Indian Businesses Managing their Greenhouse Emissions
Responsible Indian businesses have started tracking and managing their greenhousegas emissions under a voluntary programme facilitated by World ResourcesInstitute (WRI), The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) and Confederationof Indian Industry (CII). The programme, known as the India GHG Programme, claims to be tracking and managing about 268 MT of carbon emissions i.e., over 10%of the entire country’s industrial emissions.
As India continues to experience the impacts of climate change in the form of changing rainfall patterns, heat waves, and coastal flooding, businesses are increasingly recognizing the need to mitigate and adapt. The problem is that many lack guidance on where to begin.The India Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Programme, launched in July 2013, aims to offer a meaningful starting place by providing a standardized method for companies to measure and manage their greenhouse gas emissions. Conceived in with WRIIndia, TERI and CII the programme provides Indian businesses with tools and technical assistance to measure their emissions, identify reduction opportunities, establish short and long-term reduction goals, and track their progress based on the GHG Protocol, the most widely used emissions accounting and reporting standard in the world.
The programme has active membership of 30 companies ranging from textiles to telecom, automobiles to aviation, and cement to services. Some of the key companies currently on board include the Aditya Birla Group, Mahindra Group, Infosys, ITC Limited, National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) Limited, Jet Airways (India) Limited, Godrej & Boyce Manufacturing Company Limited, Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL), Ford India Private Limited and Yes Bank, to name a few. These responsible businesses have expressed a commitment to actively participate in efforts such as conducting a GHG inventory of business operations, mapping of the supply chain, and investments in efficiency improvements yield quick paybacks and generally correlate to improved overall operations.
As India continues to experience changing rainfall patterns, heat waves, coastal flooding, there is an increasing need to mitigate and adapt. A study by the Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture (CRIDA) states that climate change has already directly impacted more than 27% of India’s total geographical area. India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) is one of the strongest responses to climate change by any developing country. India has already achieved emissions intensity reductions of 17.6% between 1990 and 2005 and has committed to reducing its emissions intensity by 20-25% by 2020 from a 2005 baseline.
What climate change challengesdoes India face?
It is difficult to quantify the expected impact of climate change. However, a recent World Bank study estimates that developing countries like India will need between US$70 and US$100 billion per year through 2050 to meet current and future climate adaptation needs. Current spending is approximately US$4.4billion, a huge gap that shows how developing countries are poorly prepared to overcome their adaptation challenges.
India is a country that’s quite vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Challenges involving water availability, changing rainfall patterns, resilience capabilities, and disaster management are already emerging. These challenges will impact coastal areas, regions located at the base of the Himalayas that are experiencing increased glacier melting, and riverbeds. A recent study by the Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture (CRIDA) shows that climate change has already directly impacted more than 27% of the country’s total geographical area. These impacts hold serious implications for communities, businesses, and for the country’s future growth and development.
The role of Indian corporate sector
Business is not only essential for continued economic growth in India, but also has the greatest opportunity for large-scale emissions reductions – which can help mitigate the worsening impacts of climate change. Efforts such as conducting a GHG inventory of their operations, mapping of the supply chain and investments in efficiency improvements yield quick paybacks and generally correlate to improved overall operations.
India’s government is also increasingly recognizing both the opportunity and urgency of business action on climate change. India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) is arguably one of the strongest responses to climate change by any developing country.The country has already achieved emissions intensity reductions of 17.6% between 1990 and 2005 and has committed to reducing its emissions intensity by 20-25% by 2020 from a 2005 baseline.
Energy efficiency regulations and policy measures are also emerging, such as the Perform Achieve Trade(PAT) Scheme (which is expected tofacilitate roughly US$5.4 billion inefficiency investments), regulated carbon dioxide emissions in the telecom and aviation sectors, and overall corporate responsibility in mitigating the impacts of climate change. In short, the corporate sector is essential for sustained action on climate change. It is important that the sector has the tools to seize opportunities, comply with new regulations, and implement needed operational changes.
How can the India GHGProgramme help reducecorporate emissions?
Currently, a wide disparity exists when it comes down to the capacity of companies to respond to climate change and leverage related opportunities. Some sectors – such as cement and steel – are more advanced in improving their specific energy consumption, controlling their GHG emissions, and incorporating low-carbon planning into operations and product development. Others– like power generation – require the introduction of innovative, industry-specific inputs in terms of technological, regulatory, and financial support to get to the same level of operational efficiency. Additional differences result from regulations placed on sectors such as aviation and telecom.
The India GHG Programme aims to assist all facets of India’s corporate sector in achieving emissions reductions and improving operational efficiency.The Programme will develop an internationally consistent and locally relevant GHG measurement and accounting framework based on the GHG Protocol. It will act as a center of excellence on GHG management in India, providing an array of services to industry, including: training and capacity-building, pragmatic tools, data analytics and bench marking as well as compiling sectorial, industrial and regional best practices that can inform other initiatives.
The collaborative support from WRI, CII, and TERI brings unmatched expertise and knowledge in the area of GHG management. As a voluntary, industry-led programme, it is the ideal platform for promoting collaboration and cross-industry experience sharing. It offers a value proposition to businesses by incorporating the mitigation of carbon-related risks into the overall business strategy an opportunity to engage with peers on a single platform and provide access to policy makers and civil society to initiate dialogue on the actions and challenges in reducing GHG emissions.
Trainings form a central piece of offering under the India GHG programme serving member companies in developing internal capacity across specific themes (inspite of significant progress, there are still gaps across key departments or issues like transportation, waste,process related emissions etc.). Trainings are not just limited to member companies, but also include select invitees or potential target companies that are most likely to join the programme or conduct GHG accounting.