School of Sustainability, XIM University (New Campus), Odisha, and ConXerv, the committee for Sustainability, hosted its annual business conclave, Parivartan’ 21, on 18th September 2021. The theme for the event was “Real Wealth and Real Inclusivity – Exploring the Potential of Green Finance & Bonds.” The event started with a welcome note by Prof. Dr. Sutapa Pati, Dean of School of Sustainability, XIM University (New Campus), Odisha. In her welcome note, she addressed the speakers and talked about the potential of financial bonds and India being one of the early adopters of Sustainability and CSR practices. The Introductory speech was given by Prof. Fr. S Antony Raj SJ, Deputy Registrar, XIM University, Odisha. He talked about the climate emergency, which has accentuated through this pandemic and the role of financial institutions in poverty elevation, social inclusion, environmental degradation, and mitigating climate change, followed by the inauguration of the 7th Business conclave of School of Sustainability, Parivartan’ 21. The eminent speakers for the event were:
1. Dr. Dhruba Purkayastha, India Director for Climate Policy Initiative & Program Director for the US – India Clean Energy Finance Facility (USICEF), talked about the triple bottom line concept. He quoted, “Sustainability is not charity; it does not talk about doing business without profit.” He further discussed on how ESG needs to be compliant with social and environmental costs. He concluded that green bonds are great avenues for clean and green energy to mitigate climate change.
2. Dr. Somnath Hazra, Consulting Economist – International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) London, UK, focused on adapting climate change, sources of funds, the different financing instruments, access of financing for transformation, its strategies, and planning. He further discussed India’s position in the Global Hunger Index and UN’s World Happiness report. Towards the end of his presentation, he gave an overview of climate change initiatives by different funds.
3. Miss. Anshul Bhamra, Policy Manager of CDP, India Team, discussed how businesses move towards alternatives. She talked about how the investors have reacted towards the SDG. She mentioned that 12 of the world’s largest investors had made bold commitments to Net Zero emissions. Towards the end, she talked about the global reporting systems, including SFDR, NFRD, ESG Disclosures, and TCFD.
4. Mr. Vishal Bhavsar, Head – ESG & Corporate Sustainability, UltraTech Cement, enlightened the students with the concepts of sustainable finance and ESG. He started with a humorous depiction of ESG’s relevance and Fear of missing out influencing the ESG landscape. Lastly, he gave a brief on how Ultra tech Cement has adopted the TCFD framework in FY21.
The session was moderated by Ms. Naina Agarwal, Alumni of the School of Sustainability, XIM University (New Campus), Odisha, now working as a senior ESG consultant at EY. Finally, the event was concluded with a Q&A session where the students raised pertinent questions to the panel, making the session interactive and insightful, followed by the vote of thanks to the speakers, moderator, faculty members, and everyone who contributed to its smooth functioning.