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5 'R's for the service sector to be natural capital considerate

The services sector in India is one of the fastest growing sectors in the world, and has emerged as the largest contributor to the GDP (57.9%). As the sector grows in its market share and value, its responsibility environmental stewardship also grows proportionately. Given the sector’s relationship with the environmental and social ecosystem, organizations have started taking simple and easy-to- implement steps that contribute to natural capital conservation.Service sector organizations could implement the 5 ‘R’s below to safeguard the environment:

  • Resource Consumption – It is of prime importance that companies incorporate efficient resource management by focusing on allocation and utilization of resources internally to minimize wastage and mitigate overhead costs. Projects targeted at reducing overall energy consumptionand effective recycling of e-waste and paper are case in points of immediate measures of resource management. These measures of resource efficiency lead to reduced inputs and thereby reduced costs for the company. Furthermore, these initiatives also result in a reduction of the company’s overall carbon footprint

  • Responsible Procurement - Manufacturing sector is an indispensable input to the service sector. Taking into account the supply chain of materials necessary for the service sector to operate,ranging from paper to electronics, it becomes critical that the service sector influence other stakeholders like suppliers to provide environmental friendly goods. The service sector could advocate for sustainable supply chain ethics and choose from suppliers that adhere to sustainable business principles

  • Reorienting Consumer Behavior –Consumer demands are critical in determining the quantity and the quality of the market supply. By redirecting consumer needs towards sustainable products and services, the sector has the power to encourage demand for green services and products. Fashion Retailers providing their customers with organic clothing are a case in point of this scenario

  • Reimagining Services – The service sector plays an important role in reducing the overall consumer impact on natural resources by providing environmental friendly services. Online cab aggregators providing carpooling services, corporates providing shuttle services or substituting video conferencing in place of business travel are all examples of how a service corporate could re-invent itself and become an eco-corporate

  • Retaining Talent– Employee centric volunteering initiatives provides the service companies an opportunity for holistic promotion of environment safeguarding campaigns. Studies show that engaging employees in socially and environmentally conscious activities lead to greater talent retention within the company. This could be attributed to the fact that these initiatives act as a platform for employees to make a difference beyond what the job description entails, thereby enhancing employee job satisfaction. Studies also highlight that over 90% of millennials employed today, wish to use their skills to benefit a cause and solve issues surrounding that cause.

In conclusion, by inculcating sustainable practices, businesses are transcending the pursuit of traditional goals in order to create new market opportunities, mitigate risks and foster value addition to the society. With natural capital conservation earmarked as a building block for building a greener and cleaner future, it is imperative that businesses work together to protect and safeguard the planet.

YES BANK has instituted the YES BANK Natural Capital Awards as a platform to mainstream the adoption of natural capital imperatives in business.

The 2017 edition of the awards consists of five categories – Eco-corporate,(Manufacturing/Services), Pixel Perfect and Trailblazer for photography, and two new categories – Eco-Tourism and Nature Leader. Winners will be awarded at a ceremony in New Delhi in September 2017.

 

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