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5 ways corporates can become 'eco-corporates'

Boasting 11 per cent of world’s floral and faunal species,India is one of the 17 most ecologically diverse countries on the planet.The Indian economy benefits immensely from this natural capital, hence caring and protecting this natural wealth is a core responsibility of all corporates.

But how can entities who focus on profit maximization,shift their attention towards minimizing their impact on nature? What steps can a corporate take to become a steward of earth’s natural resources and transform itself into an "Eco-corporate"?

Here are five simple ways in which corporates can transcend the profit motive and become ecological change agents –

  • Go Sustainable: Profitability and sustainability go hand-in-hand. Putting sustainability first not only benefits the society and environment but also helps companies save money and become more efficient. Case in point – Ambuja Cements Limited (ACL). When ACL decided to adopt "The Water Footprint Assessment" approach to address leakages, recycling and reuse of municipal & ground water in its operations, it not only helped reduced water wastage, but also made ACL the first and only cement company in India to be water positive.

  • Prioritize Resource Efficiency: One way a company can be more responsible towards nature is by ensuring that it makes efficient use of its resources. By measuring, optimizing and eventually reducing the quantum of resources needed, companies can essentially yield more from less.Capgemini, an IT company demonstrated this perfectly through its Smart Energy Management Solution (SEMS), an innovative, in-house energy efficiency solution that saved over 3.4 million units of electricity for its offices in Mumbai over a period of 18 months.

  • Value Natural Capital: Natural capital refers to the underlying natural assets of a country that make up 36% of the total wealth in developing economies. By putting a value on natural assets, businesses can highlight the dangers of environmental degradation and help mainstream natural capital accounting and valuation at a national level.

  • Eco-innovate: Corporates can undertake eco-innovations and create whole new categories of eco-friendly products. Ecological innovations could also be used to overhaul inefficient manufacturing processes and supply chains, providing new opportunities for growth and reducing carbon footprint

  • Educate and inform: Eco-corporates can play a large role in raising awareness about environmental issues not only amongst their peers within industry but also in their local communities by encouraging action towards climate change and concern for depleting natural resources

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