Evening Edition

For your reading pleasure:

  • International Relations: The India-Africa summit kicked off with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh promising to ease access from the world’s Least Developed Countries (LDCs). Said Singh, “under this scheme, India shall unilaterally provide preferential market access for exports from all the 50 least developed countries.”
  • Green Energy: As we have been covering in this space, green energy is becoming hotter and hotter in India. Kenersys, a newly formed wind-energy company (owned by Pune based Kalyani Group), has received an investment from First Reserve Corporation, a leading energy-focused private equity firm [via VC Circle]
  • Business Education: XLRI becomes the first Indian business school to become a “part of a UN global initiative promoting corporate social responsibility, values and ethics”. The school is now a signatory to the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME), a global framework for incorporating CSR into curricula and research [via Calcutta Telegraph]

Coca-cola to go water-neutral

As reported by GreenBiz.com,  Coca Cola plans to reshape its water consumption practices for its beverages in order to operate in a more socially responsible manner throughout the world.

 The report, “Drinking It In: The Evolution of a Global Water Stewardship Program at The Coca-Cola Company” follows the company’s efforts to achieve “water neutrality” across its worldwide operations while facing challenges from global water quality, availability and access.

Using surveys at various points along the product stream, Coca Cola has developed an integrated strategy to address their water usage.

This year, the company has set a goal of becoming the most efficient company in the world in terms of water use in the beverage industry. It plans to be fully aligned with global wastewater treatment and reuse standards by the end of 2010. It will support projects and investments that focus on rainwater collection, reforestation, protecting water sources and local access to them and the efficient agricultural use of water.

Most Indian companies dont really care about Social Responsibility: Report

Karmayog refers to itself as a “unique free platform for concerned citizens – for social and civic issues”. The organization has published what might be India’s first ever rating of the CSR initiatives of the country’s 500 largest companies. (via ProPoor.org)

The detailed methodology for the rating process can be found here. Companies were provided a overall rating of between 0 and 5, where a rating of 5 implies that the organization has a robust CSR program (note: there is no mention of impact). However 46% of India’s largest 500 companies rank zero in terms of terms of social responsibility (they have no CSR programs).

This implies that close to half of India’s largest companies don’t real care about social responsibility. Quiet shocking?

Eat it up … the less discussed aspect of sustainability

One ongoing topic on this blog appears to be the need to be forever conscious of the consumption dilemma that arises due to expanding markets to untapped communities, specifically BoP and the rural populous. Providing the fringes with first rate technologies and products to better their lives is an integral part of the development quest, but it comes with its own costs.

Triple Pundit writer AS directly discusses this issue with regard to the new effort for building globally sustainable businesses by talking about how consumption itself must also become sustainable.

I want to discuss something that rarely gets discussed in the sustainability world but which I think is going to be a subject of increasing attention. It’s the fact that sustainability is really a two-sided coin. On the one side is sustainable production, which is what all of us in business like to talk about–how companies can get leaner and greener. But on the other side is sustainable consumption, which is something that we don’t talk about much.

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