UKIBC brings together businesses, UN, UK government and partners on critical SDG matters in Delhi

NEW DELHI | 24th March 2023: As a part of its continued commitment to advance bilateral collaboration and mutual prosperity between the UK and India, UK India Business Council hosted a day-long Sustainability Conference and evening reception on the ‘Socio-Economic Impact’ of UK businesses in India in New Delhi. UKIBC’s socio-economic impact campaign is a project to demonstrate how British businesses and universities are driving inclusive growth in India and globally, with a view to expanding partnerships on both sides.

At the reception, UKIBC Group CEO, Richard McCallum, and UK Deputy Trade Commissioner for South Asia, Anna Shotbolt, were joined by UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Dennis Curry, UK lead negotiator on the UK-India FTA, Harjinder Kang, and Diageo Vice President Corporate Affairs, Sanjeev Vijh. The discussions focused on the role that businesses play in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, highlighting the importance of business collaboration in the UK-India bilateral corridor.

There, the UKIBC launched its third ‘Socio-Economic Impact casebook‘ featuring a selection of case studies of UK businesses contributing to SDG fulfilment in India. The casebook shows how:

  • Diageo has replenished 409,246 cubic metres of water in India since 2015, positively impacting 90,000 lives, as well as training more than 1,200 young people to secure jobs in the food and beverage sector, with 50% being women and people with special abilities.
  • Thomas Lloyd’s investment in SolarArise, a leading renewable energy developer, has developed an operational capacity of 234 MWp of solar energy in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, and Telangana.
  • Pernod Ricard is working to eliminate 7,310 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year, save 250,000 trees annually, and create water positivity, including having built more than 2022 water-saving structures since 2019.
  • BSI is helping businesses like Tata Group to build a sustainable future through its standard assurance, regulatory training, and consulting.
  • Beam Suntory has built seven ultrafiltration systems for schools in Kolkata, benefitting more than 5,000 students, and a water unit supplying clean drinking water to 400 families in Hyderabad, among other investments as part of the company’s ‘nature positive’ approach.

Richard McCallum, Group CEO, UKIBC said: “We need new models for growth. Models which create commercial value and at the same time put back into society and the environment more than they take out. UKIBC’s Socio-Economic Impact casebook showcases some inspiring examples by British firms in India. This year we also convened our first ever sustainability conference, bringing together government, industry and the UNDP, to share these concepts and stimulate new ideas for inclusive growth – which is central to the flourishing UK-India relationship.”

With more than 600 UK companies working in India, and the shared understanding that business has a societal role to play, investors are contributing to advancements in education, healthcare, gender equality, and energy, as well as creating jobs and economic growth.

At the sustainability conference, held earlier on Thursday, Kate Thornley – Deputy Director India Trade Negotiations, Department for Business and Trade, UK Government emphasised the positive implications of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between India and the UK on the industry and cross border trade movements. Highlighting the need for sustainable economic growth, she said, “Businesses and investors are increasingly conscientious of the part they play towards the achievement of sustainable development goals. There is definitely a need for accelerated public and private partnerships, and technology has a critical role to play in creating a cleaner, greener, and inclusive society.”

The conference saw participation from leading corporations and businesses including Arup, De La Rue, Standard Chartered Bank, HSBC India, and Rolls Royce, as well as UNDP. The event saw extensive discussions on transitioning to greener growth, enablers for sustainable development, and technology and innovation where the speakers underpinned the role of industry, multi-stakeholder partnership and innovative solutions that are contributing to the sustainability agenda and socio-economic development. Key themes included financing structures that incentivise greening of business operations, making EV and mobility future ready, standards for sustainability, electric flights, among others. Business leaders including Yashika Singh, Pernod Ricard India; Nandita Saghal-Tully, ThomasLloyd Group; and Raghavan Nair Reghu Kumar, British Standards Institution highlighted how investment in technology, capability building, data traceability, finance and evaluation of green risk are going to play an important role in ensuring sustainable growth.

Swetha Kolluri – Head of Experimentation, Accelerator Lab, UNDP India further added: “Digital technology has already played a transformative role in accelerating development in India particularly through Digital Public Infrastructure that has benefitted millions throughout the country. There is a need for policy framework and enablers to promote digital inclusion and unlock the full potential of digital transformation across the country for achieving SDGs.”

The UKIBC reiterated its continued commitment to work with its partners across government, along with its members and clients to facilitate collaboration between government, business and civil society to support sustainable development in the UK and India and help to ensure growth and prosperity in both countries.

The UK India Business Council works to support trade and investment between the UK and India through policy advocacy and strategic advisory services.

Link to download SEI Casebook

Most Popular

More from Author

Read Now

Wardwizard Innovations Revolutionizes Skill Development for Defence Personnel with EV Centre of Excellence

Discover how Wardwizard Innovations is paving the way for defence personnel's skill development with the establishment of an EV Centre of Excellence, opening doors to exciting opportunities in the electric vehicle industry.

Women’s World Banking Brings Making Finance Work for Women Summit to Mumbai

MUMBAI, India | 24th May 2023: Women's World Banking, a global leader in advancing financial inclusion for low-income women across the world, is bringing the Making Finance Work for Women Summit to Mumbai, India on 24-25 May 2023. Convening for the first time in person since 2019, the Making Finance Work for Women Summit will...

How This Startup is Pioneering Sustainable Wellness with Circular Economy and Eco-Conscious Approach

Discover the story of Nirmalaya, an Indian startup that is changing the game with their eco-friendly incense sticks, organic diffusers, and more. Get inspired by their vision and mission by reading our interview with them.

What Nigeria Can Learn From India’s Economic Success

Understand the similarities and challenges that both India and Nigeria face in terms of gender inequality in the workforce, and the opportunities for creating more domestic and foreign investment opportunities.

This Startup is Changing the Game with ‘As Good As New’ Pre-Owned Smartphones

A new player has entered the pre-owned smartphone market, and they're making waves. ControlZ, the brainchild of Yug Bhatia, is disrupting the industry with their Renewed smartphones, which offer a like-new experience. This startup's mission is to extend the lifecycle of mobile phones and reduce the number of devices that end up in landfills.

Atal Community Innovation Centre at BML Munjal University Announces USD 1 mn Funding for Startup Enthusiasts at Propel Pitchfest23

Highlights: Propel Pitchfest23 puts a spotlight on diverse fields of startups, including those led by women and in fields like Industry 4.0, deep-tech, sustainability and social impact The startups participating in Propel Pitchfest23 will have the chance to pitch to investors for funding. The participating investors have collectively created...

This Bengaluru-based Startup is Disrupting the Credit Scoring Industry with AI and Machine Learning

Learn how a young Bengaluru-based company is disrupting the credit scoring industry by using AI and machine learning to provide more accurate credit scores.

Indian Startup Tvarit Secures €5M Funding for AI-Powered Sustainable Metal Manufacturing in Germany

Tvarit, Led by Indian Entrepreneurs, Secures €5M Funding to Enable AI-Powered, Zero-Waste Manufacturing

Quantum Energy’s EV 2-Wheelers Make a Grand Entry into Delhi-NCR Region

Quantum Energy, a leading electric vehicle start-up, has launched its first-ever showroom in the Delhi-NCR region. The 2000-square-foot showroom will house the company's revolutionary 2-wheelers and is strategically located in Sector 24, Rohini. Read on to learn more about Quantum Energy's grand opening and their vision for a greener India.