Apr 14, 2011

Finatics Lecture Series – Sustainability Strategy and Triple Bottom Line Reporting

Speaker Details: Mr. Anindya Sengupta, Manager-Sustainability & Climate Change, PricewaterhouseCoopers Pvt. Ltd.
Mr. Sengupta has been Assistant Manager in IOCL and is currently working on Greenhouse Gases credit programs, GRI-G3 Sustainability reporting.

After immensely informative sessions by Mr. Alok Sheel, Ms. Shivani Datta, and Mr. Manu Maudgal, Finatics Lecture Series came to the last lecture of the day, and one on an important emergent phenomenon of Sustainability Strategy, which is being taken up very seriously by the corporations and brands globally.
The lecture was organized into three sections: Sustainability and Triple Bottom Line basics, Sustainability Reporting and Global Reporting Initiative, and discussion of some of the related recent issues. Mr. Sengupta began with the introduction of Sustainability Strategy and explained the importance of the same in the current industry scenario. He explained how various brands are taking up this issue and utilizing it to their advantage by including it in their marketing strategies. The example given was of ‘Aquafina’ brand of bottled water and inclusion of the tagline ‘Giving back more water than we take’ on its label. He defined triple bottom line as a business approach that creates long-term shareholder value by embracing opportunities and managing risks deriving from economic, environmental and social developments. He explained the key steps of the management approach towards corporate sustainability and told how CEOs rank these issues high these days on their agendas.



In the next section, he talked about steps involved in corporate sustainability reporting (refer to the image below) which are as: Global Reporting Initiative, Sustainability Data Management, and Assurance of Sustainability Reports; and shared the sector-wise reporting standards and the broad content of such reports. He briefly discussed GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) G3 Guidelines related to the same and again the managerial issues dealing with the reporting of sustainability initiatives. He further described the key challenges faced while developing these reports, which broadly are: Sustainability awareness and capacity building, Sustainability data collating and recording system, and Strategic stakeholder consultation.



The last section of the lecture involved general discussion on the issues related to the topic. The entire session was very interactive with questions and doubts posed from the sides of both: students and faculty. What made the last section even more interactive was the discussion of some real-life scenarios and issues currently being faced by corporations in various industries. Such cases gave a good understanding of the issues to the students, and helped them realize the intricacies involved in sustainability reporting and the formulation of such strategies.
The session was closed with the concluding remarks about these issues and with the inception of the thought of how one should align himself/herself with the future needs of the environment and our responsibilities related to the same as upcoming managers.

Contributed by:
Rubal Mehta
PR & Media Cell
MBA 1st Year, IIT Kanpur

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