ESG principles have become a value driver for organizations, holding the key to sustainability. Covid-19 required corporations to address new social and governance concerns, shifting their whole approach.
The obstacles to ESG adoption were discussed at a panel titled ‘Minimize risk, maximize returns, mobilize sustainable development’ at Mint ‘ESG’s Next Frontier—real India’s estate leading the way to a sustainable future.’ Pranav Sharma, partner, Trilegal; Mehul Pandya, interim CEO, CARE EDGE; Greenbase Industrial and Logistics Parks CEO N. Sridhar, Hiranandani Communities CIO Alok Vijayvergiya, and Azure Power’s Siddharth Malik spoke about the importance of a holistic ESG approach to strategy to ensure the long-term viability and success of businesses.
During the talks, we discussed how businesses and real estate organizations are moving toward taking a more comprehensive approach to ESG, which will result in sustainability over the long run. According to Sridhar, every activity has some impact on the surrounding environment. He suggested developing an ESG framework and identifying ESG indicators while emphasizing technology and innovation. Renewable energy sources, effective rubbish management, and comprehensive infrastructure are implemented. We are also implementing building certifications and keeping track of carbon emissions.
TRIL’s Vijayvergiya remarked that ESG should be incorporated into the company’s commercial presentation. – “We endorse HELP (Health, Environment, Livelihood, and Public Welfare) and Vijayvergiya’s assertion that this design requires governance is critical as well.”
Azure Power’s Malik said 37% of energy demand comes from buildings. He noted that commercial and industrial sectors have 18 GW of renewable energy capacity. Even still, energy transmission needs improvement. Sustainability has gone beyond economics to become a primary value statement and moral compass.
Pandya said any company working in an environmentally sensitive industry has a risk cap. Due to inherent hazards, the industry can’t develop beyond a certain level, even with solid finances. The volatility of these aspects affects overall functioning. Social parameters manifest any possible disturbances, but the good news is that ESG parameters are becoming more evident in reading outcomes.
Trilegal’s Sharma said the developer and investor had a cooperative relationship. There have been national policy announcements, but existing law is maturing. Sebi has formed a committee to measure and analyze ESG ratings objectively. Investors need high-quality standardized data to know who to fund. We still follow global certification standards, but conversations are picking up. Developers are attempting to stand out.