Government’s Support Essential for Private Players to Ramp Up Commitment to Climate Change Mitigation: Experts

Bengaluru,26th June 2023 The real estate sector has a lot to contribute towards net zero goals being set by countries across the world. It can play a pivotal role in creating a sustainable world for future generations, provided it receives adequate regulatory support from the government.

Mr. Mallanna Sasalu, COO, Provident Housing Limited, addressed this and other relevant points on how the sector can improve upon its present level of carbon emissions, as part of a panel titled, ‘A Roadmap to Achieve Net Zero Goals’, at the 24th International Conference on Environment Management and Climate Change, organised by the Institute of Directors (IOD), in Bengaluru on Thursday.

“It is imperative for real estate players to acknowledge the environmental impact of urban development and take proactive measures to mitigate the harm caused due to construction activities. We must look at innovative ways for optimal usage of natural resources like air, water, and solar energy, and for dealing with pressing issues like solid waste management. Our commitment to sustainable development is important and with adequate support from statutory regulators, it is achievable,” Mr. Sasalu said.

Further, citing the example of the Shivanasamudra hydro-electric project, which lit up Bengaluru streets in the early 1900s, he said, “Investments in terms of climate goals should be looked at from long-term perspectives. If the patrons who funded the Shivanasamudra project back then had looked at immediate profits, we would not have had electricity on Bengaluru’s streets so early in the century. Thus, any investments into creating a sustainable world should be seen from the lens of Total Economic Value (TEV) in the long run because the returns are exponential.”

Mr. Sasalu also touched upon several sustainable practices that Provident Housing follows, such as the treatment and reuse of wastewater, waste segregation at the source, rainwater harvesting, and their latest commitment of one tree per family in all their upcoming projects.

During the session, Mr. Shaji K V, Chairman of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) emphasised the commitment of India to become a net-zero emitter by 2070, acknowledging the proactive steps already taken by the country. He highlighted the potential risks of climate change on the distribution and quality of India’s natural resources and the livelihoods of its people, particularly small and marginal farmers, who are most vulnerable to its impacts. He reaffirmed that agriculture is at the frontline of climate change impact.

Chaired by Mr. Ovais Sarmad, Former Deputy Executive Secretary, UN Climate Change, Germany, the panel also included Mr. Thierry Berthelot, Consul General of France and Mr. Achim Burkart, Consul General of Germany, who shared insights on preparations for COP28, ensuring ‘Net-Zero,’ and developing social and economic priorities alongside a combined strategy for Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) and a low-carbon future.

The Institute of Directors, India, organised the 24th International Conference on Environment Management and Climate Change at The Lalit Ashok, Bengaluru. The conference, spanning two days starting June 22nd, focused on the theme: “Board’s Strategy towards a Green Economy.”

Other business & industry leaders, who participated on day 1, included Mr. Arun Balakrishnan, Chairman, IOD- Bengaluru Chapter, Founder Chairman & Independent Director, HPCL-Mittal Energy Limited & former CMD, HPCL; Lt. Gen. Surinder Nath, PVSM, AVSM (Retd.) President, Institute of Directors, Ex-Chairman, UPSC & Ex-Vice Chief of Army Staff Former Independent Director, L&T Board; Mr. Bhaskar Anand Rao, CFO, Bangalore International Airport Ltd. (BIAL); Mr. Chanchal Kumar IAS, Special Secretary & Managing Director, National Highways & Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd.; Mr. Sailesh IAS, Member, Public Enterprises Selection Board (PESB) former Secretary, Dept. of Public Enterprises, Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises, India & Mr. Ashok Kapur, IAS (Retd.) Director General, Institute of Directors.

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