As India struggles with the challenges of economic growth, industrialisation, and rising urbanisation, sustainability is becoming a crucial issue
Sustainability refers to the ability of our planet and its resources to endure and maintain the conditions necessary for human survival and well-being. It is becoming increasingly clear that our current way of life is putting the long-term future of our planet and its inhabitants at risk. One of the most critical issues we face is climate change. Burning fossil fuels releases vast amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, leading to a warming planet and more frequent and intense natural disasters. Another aspect of sustainability is resource depletion. The over-consumption of natural resources such as water, forests, and minerals is putting pressure on these resources and negatively impacting the environment and wildlife. Sustainability also has social and economic dimensions. In many parts of the world, poverty and lack of access to basic resources like clean water, food, and healthcare continue to be a challenge.
Sustainability is becoming an important issue in India as the country faces the challenges of economic growth, industrialization, and rapid urbanization. The government is increasingly making efforts to address the impact of climate change by focusing on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, encouraging renewable energy, and improving energy efficiency.
The efforts we undertake and the choices we make today will shape the future of the country. By adopting sustainable practices and prioritizing long-term thinking, we can ensure that future generations have access to the resources and opportunities to thrive.
As we look ahead, here is what to expect in terms of sustainability trends.
Renewable Energy: Renewable energy is rapidly gaining popularity as a virtuous and more sustainable alternative to traditional fossil fuels. India has a sizeable market for renewable energy in the world. The use of solar, wind, and hydropower are advancing as an investment in the research and development of new technologies. The government has reiterated its commitment to increasing the share of renewable in the country’s energy mix.
Sustainable Transportation: The transportation sector is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, and there is a growing focus on sustainable transportation solutions, such as electric vehicles, bike-sharing programs, and mass transit systems. The government has set a goal to have 30 per cent of all vehicles on the road to be electric by 2030. This is expected to drive growth in the production and adoption of electric vehicles and in the development of charging infrastructure. Electric mobility will continue to grow in India as the government continues to provide incentives and support for adopting electric vehicles.
Circular Economy: Circular economy is a model that prioritizes the conservation and re-use of resources rather than the traditional linear model of taking, making, and disposing of materials. This model is being adopted by businesses and governments globally to reduce waste and promote sustainability. India also generates a large amount of waste, and there is a growing focus on managing it sustainably and efficiently. The government continues its efforts to promote a circular economy, focusing on reducing waste and conserving resources. Besides, the adoption of new technologies to recycle used materials into value-added products will be witnessed as new regulations and incentives are envisaged for recycling, composting, and creating waste-to-energy facilities. These efforts can be combined with public awareness programmes that highlight sorting and the right ways of disposal, making waste be used productively or recycled.
Sustainable Agriculture: Agriculture is one of the largest sectors in India, which is witnessing a growing focus on sustainable farming practices. The Indian agricultural sector is expected to continue its shift towards sustainable practices, such as organic farming, crop rotation, and the use of sustainable inputs like natural fertilizers. Besides, the government is also evaluating new initiatives to promote sustainable agriculture and improve food security.
Green Buildings: India is one of the world’s fastest-growing markets for green buildings, with a focus on energy-efficient and sustainable construction practices. The Indian construction sector is expected to continue to adopt green building practices, focusing on energy-efficient and sustainable construction materials, renewable energy systems, and water conservation measures.
Rise in consumer activism: Consumer spending on sustainable products has accelerated remarkably in the recent past. They have become more conscious of the environmental impact of their purchasing decisions and are increasingly seeking eco-friendly products. Brands have acknowledged this trend. They are modifying formulations and manufacturing processes by exploring more eco-friendly packaging options. They are also reviewing the entire lifecycle - from sourcing materials to production, use, and end-of-life disposal while developing products.
Government policies on sustainability and Climate Change: The government has taken many steps toward building a sustainable future. Devising and implementing sustainability policies is quite a complex process. Policies related to carbon emissions, waste management, recycling, and transitioning to renewable energy sources have been introduced in the recent past. Many practical issues related to implementation at the ground level are expected to be addressed in the coming years. This will include new policies and regulations aimed at reducing emissions from industry, transportation, and power generation. With a more robust ecosystem and greater awareness and accountability among business organizations and individuals, we are expected to improve on practices that will foster sustainability.
These trends reflect the increasing recognition of the need to address environmental challenges comprehensively and systemically. By adopting these trends, the government, businesses, and people can work together to create a more sustainable future. As the world continues to deal with climate change’s impact, India is well-positioned to play a crucial role in promoting sustainable practices and protecting the planet for future generations.
(The author is CEO, Bisleri International Pvt. Ltd)