Imagine an Ayn Rand
sitting in a board of directors meeting
and discussing corporate sustainability ventures of the company. Now take your
imagination a bit further and place her leading the discussion and even
pioneering the cause herself.
Those of you who are mighty influenced by the “objectivism”
lady’s capitalist theories might see all of such narrations as sheer blasphemy.
The fact of the matter is that today corporate sustainability is not a part of
a corporate powerhouse’s altruistic initiatives, resources employed in such
policies are not considered, as previously understood, to be given away or
donated but much rather invested.
All corporate sustainability activities now come along with
a well chalked out return on investment timeline. Thus an Ayn Rand in todays
times would consider these all to be a part of her ad hoc business strategy.
In a recent visit to Tata Motors Lucknow plant, newly joined
MD Karl Slym, when asked as to what was the pleasant surprise he received on
joining the automotive conglomerate, replied that the wide spectrum of CSR
activities of the company made him happy and proud. Thus business men and
professionals world over today realise and understand that corporate
sustainability is the key aspect of a company’s holistic success.
One of the pinnacles of corporate sustainability elements is
the highly evolved credits system. So far majority of the Tata Group companies
have duly implemented the carbon credits system but water credit system is
still elusive for plenty.
To quote statistics, our very large, fast growing neighbour
China alone accounts for 90% of the 8 billion dollars invested in the water
shedding processing world over. In a recently held world bank conference,
corporate leaders quoted “water” as the single most valuable resource for
future years to come.
Organisation world over have attained a “zero discharge”
level in terms of water consumption. Some have even stepped it further and
collected water credits to use them for gaining subsidies from government or in
certain cases even monetary gains through reselling of credits to organisations
who need it.
Water and carbon credit system thus can be extensively
employed through the length and breadth of Tata group as a key parameter to
pioneer the cause of corporate sustainability and to also gain monetary
leverage through the same.
The past decade there have been many notions about a
progressing society and one of the most highlighted one has been the upliftment
of women everywhere.
Corporate sustainability conferences at different places
have stressed on the issue of empowerment of women. In the 2011 conducted UN’s
conference on sustainable development, women empowerment principles were
enlisted as a key directive for the issue. And though Tata group companies were
found to be outstandingly visible in other initiatives of the conference such
as social and economic impacts, their absence from the WEP group policies was
quite conspicuous. For starters, presently the much elaborate Tata Code of
Conduct does not contain a separate charter to cater to sexual harassment
guidelines, it is derived only from their facet of no discrimination on the
basis of caste colour, sex or creed. A separate charter would go a long way to
emphasise Tata group’s commitment to the apostle.
As the Brundtland commission report has rightfully defined
it as “development which meets the needs of the present without compromising
the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” Tata group too needs
to understand that corporate sustainability is now a new way of doing business
world wide.
Tata group has always stepped up and set benchmark for
corporate practices everywhere. The group’s policies has been well mirrored in
its prime founding father’s famous words
“In a free enterprise, the community is not just another
stakeholder, but is, in fact the very purpose of its existence” – Jamsetji Tata
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