Is Rising India Green India too? Certainly not, according to a pioneering green survey. The results declare that for all its roaring success, Indian companies lag well behind global standards of care for the environment.
Another damning fact is that of the 110 biggest Indian companies, which were sent questionnaires requesting "voluntary disclosure" of their carbon emission levels, 71 did not respond. Of these, just 13 said they had targets to reduce their carbon emissions.
The companies were picked based on their market capitalization. Of these, half were 'big cats'.
It was also found that Indian steel and telecom sectors were managing their greenhouse gas emissions better than others.
"It's heartening to see that some companies have demonstrated the need to cut emissions, but a lot of ground needs to be covered," says Sirish Sinha, who headed the climate energy programme of the World Wildlife Fund India. They conducted the survey. The agency works in collaboration with the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change, a scientific body affiliated to the United Nations, which won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.
The survey report is expected to be released in Mumbai next week.
Only a small number of companies had some kind of "climate proofing" in place or even felt the need to curb emission with green projects. This is because it is not mandatory for companies to do so.
Offsetting "carbon footprints" means undertaking eco-friendly projects or steps to make amends for the pollution a company generates.
It was indeed astounding to see that 79 per cent of those who responded were aware of commercial risks arising out of climate change.
The survey included banks too. This was so as banks can leave 'carbon footprints' by investing in companies, which are not environment-friendly. Yet, only eight of the 18 banks contacted responded.
Meanwhile MRF, India's largest tire company and market leader for passenger radials, has announced a new range of Passenger Car Radials — MRF ZSLK.
MRF ZSLK has been launched and promoted as a high-end, premium tubeless car radial tire, which is environment friendly- it lessens the rolling resistance and boosts mileage.
The MRF company was in the news recently for having achieved a Rs 5,000 crore turnover. They are the first India-made tire company to do so.
MRF believes that the eco-friendly tires will be preferred by the new generation of eco-conscious Indian customers.
MRF ZSLK is manufactured from rubber compounds, which are reinforced with silica. This delivers a lower rolling resistance without compromising on safety, says the company. According to a statement released by the company, these tires have also been tested in Germany by TUV.