SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGE: The moment to act has arrived

By Leon Yu

Climate change has had a significant influence on global development, prompting an increased realisation that extreme weather not only impacts our environment but also puts organizations’ operational resilience to the test. At COP26, India pledged to reduce its emissions to net zero by 2070. Further, it committed to obtaining 50% of its energy from renewable resources by 2030 as well as reducing overall estimated carbon emissions by one billion tonnes by the same year. To realise the aim, the country submitted the Long-Term Low Emissions Development Strategy (LTS) to the UNFCCC in November 2022. The LTS is a blueprint for using technology research and development along with climate governance as the basis for gradually completing strategies of the energy transition, industrial transition, lifestyle transition, and social transition to reach its goal of net zero emissions by 2070.

An average Indian, for example, participates in the emission of 1.9 tonnes of CO2, contributing to an already significant carbon footprint. While there are steps that are being undertaken at a policy level, it is important to note that as individuals, we can choose sustainable living and contribute to the acceleration of sustainability.

How can we accomplish that? The answer is simple – we can start by educating ourselves and relooking at the impact we make on the environment. As individuals, we can start by switching to a minimal lifestyle, for instance, checking labels for biodegradability while shopping, using shared transportation, choosing natural materials for clothing, and recycling are some of the ways to transition to sustainable living. Another step to sustainable living is zero-waste living. While the two terms are often used interchangeably, it is important to note the difference. Zero waste aims to reduce the trash problem by adopting a no-food-waste or using modes of transport with minimal or no carbon emission.

While these individual measures will undoubtedly make a positive impact to foster the natural habitat; organisations and enterprises are taking cognisance of adopting sustainable practices and technology that enables them to operate with conscious efforts to give back to society and the natural ecosystem. For instance, green data centres, managing electronic waste, and using compostable materials to engineer electronics are some of the steps being undertaken by businesses.

From a long-term sustainability perspective, organisations must ‘digitise data and embrace scientific management practices’ to identify major climate risks and simulate possible future scenarios of climate financial impacts.

In a nutshell, transformation in individual mindset is essential for a sustainable future – technology and innovation will just make it better and faster. As long as sustainability is a priority for everyone, every contribution, no matter how big or small, can help to make the world a better, greener place.

The writer is regional director of Asus India & South Asia, System Business Group


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