Published on June 09, 2017
Tata Network Forums India – West, along with Tata Sustainability Group, organised an event the Tata Sustainability Month (TSM) on June 2, 2017 at Vivanta by Taj – President, Mumbai. The programme witnessed the attendance of 56 senior management executives representing 20 Tata companies. Through the TSM celebrations, the Tata Sustainability Group tried to give the message that sustainability is not just the responsibility of the CSR function, but all the other functions within a company too.
The evening began with opening remarks by R. Mukundan, MD, Tata Chemicals and Chairman, TNF – West. This was followed by Shankar Venkateswaran, Chief, Tata Sustainability Group, outlining the various activities planned for this month as a part of TSM.
The keynote speaker for the session was Sanjiv Mehta, MD and CEO of Hindustan Unilever. He took to the stage to talk about what Sustainability means for Unilever from a business context. Sustainability in Unilever is focused on 3 pillars: the brand development, value chain and communities in which they operate, he explained. Through various examples, Mr. Mehta described how Sustainability is embedded in Unilever’s operating processes, be it creating jobs and livelihood or improving quality of life. He also threw light on Unilever's journey towards the creation of a 'Sustainable Living Plan' and the concept of creating brands which would not only increase business, but also reduce environmental footprint and create a positive social impact.
The next session was by Anil Sardana, MD, Tata Power, who shared how Tata Power has integrated sustainability in its organisational strategy. He explained various initiatives undertaken by Tata Power, which were focused on increasing dependence on renewable energy.
Various leaders from across functions in Tata companies then came forward to share the best practices related to sustainability. LK Krishna Kumar, Group Chief Financial Officer, Tata Global Beverages, shared case studies that showcased how the company's campaigns to market products were extremely successful when they were backed by a strong purpose, such as the famous ‘Jaago Re’ campaign. He explained how the focus of companies now is not just on profitability, but also on achieving the triple bottom line of people, planets and profits. Rajshree Bakshi, Global Vice President - Marketing, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, spoke about how sustainability is entrenched in the concept of 'Tajness'. She gave various examples like employing local artisans and local architecture in the hotels, nature conservancy efforts to save corrals in their beach resorts and giving back to the people. Alka Talwar, Corporate Head - CSR, Tata Chemicals, shared two key CSR success stories - the Okhai Women Empowerment programme and the Whale Shark Conservation Project undertaken by Tata Chemicals. Dr. Aniruddha Agnihotri, Head - Environmental Sustainability, Health & Safety, Tata Consultancy Services, explained the company’s journey towards creating a sustainable supply chain and the sustainability development framework that was developed for all its suppliers.
The programme was managed by a core team which included Vivek Talwar – Convenor, TNF India - West, Abhishek Goyal and Vishal Bhavsar from the Tata Sustainability Group and Brinda Alankar from Tata Power. The day ended with a vote of thanks by Shreyas Desai, Senior Consultant, Tata Business Excellence Group, and coordinator for TNF India – West.
For more information on Tata Sustainability Month 2017, please visit http://www.tatasustainability.com/tsm2017.