“The real challenge is to keep pushing the boundaries to bring sustainability into the heart of the company, so that it encompasses everything the company does and is not something that is done as an add on.”
- Mr. John Elkington at the CRY Corporate Responsibility Summit 2013
The 2nd CRY Corporate Responsibility Summit shared practical insights into implementing strategies, through case studies and special sessions with Mr. John Elkington, one of the world’s greatest influencers on sustainability and author of the term ‘Triple Bottom Line’.
The summit was a step towards defining a clearer CSR strategy for corporations in India as CRY’s own experiences, as well as several industry reports indicate that the majority of companies in India are still to clearly define a CSR strategy.
The summit included panel discussions by some of India’s most prominent corporate leaders like Mr. Harsh Mariwala - Chairman and Managing Director, Marico Limited, Mr. Anand Kripalu - President, India & South East Asia for Mondeléz International, Mr. Ronnie Screwvala- Managing Director Disney UTV India, Founder Trustee Swades Foundation, Mr. Kiran Khalap - Founder, chlorophyll Brand & Communications Consultancy, Mr. Santosh Desai - MD & CEO, Futurebrands India Ltd., Mr. Hemant Bakshi - Excutive Director Hindustan Unilever Ltd., Ms. Marie Sigsworth - Group Corporate Responsibility Director, Aviva.
As part of a panel discussion, Mr. Harsh Mariwala, Chairman and MD, Marico Limited began his speech with the quote “The business of business is more than business”, and added, “CSR can not be lead from the top; it has to come from below. We have to identify options for individuals, things they are passionate about and that will bring about involvement in the corporation.”
Mr. Ronnie Screwvala, Chief Executive Officer and Founder Chairman, UTV Group, said “Unless we take a 360 degree approach on various issues like water, sanitation, health, education and empowerment, nothing will change.” He talked about his personal vision for the Swades foundation that is his family-run trust. “We are looking at this with an entrepreneurial approach - asking, what is the exit strategy in villages that we work in? We hope to create a situation in 5-6 years where the villages or hamlets that we work in are self-sufficient and thriving and do not need any form of social investment from NGOs. We want to build the spirit of entrepreneurship in the people of these villages so that they can earn substantial livelihoods.”
Dr. Bhaskar Chatterjee, Director General and Chief Executive officer, Indian Institute of Corporate (IICA) stressed on the fact that for better impact of CSR and to take it further, the country needs qualified CSR professionals. He announced that within a year IICA will be the first certified agency to produce CSR professionals. He said this approach will bring benefit to the corporations who want to be part of CSR and do more, but are not able to find professionals to support them in achieving their target.
Addressing the closing session on Child Rights And Sustainability, Puja Marwaha, CEO, CRY - Child Rights and You said, “It is critical for corporations to not look for short-term impact, but to look at long-term solutions for children, particularly focusing on the way they do business - intrinsically being good and doing good. Because the child today will be an adult in 2020 or 2030. What happens to our children will eventually happen to this world.”