Reimagining Our Planet Building Back Better
ET Edge, as a part of The Times of India Group, launched the SDGs Impact Summit in 2019 with the objective to rally the champions of sustainability together as the world moved towards the decade of delivery.
The SDGs Action Platform, scheduled for the 29th of September will be the largest global gathering of changemakers, individuals and organizations who have championed sustainability, celebrities and influential personalities who have a led their voice to the cause and members of the civil society dedicated to attaining the SDGs in a timely manner.
Be a Part of the CHANGE
Share your organization’s sustainable business practices with the world
Meet likeminded potential change makers to expand your business footprint
Take up your responsibility towards a sustainable future
Business perspectives: drive growth, address risk, attract capital and focus on purpose
And last…but not least…You want to
BUILD BACK BETTER!
Companies Sustainability Wall
Business Leaders’ Dialog
Sustainability Expert’s Opinion
President of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a commissioner of the UN Broadband Commission for Development, and an SDG Advocate for UN
Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and Deputy Executive Director for Resource Management, Sustainability and Partnerships at UN Women
Jorge Moreira da Silva
Director, Development Co-operation Directorate, OECD
Climate Warrior & Actor
Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim
President, Association for Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad (AFPAT), UN Sustainable Development Goals Advocate, Member of the Advisory Committee to the Secretary-General’s 2019 Climate Action Summit
Award winning, internationally acclaimed activist and humanitarian, SDG UN Advocate
As someone who tracks climate change from very close quarters, we are already at an alarming position, where the change is not out of choice but compulsion. As new risks surface each day – from melting glaciers to sinking cities to extreme weather conditions – the adaptation to change has to be prompt and of consistent focus.
We need to focus on how we can help improve small things causing a large impact towards building a healthier, cleaner and a safer planet. The idea of SDGs is rooted into this philosophy and serves as a guiding star to every stakeholder.
Being a signatory to the UN’s SDG agenda, India has taken concrete steps to achieve and empower its constituents to achieve 17 goals and 169 interlinked targets as outlined by United Nations. Being a government focused on all three tenets, namely governance, social and environmental goals, we are committed to deliver tangible results by 2030.
Mitigating plastic pollution is not just a moral imperative but also a business survival imperative because the millennials - your present-day customers, are extremely conscious and ready to discard any brand or product if they think it is harming the environment. The destruction caused by plastic is very visible and demands an urgent resolution. Unfortunately, there is no silver-bullet solution. I believe we need multiple solutions for different geographies. Recycling, biodegradation are all options, but each has its strengths and weaknesses. We need to work collaboratively to find the best solution. The change needs to happen not only in the material but the mindset and lifestyle of people. As a society we need to reduce and reuse.
When discussing issues like pollution, sanitation, poverty, nutrition, a comprehensive outlook of each subject must to be explored. We cannot look at things in silos, as several aspects are inter-connected and must be examined at a holistic level. Sustainability is the common thread flowing through all the 17 SDGs. We need to discuss consumption patterns, exploitation of resources, population growth, etc. to find practical solutions and achieve the SDGs. Achieving the SDGs will only happen if we understand what is wrong with the way we’re living. We’re not discussing our consumption patterns, which is where we’re going wrong. We need to think of this alongside the 17 SDGs, only then will we achieve the objectives of the SDGs. Our government has undertaken many initiatives towards sustainable development; rejuvenating Khadi, bringing back “Kullar” (earth-cups) are just a couple of examples. Respecting the elements of nature is ingrained in the Indian culture right from the Vedic age. Our philosophy teaches us to worship Mother Nature. Protect and preserve has always been our approach.
Our massive River Rejuvenation Program - Namami Gange takes us closer to achieving many of the SDG objectives. River Ganga is of huge economic and spiritual importance to India. 45% of the Indian population lives in the Ganga basin and hence we approached the project from three different angles – pollution abetment, ecological balance restoration (including biodiversity) and the people and river connect. When we conceptualized this integrated program, our larger aim was to improve the all-encompassing river-system at a holistic level including sewage control, solid and industry-waste management, restoring infrastructure, wetland protection, reuse and recycling of treated water, etc. Fortunately, many phases of the projects are nearing completion and we are moving ahead at a good speed.
In India only 12% of women have access to menstrual hygiene products. The rest of them are forced to use alternatives like cloth, ash, sand, plastic, dried leaves. This is the second leading cause for girls to drop out of school after forced labor. India has one of the highest Cervical Cancer death rates with a direct link to poor menstrual hygiene. Before GST, women were taxed upto 12 – 14% on menstrual hygiene products. We lobbied the government under the campaign #LahooKaLagaan and finally got the tax on sanitary napkin products removed. However, we are still in court, fighting to make sure women have access to menstrual hygiene so I would request everybody to root for our public interest litigation.