and has ranked 13th in India’s most sustainable companies with an A+ rating by BW Business World and Sustain lab Paris.