Driv­ing sus­tain­abil­ity in CV in­dus­try

The Frost & Sul­li­van In­dia Sus­tain­abil­ity Lead­er­ship Summit 2018 touched upon driv­ers of sus­tain­abil­ity in the CV in­dus­try.

Commercial Vehicle - - WHAT'S INSIDE - Story by: Ashish Bha­tia

The Frost & Sul­li­van In­dia Sus­tain­abil­ity Lead­er­ship Summit 2018 touched upon driv­ers of sus­tain­abil­ity in the CV in­dus­try.

Fo­cus­ing on driv­ers of sus­tain­abil­ity in CVs, the Frost & Sul­li­van In­dia Sus­tain­abil­ity Lead­er­ship Summit 2018 held in June 2018 turned to be an in­ter­est­ing and knowl­edge in­duc­ing event. Based on a prin­ci­ple of sus­tain­able prac­tices aimed at in­di­vid­u­als, com­mu­ni­ties and the world as a whole, the summit touched upon an ar­ray of top­ics like en­ergy tran­si­tions, elec­tric ve­hi­cles, elec­tric ve­hi­cle in­fra­struc­ture, en­ergy con­sump­tion pat­terns, and adop­tion of cir­cu­lar econ­omy prin­ci­ples. With con­ser­va­tion of re­sources at the core, the summit brought to the fore sus­tain­able prac­tices that were unique, at­tain­able and ef­fec­tive. Ex­pressed Raghaven­dra Rao, Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent – South Asia, Mid­dle East & North Africa, Frost & Sul­li­van, “The adop­tion of a new pat­tern will re­quire a change in at­ti­tude and prac­tices by many in the CV in­dus­try.” “The need is for a national frame­work to in­te­grate de­vel­op­ment and con­serve. The need is for a global al­liance as far as CVs are con­cerned,” he said.

Drawing at­ten­tion to the share prices of au­to­mo­tive com­pa­nies fall­ing as an af­ter­math of a land­mark tran­si­tion (from BSIII to BSIV), PK Nag­pal, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor – Cor­po­ra­tion Fi­nance Depart­ment, SEBI, un­der­lined the need to achieve sus­tain­abil­ity. “The stock price of com­pa­nies that seam­lessly up­graded did not take a beat­ing,” he added.

Men­tion­ing that change in CV in­dus­try was in­evitable, and in much the same way it was in­evitable in other in­dus­try sec­tors, Nag­pal averred, “It would be easy to achieve sus­tain­abil­ity if it were adopted by all; by all the stake­hold­ers. It would not work if it were at­tained by a select few in the in­dus­try.” Drawing at­ten­tion to the am­bi­tious plan of the gov­ern­ment to go al­l­elec­tric by 2030, Nag­pal called for a need to fo­cus on the CV in­dus­try’s tran­si­tion to al­ter­nate en­ergy sources, re­new­able and so­lar in na­ture. Touch­ing upon the Paris agree­ment, which re­quires the mem­ber coun­tries in­clud­ing In­dia to make bind­ing com­mit­ments to curb car­bon diox­ide (CO2) emis­sions to keep the global aver­age tem­per­a­tures from ris­ing above 1.5 de­gree Cel­sius as com­pared to the prein­dus­trial years, Nag­pal said that a sig­nif­i­cant shift from coal-based power gen­er­a­tion to re­new­able en­ergy sources will have to be achieved.

Opin­ing that In­dia will have to pro­duce 100 gi­gawatts from so­lar, 60 gi­gawatts from wind, 10 gi­gawatts from biomass and five gi­gawatts from small hy­dropower by 2022 to serve its needs, Nag­pal ex­pressed that SEBI has is­sued guide­lines for cor­po­rates to dis­close the util­i­sa­tion of green funds ev­ery quar­ter. He drew at­ten­tion to the SEBI man­date from 2012 to have the top 100 com­pa­nies (now top 500 listed com­pa­nies) to fur­nish an an­nual busi­ness re­spon­si­bil­ity re­port. Urg­ing for a man­date where busi­nesses have to make ad­e­quate dis­clo­sures in-line with the in­ter­na­tional guide­lines for sus­tain­able busi­ness prac­tices, Nag­pal men­tioned, “When com­pa­nies are mo­bil­is­ing funds, they have to dis­close how funds are be­ing used in the pro­ject.” Touch­ing upon the ‘Car­bon Dis­clo­sure Pro­ject’, which re­quires a coun­try to cre­ate in­cen­tives for a low-car­bon tran­si­tion, and to con­sol­i­date knowl­edge, he opined that In­dia needs to grab the op­por­tu­nity and build its own green fi­nance mar­ket. Point­ing at sta­tis­tics, which states that USD 125 bil­lion need to be al­lo­cated to ad­dress the in­fra­struc­ture fund­ing re­quire­ments of In­dia to meet its national re­new­able en­ergy tar­gets of 2022, Nag­pal said, “Elec­tric ve­hi­cles alone will need a good USD 667 bil­lion out of the USD 125 bil­lion.”

In a panel dis­cus­sion on global ini­tia­tives to pro­mote sus­tain­abil­ity, Dr San­jay S. Kulka­rni, Ad­vi­sor (Sys­tems) Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Eq., Ma­ha­rash­tra State Elec­tric­ity Trans­mis­sion Co. Ltd, drew at­ten­tion to the chang­ing con­sump­tion pat­terns. He as­so­ci­ated the same with a sce­nario where elec­tric ve­hi­cles are a part. Stat­ing that the con­sump­tion re­quire­ments in such a sce­nario would lead to a sit­u­a­tion where the equa­tion of sus­tain­abil­ity will be very dif­fer­ent from what it is to­day, Dr. Kulka­rni men­tioned that peak power de­mand pat­terns are set to change dras­ti­cally. He cited an ex­am­ple of peak power de­mand in the national cap­i­tal reach­ing 6,934 MW in the month of June this year. “It was the high­est ever recorded in the his­tory of the city,” he added. Stress­ing upon the need for con­tin­gency plan­ning through long-term tie-ups and power bank­ing ar­range­ments, Dr. Kulka­rni said, “An up­graded net­work was nec­es­sary to en­sure reg­u­lar sup­ply in the area of dis­tri­bu­tion.” “We wel­come the dras­tic change of char­ac­ter and en­ergy con­sump­tion pat­terns,” he averred.

For ad­e­quate EV in­fra­struc­ture to be in place, Dr Kulka­rni called for a need to have a di­rec­tive, an in­cen­tive and a frame­work. Point­ing at the need to amend the elec­tric­ity act, he ex­plained that the same would ben­e­fit the in­dus­try since the EV tar­iff is ex­pected to be a big chal­lenge area. Stat­ing

that re­new­able en­ergy sources should be used to sup­ple­ment the de­mand for elec­tric­ity rather than re­plac­ing the cur­rent sources with re­new­able en­ergy sources, Dr. Kulka­rni said that the need for a ‘smart grid’ will in­crease. It will have to be flex­i­ble enough to ramp up or cut down in or­der to bal­ance en­ergy re­sources, he men­tioned. Known to fa­cil­i­tate an ef­fi­cient and re­li­able end-to-end in­tel­li­gent two-way de­liv­ery sys­tem from the source to sink, smart grid, through the in­te­gra­tion of re­new­able en­ergy sources and smart trans­mis­sion as well as dis­tri­bu­tion, should help up the ef­fi­ciency and sus­tain­abil­ity. “The smart grid should help in­crease the ef­fi­ciency and sus­tain­abil­ity to meet the grow­ing elec­tric­ity de­mand,” averred Dr. Kulka­rni. Stress­ing upon the need to as­sess the eco­nomic im­pact of EVs, and how they will per­form in the fu­ture, and as part of the move to elec­trio-mo­bil­ity by 2030, it would be im­por­tant to keep pro­duc­ing con­ven­tional en­ergy averred Dr. Kulka­rni.

The panel dis­cus­sion on link­ing busi­ness risks and sus­tain­abil­ity im­per­a­tives with fi­nan­cial and non-fi­nan­cial re­sources high­lighted the ad­verse im­pact caused by com­pa­nies, which fail to fo­cus on long-term risks. Urged a panel mem­ber that the CV in­dus­try should quan­tify risks, and ap­proach sus­tain­abil­ity from a busi­ness op­por­tu­nity per­spec­tive. “A profit mo­tive needs to be there,” quipped Ajai Mal­ho­tra, Dis­tin­guished Fel­low, TERI. He cited an ex­am­ple of shared mo­bil­ity com­pany Uber Tech­nolo­gies Inc., and men­tioned that the need of the hour is for com­pa­nies to adopt a fi­nan­cial strat­egy where they stay heav­ily in­vested in chang­ing peo­ple’s habi­tat. “We do not have enough con­verts be­cause some­body hasn’t in­vested enough,” he said. A work­shop on ‘wastes to as­sets’ saw the for­ma­tion of groups among the au­di­ence and dig­ni­taries to high­light the in­dus­try role in adopt­ing cir­cu­lar econ­omy prin­ci­ples with due re­spect to re­source con­ser­va­tion. A 15-minute group dis­cus­sion fol­lowed, and post that, a pre­sen­ta­tion by groups on the sub­jects given to them. These in­cluded de­sign of prod­ucts, phas­ing out of cer­tain ma­te­ri­als, value-added re­cov­ery from waste, di­vert­ing waste from land­fill, and to re­fur­bish con­cepts and busi­ness mod­els.

⇧ Raghaven­dra Rao, Se­nior Vice Pres­i­dent – South Asia, Mid­dle East & North Africa, Frost & Sul­li­van.

⇩ PK Nag­pal, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor – Cor­po­ra­tion Fi­nance Depart­ment, SEBI.

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