Indian Industry to Measure Greenhouse Gases, Promote Sustainablity

HYDERABAD, India, December 13, 2005 (ENS) - A new national initiative is underway to advance climate-friendly, sustainable enterprises in India, spearheaded by the Confederation of Indian Industry, the state of Andhra Pradesh, a private foundation, and an American nonprofit organization.

India, currently the second most populous nation on Earth, next to China, is also the fifth largest emitter of greenhouse gases, contributing roughly six percent of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

The new Green Business Initiative is creating two programs in India to advance sustainable enterprises and facilitate the development of corporate greenhouse gas inventories and investments in greenhouse gas mitigation projects.

The initiative by the American nonprofit World Resources Institute (WRI) and the CII Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre (CII) was launched during the Green Business Summit 2005 held on Thursday and Friday in Hyderabad.

CII is a joint initiative of the government of Andhra Pradesh state in India, the Pirojsha Godrej Foundation, and the Confederation of Indian Industry. Technical support is provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

“This program will provide tools and training to Indian businesses, helping them to apply accounting approaches to quantify GHG emissions, identify reduction opportunities, and attract new technologies and investments,” said Jamshyd Godrej, chairperson of the CII Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre.

power plant

The coal-fired Vijayawada Power Plant is operated by the Andhra Pradesh State Electricity Board. (Photo courtesy US Energy Association)
The Indian government is not part of global negotiations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the Kyoto Protocol, so the opportunities pursued by the Green Business Initiative will be voluntary measures businesses can take based on their own cost-benefits analysis.

The greenhouse gas project will be a three year program to develop a voluntary greenhouse gas reporting platform for Indian businesses, following the internationally accepted Greenhouse Gas Protocol developed by WRI and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

The program will assist businesses in India to prepare greenhouse gas inventories, identify greenhouse gas reduction opportunities, and undertake activities to reduce emissions.

At the same time the program should benefit corporate bottom lines through reductions in energy costs, improvements in process efficiency, and potential financing from greenhouse gas (GHG) market mechanisms.

Emissions from fossil fuel combustion, especially coal, are major contributors to global warming in India.

As a second component of the initiative, CII and WRI will promote sustainable enterprises and build public-private partnerships to attract investment in green technology, following WRI’s New Ventures model (www.new-ventures.org).

New Ventures India will be a center of sustainable entrepreneurship, designed to meet the needs of Indian entrepreneurs and help them overcome common business challenges to deliver environmental and social benefits as well as economic development.

Jhirad

World Resources Institute Vice President Dr. David Jhirad (Photo courtesy WRI)
“With India’s rapid emergence in the global economy, New Ventures India will harness technology innovation, entrepreneurship and markets to achieve secure and sustainable growth that helps enhance security achieve climate stability and eradicate poverty,” said Dr. David Jhirad, WRI vice president.

The World Resources Institute is an independent, nonpartisan, and nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC, with a staff of more than 100 scientists, economists, policy experts, business analysts, statistical analysts, mapmakers, and communicators developing and promoting policies that the Institute says "will help protect the Earth and improve people’s lives."

Speaking at the launch of the initiative in Hyderabad, George Deikun, India mission director for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), said that the United States is interested in “working with Indian buiness and government and partnering to advance sustainable energy development in India, including promoting market-based energy efficiency services, accelerating the pace of renewable energy development and advancing the development of clean technologies.”

Deikun

George Deikun is India mission director for the U.S. Agency for International Development. (Photo courtesy U.S. Embassy, New Delhi)
USAID has helped to develop and is a supporter of the national Green Business Initiative, together with WRI and CII.

The partners believe that the successful implementation of the initiative will inspire other countries in the region, and the world, to consider adopting similar efforts that promote sustainable enterprises and the mitigation of climate change.

The GHG Protocol, first launched in 2001, has become the most widely used global standard for corporate accounting of greenhouse gas emissions. It was developed by over 500 experts from businesses, nongovernmental organizations, and governments.

The protocol has been adopted by over 150 companies, including industry associations representing pulp and paper, aluminum, and cement, and enjoys the support of NGOs and governments alike.

Numerous climate initiatives, including reduction programs, trading schemes, environmental standards, and registries have based their measurement and reporting guidelines on the GHG Protocol.

New Ventures supports sustainable enterprises by accelerating the transfer of capital to outstanding companies that incorporate social and environmental benefits. The program is building a pipeline of sustainable small and medium enterprises through its centers for entrepreneurship in China, Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, and now in India.

New Ventures provides all of its finalists with professional business consulting. The more than 100 small and medium enterprises that are part of the New Ventures Portfolio have attracted investment capital, increased sales, created jobs, and become leaders in their sectors. Since 1999, New Ventures has hosted nine investor forums that have facilitated investments of more than $12 million to its companies.