Post Event Press Release  

Sharp developments - a registered NGO since 1993 working in the area of energy; environment and education, organized the first ever conference on Green Energy CSR - "Evolving Thought Leadership on Green CSR Interventions".  The Conference offered a unique platform for deliberations on the potential of renewable energy based Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) interventions.

Supported by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy; Government of India the event emphasized the need of a proper institutional framework for the utilization of CSR funds both through corporate sector and Central Public Sector Enterprises. 

With a call to the industry to step up innovations and leverage the multiple investment opportunities being created by the government through the New Companies Bill-2012, the conference played a catalyst role in creating a common forum for Government, corporates, NGOs and funding agencies. Dedicated interactive panels were hub for knowledge exchange that widened the market insights on sustainable financing models, cutting-edge technologies and leading business practices. The conference witnessed 25 eminent speakers and more than 120 delegates from across the sector.

Indian Power in conjunction with Sharp developments launched an "Industry Handbook “during the event. The report titled "The Way Forward" covers the existing guidelines, amalgamation of CSR and Green Energy at various levels and recommendations suggesting a greener approach to be followed to fulfill CSR goals.
Shri. Alok Srivastava, Joint Secretary, MNRE was the Guest of Honour and in the session on Evolving Thought Leadership - Institutional Framework - Role of Government in promoting corporate social responsibility (CSR),   addressed the audience  by stressing on the linkage between both CSR and Renewables and remarked on the importance of Renewable energy based interventions as a win-win solution in CSR domain by  being economically beneficial for the society as well as corporates.

Shri A.B Chakraborty, Chief Carbon Management Group and CSR, ONGC highlighted the need of designing good CSR projects and emphasize on the evolving scope for civil society organisation and NGOs to partner with corporates. He also deliberated on the need of CSR projects to be taken up in different parts of country to be supported by Solar and Biomass energy through rural enterprise.

Ms. Gayatri Subramaniam from the Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA) provided detailed provisions of New Companies Bill-2012 and the Voluntary Guidelines of the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE).  She highlighted the potential for Green Energy CSR and   recommended sustainability development reporting to be made mandatory for all the companies as against the SEBI guidelines which requires reporting by the top 100 companies only.

The conference delved on other issues, with Ms. Rita Soni, CEO, NASSCOM Foundation pointing out the need to do away with policy barriers in the implementation of CSR funds by the Corporates.

The various sessions on CSR as a strategic tool for business sustainability (Renewable Energy) focused on how off-grid projects like the solar lanterns program with battery charging stations, solar water pumps and solar heating systems can help corporate supplement their CSR initiatives as well as fulfill their obligations to the environment. The speakers also highlighted the importance of bringing together the CSR funds from development partner agencies and to Adopt international best practices and standards, and carry forward the ongoing dialogue with agencies such as     to a fruitful conclusion.

Mr. Rajesh Mediratta, Director (Business Development) at Indian Energy Exchange (IEX) and key sponsors for the Conference discussed at length how Renewable Energy Certificates (REC) can be excellent market based instruments that can also help to meet Sustainable Development objectives.  He further highlighted that current regulations for CPSEs required them to spend 2.5 % of their Profit after tax on sustainable development and purchase of RECs could be considered as their CSR investments.

Mr. Amresh Deshpande from Schneider Electric, talked about how at Schneider Electric Foundation, CSR has been a core part of business enterprise.  With other keynote speakers included Dr. Ratna Jain, Mayor of Kota who talked about the huge biomass potential and solar potential of her city which can be tapped to generate biogas. Mr. Rajiv Kumar, SIDBI, provided in his presentation how through various programs SIDBI is the pioneer of microcredit financing in India.

The conference sessions in order of occurrence were chaired by Dipankar Ghosh, Partner, Climate Change moderated the Plenary session and for theinterest ofthe conference tied together the lessons taken form distinguished speakers at the first plenary session; Dr Arun Tripathi, Director, MNRE; Dr  K.K Upadhayay, CSR Head, FICCI along with  Dr Prabhjot Sodhi, National Coordinator, Centre for Environment Education.   Dr. Arun Tripathi while moderating the 2nd session integrated MNRE’s programs and schemes and how CSR interventions can be build around them.  Next, Dr. Upadhayay highlighted FICCI’s Aditya Birla Centre for Excellence for CSR program implementation with key stakeholders including corporate members.  In the final session, titled “Roadmap for Going Forward” ”Dr. Sodhi put forward how Green CSR can be achieved through UNDP’s GEF-Small Grants Program.

The conference paved the way for defining the boundaries of Green Energy CSR and ended on a positive note with a road -map for the next conference scheduled for October 2013. It will aim to address how various renewable energy based interventions can be integrated with other CSR sub sectors such as education; health; poverty reduction; rural enterprise development and social business projects.