NextGen Summit 2023: Experts put onus on right intent & collective effort to achieve net zero targets

NextGen Summit 2023: Experts put onus on right intent & collective effort to achieve net zero targets

Stakeholders stressed on prioritizing sustainability initiatives both at organizational as well as individual levels

  • By Rahul Koul | July 17, 2023

From being just a developing economy to now openly committing to sustainability targets, India has done phenomenally well. “The green credits program, biofuel program and many other initiatives are in the right direction. However, despite all the efforts, it is too little and too late. Besides showing the intent, we need collective contribution from all stakeholders. We at BASF have set the target of net zero by 2050 and we are backing this with a huge investment of 2 billion euros annually on R&D. The focus is on the carbon management, circularity and sustainability initiatives,"  said Sunita Sule, Director – Country Development & Government Relations, BASF India.

Sule spoke along with other leading experts at the second session of NextGen Chemical and Petrochemical Summit 2023 organized in Mumbai by the Indian Chemical News on July 13-14, 2023.  The event themed Innovation, Self reliance and Sustainability was attended by a galaxy of thought leaders. The second session titled, ‘Net Zero and Decarbonisation Preparedness’ was moderated by Ashish Kulkarni, Partner & Associate Director, BCG.

Zarir Langrana, ED & President - Global Chemicals Business, Tata Chemicals feels that the magnitude of climate change challenge is significant and organizations must strike a balance between sustainability goals and their business growth. He lists out the efforts by his organization: "Tata group has publicly committed to going net zero by 2045 and 30% reduction in carbon emission by 2030. Our efforts are directed towards decarbonisation, circularity and preservation of natural resources. Our Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS) unit in the UK has captured 40,000 tonnes of C02 and manufactured sodium bicarbonate which is a key feedstock in the country as there is a major shortage. We are also planning to go water neutral by 2030 as water is going to be the new oil.”

“There is a growing demand for chemicals in India due to rapid urbanization. That surely is a huge opportunity for the industry. Yet as per a survey, only 5 out of top 20 chemical groups have defined their targets for sustainability which requires attention. My son who is doing his internship at Tesla has been promised US$ 100 for cycling to the office and he is quite excited over it. Such lean thinking leads to larger initiatives. Sustainability also means digitalization and minimizing the use of paper besides consolidation and aggregation,” said Mukund Vasudevan, Managing Director, Moglix who calls for novel approaches to finding sustainability solutions by each organization.

“Mostly the onus has been on the in-house manufacturing. However, you may do all the right things but may not do all the things right. Therefore, collaboration is the way forward to create more sustainable options for transport. Electric tankers to move the raw material could be a good option but the availability of electric heavy duty tanker trucks is a major issue. I have struggled to find such trucks in India. There is a lot that can be done on this front but the right intent has to be there,” said Vikram Handa, Managing Director, Epsilon Carbon who believes that enough hasn’t been done yet to create better options on high end transportation.

"We are working with over 18,000 farmers and our multidisciplinary research approach aims to strengthen the research and outreach support provided by Godavari Biorefineries Limited to smallholding farming communities at Sameeerwadi, Karnataka by helping to choose the best farming practice. The sugarcane yield has come down due to salt stress and therefore carbon sequestering through soil is one of the options. Optimal utilization of land space, water utilization and use of organic fertilizers are few sustainable practices that increase both soil health and farmers' wealth. However, there is limited research over which combination works best," said Dr Parvathi J. R., Assistant Director - SIRAC and Co-Director, Centre for Sustainable Development and Climate Action.

“Net zero and decarbonization is central to most of the top level discussion in organizations these days. Sustainability has to be embedded in the operations and companies must prioritize it. Sustainable lifestyles is the theme that needs to be taken into consideration. Bringing out knowledge sharing by nation to nation exchanges and building institution to institution capacity are a few examples,” said Kulkarni,

The Summit was supported by the Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Govt. of India. DCM Shriram Ltd. was co-partner for the Summit. The Gold Partners of the summit were Premier Tech, Ingenero, Rieco, ABB, PIP, Deepak Group, Dassault Systemes, Moglix and Siemens. Associate Partners were Tata Chemicals, Anupam Rasayan India, Sealmatic, Godavari Biorefineries, Huntsman, Tranter, Source.One, IPCO, and Aeroflex. The Lanyard Partner was Jakson Green. Industry Association Partners were AMAI, Gujarat Chemical Association, CropLife India, Chemicals and Petrochemicals Manufacturers Association and AgroChem Federation of India.

Register Now to Attend NextGen Chemicals & Petrochemicals Summit 2024, 11-12 July 2024, Mumbai

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