Diwali Wishes

We wish all our readers and subscribers a very Happy and Prosperous Diwali. Hope you have a successful year ahead. Thank you for your continued support and feedback. From all of us at EfficientCarbon.

APTRANSCO issues Open Offer to Solar Power Developers

After a long wait, APTRANSCO has finally issued Open Offer inviting Solar Power Developers to sell Solar Power at Rs.6.49/unit. As per the notification issued, interested parties have until 30th September, 2013 to submit their application with details about the location, injection point and capacity of power to be injected. While there is no bidding process involved, locations which get applications in excess of the capacity of that location will be awarded at pro-rata basis. Most of the conditions with respect to Net Worth, Performance Bank Guarantee, Security Deposit, Commissioning Timelines remain the same as they were in the bidding process.  APTRANSCO has issued a list of locations which are available to interested developers. The initial list of 161 locations in the bidding process is reduced to 109 locations for the Open Offer owing to fill up of certain locations. Locations such as Suryapet, Ramannapet, Kanigiri and Sadasivpet have a reduced capacity due to partial fill-up by bidders. In addition to the 109 locations, developers may also choose any other …

The new Companies Bill 2012 – How does it impact you?

The Companies Act of 1956 will now be replaced by the Companies Bill of 2012, which can also be called The Companies Act 2012. Only the President’s assent is pending for this bill, been pending since 2011 to become a reality. The 309 page document tries to clear a lot of conflict points present in the Companies Act 1956 that have been a pain for companies over time and a reason for a lot of legal cases. So how does it impact corporate India & in general, You? Of particular interest to us is how this Bill/Act will address issues of Governance, Responsibility, Transparency, Diversity, Community and Sustainability. Let me try to dissect a few key changes that this bill aims to bring out in the above areas. This might be a longish post so please pardon me for the lack of brevity. 1. CSR being made close to Mandatory Yes, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is not mandatory but the new bill will make sure that companies have to work really …

Why should you embrace Sustainability – Part 2 of 2

This blog post is a continuation from the post I had made previously here where I spoke about how the language of Sustainability is changing. In this post, I focus on some cases where Sustainable practices followed by companies are putting them in good stead while in some cases, how lack of sustainability thinking and planning has risked their revenues and reputation. First, we start with some positive stories. CEMEX – The Patrimonio Hoy Program So when you are a giant construction materials group with over $15 billion in revenues, but seeing a 50% drop in revenues, what do you do? Cemex went back to basics, understood that there is a large market at the bottom of the pyramid in poor people constructing their own homes, and decided to work this market. Integrating sustainability into their core business model, Cemex started a financing program called Patrimonio Hoy. It provided poor people access to building materials (not just cement), financing options to purchase material and technical help through CEMEX team comprising …

Why should you embrace Sustainability – Part 1 of 2

It’s been close to 3 years since I’ve been trying my bit to practice being resource efficient and persuade organisations to become more Sustainable. And boy, how times have changed. From being talk-talk-talk to talk-implement-talk, large companies worldwide have certainly made the leap. The same cannot be said about Indian companies though. In India, there have been a lot of conversations happening on this subject, but the examples of real action are far and few. For a long time, “Sustainability” focused initiatives had been looked upon as costs and not investments and therefore had been consistently moved down the hierarchy of priorities, even for organizations known to be Champions of Sustainability. And when the Sustainability agenda was embraced, the reasons given was about reduction of costs, meeting customer expectations (branding) and engaging employees. In-fact, here’s what my slide on ‘Why should you become Sustainable?’ looked like – 2 years. (I agree, the design is a bit hideous, but we keep learning ). Focusing on the content, the reasons said: Compliance …

World Environment Day – Think.Eat.Save – The carbon perspective

Happy World Environment Day – 2013. Yes, to all the sceptics and realists, there is nothing much to be happy about the state of environment the way it is now. But having said that, World Environment Day, just like many other days like AIDS or Cancer Awareness days, highlight the cause and what we can do to help the cause. This year’s theme is all about Food sustainability and how the food choices we make are affecting the planet. And we are not talking about shark fin soup or Iceland killing whales to make Japanese pet food or any exotic animals under threat due to our food habits and beliefs. We’re talking about our everyday food choices like the veggies you eat or the meat and dairy products you consume. So how do our food habits affect the planet. Lets take it from the top then: If I don’t exist, I don’t need food to eat. If I don’t need to eat, someone (a farmer) else doesn’t need to produce …

SEBI releases FAQs for Business Responsibility Reporting

SEBI, in its circular dated dated August 13, 2012, mandated inclusion of Business Responsibility Report (BRR) as a part of the Annual Report for top 100 listed entities. This was in-line with the ‘National Voluntary Guidelines on Social, Environmental and  Economic Responsibilities of Business (NVGs)’ as notified by Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA), Govt. of India. While this move was welcomed by the watchdogs, development sector, businesses and shareholders alike, there was confusion for specific cases among the organisations planning to release a report. Based on various queries received from these organisations, SEBI has released this FAQs to provide some answers. You can download the complete document from SEBI’s website here. Summarising the content of the FAQ’s, these are the basic rules/guidelines we can think of to help you file your Business Responsibility Report well: 1. While Business Responsibility Reporting is mandatory for all the top 100 listed companies, other companies are encouraged to report as well. 2. Try to stick to the format prescribed by SEBI. This is to ensure …

Introduction to National Voluntary Guidelines – Business Responsibility Reporting

  Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India, in July 2011, came out with the ‘National Voluntary Guidelines on Social, Environmental and Economic Responsibilities of Business’ – NVGs. SEBI – as a part of its circular on 13th August 2012, makes it mandatory for top 100 BSE and NSE listed companies (as on March 2012) to disclose their Business Responsibility Practices through a report adhering to the NVG framework. Are you on the list? Check here. If you are in the list then read on… Even if you are not, nothing stops you from reporting how responsible you are in conducting your business. So read on in either case… The NVG Framework talks about Sustainability. Govt. of India, through the National Voluntary Guidelines want companies to: Give back something to the society Be responsible Be accountable for its actions and Be sustainable in itself and in the environment it operates in. That’s not much to ask for, is it? Also, NVGs are applicable to all businesses operating in India and …

State of Sustainability Reporting in India

India, even with it’s moderate growth over the last 2 years is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. It stands 10th in the world by GDP third in terms of PPP among the world. Even when the US, EU, Japan and other large G8+5 countries have seen stagnant or low growth rates, only China and India have managed a steady growth of 7.8% &  5.4% respectively. With growth comes pressure on resources, social inclusion and environmental stability. Both India and China are continually facing issues such as inequality, poverty, environmental pollution, corruption, public health and the like. With the line between public responsibility and private initiative blurring, the popular opinion is putting pressure on private players to be responsible in their activities, go beyond financial performance and contribute positively to the social, economic and environmental well-being of the nation and society at large. In short,  companies are under pressure to become more Sustainable. While most of the companies have been able to heed this call, a lot …

The link between Renewable Energy, Climate Change and Bio-Diversity – A Presentation

A presentation that was given at the conference on Climate change, Renewable Energy and Bio-Diversity in Hyderabad organised by Engineers Without Borders-Hyderabad. Renewable energy ewb from EfficientCarbon

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