Top Indian corporations are becoming serious about their carbon emission. Through investments in bettering operational sustainability through increased efficiency and responsible procurement of materials to upgrading disclosures, they have started taking the necessary steps. However, much more work is required to fulfill the net-zero targets set for the country.
Many Indian corporate houses have internalized decarbonization goals to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 or earlier. These companies include Mahindra & Mahindra, Aditya Birla Group, JSW Group, Adani Transmission, Vedanta, and Dalmia Cement. By 2035, Reliance Industries wants to be net zero.
Additionally, businesses have established internal carbon pricing, which is used as a reference for all business decisions. For instance, Mahindra & Mahindra set the carbon price at Rs. 824 whereas Vedanta fixed it at Rs. 1,125 per tonne of CO2 emissions.
To lessen their carbon footprint, Indian businesses have increased their investments in renewable energy, waste heat recovery systems, more efficient equipment, and renewable fuels.
- JSW Steel will install a 175-megawatt waste heat recovery boiler this year.
- Ultratech Cement increased its solar capacity by 121 MW and its waste heat recovery system capacity by 42 MW in FY22.
- By 2025, Tata Steel hopes to have a million tonnes of annual capacity for recycling steel in India using less carbon-intensive electric arc furnaces.
According to sustainability disclosures provided by leading organizations, organizations have increased their oversight and support of their suppliers to ensure sustainable practices throughout their value chains.
“Corporates have made substantial efforts on increased disclosures towards sustainability, capacity building of their teams, defining and quantifying indicators for Environment, Social and Governance aspects, doing business in ESG centric manner and making commitments for net-zero targets,” Rahul Prithiani, Senior Director – Sustainability, Energy and Commodities, CRISIL.
Currently, the Science-Based Target Setting Initiative (SBTi) has the support of roughly 100 Indian businesses. Additionally, more than 30 Indian businesses have provided SBTi with pledges to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 or earlier.
SBTi, a joint project of the CDP, the UN Global Compact, the World Resources Institute, and the Worldwide Fund for Nature, offers companies guidance and target-setting techniques for environmental sustainability.
According to a CDP report, leading Indian corporations affiliated with SBTi spent about Rs. 5,400 crores in 2021 to cut roughly 5.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.
Cement, iron and steel, refineries, non-ferrous metals, and chemical industries are given special attention because they account for over 70% of all industrial emissions in India, according to a Crisil analysis.
The adoption of green hydrogen as a source of energy is the goal of net zero for metals firms. Although it will be some time before green hydrogen can be produced and used on a large scale, businesses like Tata Steel, JSW, Vedanta, and SAIL are already evaluating the viability of implementing new technologies by forming technical partnerships with other participants in the industrial value chain.
According to experts, the amount of global capital looking for environmentally friendly investments has fueled Indian firms’ sustainability efforts. For instance, TPG Rise Climate, a specialized climate investment firm, gave Tata Motors $1 billion last year.
Companies are also eager to take advantage of the somewhat lower interest rates that sustainability-linked loans (SLL) come with to fund their expansion plans. Some businesses that have recently raised SLLs in India include JSW Cement, Birla Carbon, and Glenmark Pharmaceuticals.
Given the enormous amount of capital needed to reach net-zero ambitions, the pace of fundraising in this sector must, however, quicken. According to CEEW research, India would require a total investment of $10.1 trillion (more than Rs 830 lakh crore) by 2070 to achieve net zero emissions. This corresponds to an investment for India of more than $200 billion every year.