World Environment Day
Image by Robert Jones from Pixabay

Every country in the world should think above vested interests for protection of world climate: Modi


New Delhi — World Environment Day was established by the United Nations in 1972 during the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm, Sweden. This annual celebration takes place on the 5th of June each year and is celebrated by people from all walks of life, including governments, organizations, and individuals.

Addressing a gathering, Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed his best wishes to every country in the world on World Environment Day. Underlining the theme of this year’s Environment Day – the campaign to get rid of single-use plastic, the Prime Minister expressed happiness that India has been working continuously in this direction for the past 4-5 years. Modi informed that India started working on two levels to get rid of single-use plastic in 2018. “On the one hand, we have banned single-use plastic while on the other hand, plastic waste processing has been made mandatory”, he said. Due to this, the Prime Minister said that there has been a compulsory recycling of about 30 lakh tonnes of plastic packaging in India which is 75 percent of the total annual plastic waste produced in India, and around 10 thousand producers, importers and brands have come under its ambit today.

He highlighted that India in the 21st century is moving forward with a very clear roadmap for climate change and environmental protection. Underlining that India has created a balance of Present Requirements and Future Vision, the Prime Minister stated that necessary help has been provided to the poorest of the poor while huge steps have been taken keeping in mind the energy needs of the future. “During the last 9 years, India has made an unprecedented focus on green and clean energy”, the Prime Minister said as he gave examples of solar power and LED bulbs that have helped in saving people’s money as well as contributing towards protecting the environment. Throwing light on India’s leadership during the global pandemic, the Prime Minister informed that India started Mission Green Hydrogen and took major steps towards natural farming to save soil and water from chemical fertilizers.

“In the last nine years, the number of wetlands and Ramsar sites in India has increased almost three times as compared to earlier”, the Prime Minister said, as he informed that two more schemes have been launched today that further the campaign of Green Future, Green Economy. The Prime Minister noted that the ‘Amrit Dharohar Yojana’ has started today which will ensure the conservation of these Ramsar sites through public participation. In future, the Prime Minister elaborated, these Ramsar sites will become the centre of eco-tourism and will become a source of green jobs for thousands of people. He further added that the second scheme is the ‘Mishti Yojana’which will help in reviving as well as protecting the mangrove ecosystem of the country. With this, the Prime Minister explained that the mangrove cover will be restored in nine states of the country and help in mitigating the threat to lives and livelihoods in coastal areas from rising sea levels and disasters like cyclones.

The Prime Minister emphasized that every country in the world should think above the vested interests for the protection of the world climate. Pointing out that the model of development where the thought of developing one’s country and then worrying about the environment has been prevalent for a long time among big and modern countries of the world, the Prime Minister underlined that even though such countries achieved the goals of development, it was the environment of the whole world that paid the price. Even today, the Prime Minister continued, the developing and underdeveloped countries of the world are suffering from the flawed policies of a few developed countries. “For decades, there was no country to stop this attitude of some developed countries”, the Prime Minister said as he expressed delight that India has raised the issue of Climate Justice in front of every such country.

“In the thousands of years old culture of India, there is nature as well as progress”, the Prime Minister remarked as he credited its inspiration to India’s attention to ecology and economy. The Prime Minister said that as India is investing unprecedentedly in its infrastructure, it is focussing equally on the environment. Drawing comparisons of boost in economy and ecology, the Prime Minister gave examples of the expansion of 4G and 5G connectivity on one hand whereas the country’s increased forest cover on the other hand. He further added that while India built 4 crore houses for the poor, there has been a record increase in the number of Wildlife Sanctuaries as well as wildlife in India. Modi also touched upon Jal Jeevan Mission and the construction of 50,000 Amrit Sarovars for water security, India becoming the 5th largest economy in the world and also joining the top 5 countries in renewable energy, increasing agricultural exports and also running a campaign for blending 20 percent ethanol in petrol. He also stated that India has become the base of organizations like Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure – CDRI, and the International Big Cat Alliance.

Speaking about mission LiFE i.e. Lifestyle for Environment becoming a public movement, the Prime Minister highlighted that the mission is spreading a new consciousness about lifestyle changes to combat climate change. He mentioned that there was curiosity among the people when the mission was launched last year in Kevadia-Ekta Nagar, Gujarat but a month ago, a campaign was started regarding Mission LiFE where 2 crore people became a part of it in less than 30 days. He also informed about the organization of rallies and quiz competitions in the spirit of ‘Giving Life to My City’. “Lakhs of colleagues have adopted the mantra of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle in their everyday life”, the Prime Minister stated as he underlined that the basic principle of Mission LiFE is changing one’s nature to change the world. “Mission LiFE is equally important for the bright future of the entire humanity, for our future generations”, Shri Modi added.

“This consciousness towards climate change is not limited to India only, the global support for the initiative is increasing all over the world”, the Prime Minister said. He recalled making a request to the world community on Environment Day last year where he had asked to share innovative solutions to bring climate-friendly behavioral change in individuals and communities. The Prime Minister expressed happiness that thousands of colleagues including students, researchers, experts from different domains, professionals, NGOs and common citizens from around 70 countries shared their views and solutions that are measurable and scalable. He also congratulated those who were awarded for their ideas.

Sandeep Chandna, Chief Sustainability Officer, Tech Mahindra

Sandeep Chandna, Chief Sustainability Officer, Tech Mahindra

Sandeep Chandna, Chief Sustainability Officer, Tech Mahindra, said, “Today, Sustainability is top-of-the-mind topic for business, political, and economic leaders. Undoubtedly, it has become the need of the hour in all business practices. The threats posed by climate change are massive and call for an immediate and collective push from all stakeholders to incorporate sustainability strategies into business models and promote them as part of the organizational blueprint. We need more far-sighted, innovative and creative solutions to address the environmental challenges to ensure a cleaner and greener future for the future generations. Be it governments or businesses, we all have to look beyond short-term goals of profitability and focus more on broader goals of purpose in order to assess climate risks and enhance governance to achieve long-term sustainable impact. To achieve this, we need to approach the environment, climate, economy and society as inseparable parts of the same entity.

As a purpose-led company, for us, at Tech Mahindra, sustainability is at the core of all our business activities. We have established a decarbonization roadmap to ensure that we are Net Zero by 2035. We have also implemented a carbon price to reduce GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions and invested in various sustainability projects to increase renewable energy mix, improve energy-efficiency, and implemented Environment Management Systems. In addition to this, we are assisting and enabling our customers and partners to achieve their sustainability goals by offering our end-to-end ESG solutions & services. Further, we are also investing in LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and Green Building Certifications. We are the only Indian organization to be awarded the Terra Carta Seal in 2021 for our commitment to a more sustainable future.

On the occasion of World Environment Day, we pledge to continue to embrace our environmental responsibilities and strengthen our commitment to the conservation of the environment.”

Rajiv Bhalla, Managing Director India & Vice President Large Video Wall Experience (APAC) at Barco said: ” It’s time to gear up and move forward towards a more sustainable future, the #BeatPlasticPollution campaign for World Environment Day 2023 emphasizes the urgency of taking collective, transformative action to mitigate the impact of pollutants like plastic, in an effort to protect and restore our planet. In light of recent global environmental crises like climate change and natural disasters, the focus on sustainable practices has become paramount. It is essential for society to unite and revitalize the Earth, while doing away with harmful pollutants. Barco approaches sustainability from three main pillars that includes the planet, people and communities. Being an early advocate of sustainability, consistently taking steps to reduce our ecological impact. Our solutions are dedicated to minimizing carbon footprint and pollutants, and our Barco eco-scoring system evaluates the sustainability of each product. We strongly believe in the power of collective action and a shared commitment to sustainability as we work towards a future where plastic pollution is significantly reduced, enabling the restoration and preservation of our precious planet.”

Anirban Ghosh, Head Centre for Sustainability at Mahindra University

Anirban Ghosh, Head Centre for Sustainability at Mahindra University

Anirban Ghosh, Head Centre for Sustainability at Mahindra University said, “Some CEOs insist that sustainability is integral to their business. To make this situation universal, sustainability must be an integral part of the training and thinking of every student. Mahindra University is leveraging the experiences of the Group to embed sustainability in every stream of education, curate specialised courses and encourage research even as it walks the talk by building a net zero campus.”

Sandeep Trehan, President, Marketing & Business Development, THINK Gas

Sandeep Trehan, President, Marketing & Business Development, THINK Gas said, “Natural gas is playing a vital role in the transition towards cleaner fuel and its use is expected to grow in the coming years. Our network covers 7 geographical areas, across 5 states touching the lives and bringing about a change in the quality of lives of 18 million people. We look at sustainability as a key aspect of our mission and are weaving it into our corporate strategy to ensure business resilience. THINK Gas prioritizes environmental, social, and governance initiatives, and focuses on customer satisfaction while promoting the adoption of clean fuels. We are not only working towards renewable industry and sustainability, but we have also deployed innovative technological solutions to build infrastructure, monitor activities efficiently and ensure gas is available at the grassroot level.”

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