India-Focused Seminar On 'Sustainable Markets For Sustainable Development' At Stockholm School Of Economics On 4 February 2016

India-Focused Seminar On 'Sustainable Markets For Sustainable Development' At Stockholm School Of Economics On 4 February 2016

Mistra Center for Sustainable Markets (MISUM), a part of the Stockholm School of Economics (SSE) organized a seminar on the important theme of 'Promoting Sustainable Markets for Sustainable Development' on 4 February on the role of the government and the private sector in in tackling the challenges of sustainable development post COP21 in Paris, as seen through the experiences of India and Sweden.

Ambassador of India Mrs. Banashri Bose Harrison and Ms. Kristin Pålsson, Deputy Director, International Trade Policy Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs were the two keynote speakers.  Ambassador began her presentation on the theme "India's Sustainability Agenda" with a short and informative film on 'How is India Tackling Climate Change'. Ambassador recalled the words of  Mahatma Gandhi - '"Earth has enough resources to meet people's needs, but will never have enough to satisfy people's greed"  to underline the importance of a sustainable way of life. She shared with the audience the main points of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech at the COP 21 held in Paris on 1 December 2015. She went on to briefly describe the various steps taken by the Indian Government related to Climate Change and the ambitious targets announced by the country in the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution , in particular, the goals set for 2030 to reduce  emissions intensity by 33 to 35% per cent of 2005 levels and to take non- fossil fuels to 40 per cent of total  installed energy capacity. She concluded by expressing what India views as critical for success including an ambitious technology initiative, driven by a public purpose, not just market incentives; scaling up of Green Climate Fund that will improve access to technology and intellectual property, recognizing the need for continued use of conventional energy , specially for development, develop and use technologies to make it as clean as possible and moderating our lifestyle for a low carbon future.

Deputy Director, International Trade Policy Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Kristin Pålsson spoke about the importance of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) and the Swedish experience to tackle sustainability issues through CSR and. She also spoke about the responsibility of enterprises for their impacts on society, CSR guidelines for EU, ILO Tripartite Declaration on principles concerning multinational enterprises and social policy.

The Two following speakers provided the Private sector perspective. Ms. Renee Andersson, Sustainability Consultant, former Manager of Ethics and Environment, Indiska Magasinet AB and Honorary Doctor from Lund University spoke about how Swedish companies in India collaborated to contribute to sustainability of the textile sector in India. She was followed by Dr. Manas Fuloria, Co-Founder and CEO, Nagarro who shared his views on the theme 'Building Sustainability into Business Consulting and Technology Services : companies as drive of change'. He described about their 'green' buildings and their core values and stressed on the need for companies to work together for sustainability, for example in the area of transport. He pointed that while Sweden shows the way to an eco-friendly future , urban planning in India has gone in the negative direction with consequences that can be expected, for example world record air pollution, congestion, high rate of accidents etc. He described his company's efforts to reduce the use of cars and increase the use of cycles. He talked about the fast-growing  civil movement  'Raahgiri' (The right to the road ) which started in Gurgaon last October and had already spread to more than 15 cities in India. The concluding presentation was by Mr. Lars Jonsson who is the General Manager and CEO of Uppsala University Holding Company on the theme 'Challenges and Opportunities in Adopting Green Technologies'. UU Holding company started in 1995 and invested SEK 139.5 million with 87 established startup of which only 16 failed. Mr. Jonsson touched on the general challenges in commercializing university research results and went on to describe the additional challenges in promoting green technologies. 

The last part of the seminar was a panel discussion moderated by Ms. Ranjula Bali Swain, Visiting Professor, Misum, Stockholm School of Economics and Department of Economics at Uppsala University which included a lively interaction with the audience.

The seminar attracted about 60 participants, including representatives of Swedish and Indian companies.