LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - More than 20 major Indian businesses have signed up to a voluntary initiative that will help them set targets for reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and measure progress towards those goals.
The India Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Program will provide companies with tools and technical assistance to build emissions inventories, identify reduction opportunities, establish targets and track their progress based on the GHG Protocol, an international emissions accounting and reporting standard.
Jamshyd Godrej, chairman of Indian conglomerate Godrej & Boyce Manufacturing Co. Ltd, told this week's launch in New Delhi that, in the past few years, some progressive Indian companies have already kickstarted efforts to monitor and control their environmental footprint, with the aim of influencing their suppliers, investors and consumers. This underscores the need for a "centre for excellence" on greenhouse gas accounting, he added.
"The India GHG Program aims to make measurement and management of GHG emissions standard practice for Indian businesses seeking a more competitive, profitable and sustainable business environment,” he said.
S. Raghupathy, executive director of the CII–Godrej Green Business Centre, described the programme "as a strong step towards having industry lead GHG emission reduction initiatives, share best practices and mitigate its carbon risks”. The CII is working with its members to help India achieve its commitment to reduce its greenhouse gas intensity - emissions reductions relative to productivity or economic output - by 20 to 25 percent by 2020, he added.
The companies involved in the initiative, which is funded by the German government and two Indian foundations, include Ford Motor Company (India), Mahindra Sanyo Steel, Jet Airways, Tata Teleservices, Tata Chemicals, Bayer Group, Infosys Technologies and Yes Bank.
Joginder Singh, president and managing director of Ford India, said the company was committed to bringing fuel-efficient vehicles to India, and planned to grow its manufacturing capabilities in India in an environmentally responsible way.
“I am happy to see the India GHG Program shaping up to help companies...monitor their progress towards voluntary reduction goals in a consistent and credible manner,” said Rajendra K. Pachauri, director general of TERI and chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The programme also aims to make it easier for the private sector to engage with policy makers on national emissions reductions, and will build a pool of trained and certified professionals skilled in measuring and managing emissions, its founding groups said.
"(It) strives to promote climate stewardship and innovation that will merge core business benefits along with the environmental and social agenda,” said Vivek P. Adhia, a senior associate with WRI India.