The CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development is a co-creation of the apex national Chamber, the Confederation of Indian Industry, and ITC. With its abiding objective of promoting sustainability amongst corporates, the Centre is engaged in a wide spectrum of value-added and targeted initiatives that create awareness, provide thought leadership, build capacity amongst Indian enterprises and reward exemplary performances. The Centre is steered by its Advisory Council, led by Mr Y C Deveshwar, Chairman, ITC Limited, and comprises members from industry, government, civil society and institutions, which provides strategic direction to the organisation.
During the year, the Centre has made a meaningful contribution to drafting rules for Section 135 of the Companies Act 2013. The Centre was also awarded a four-year EU Switch Asia project titled 'Green Retail India' to promote sustainable development of India's food and beverage retail sector. The Centre has partnered with the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) to promote Integrated Reporting (IR) in India. It will further constitute an IR business network in the country to provide Indian business ownership in the development and implementation of the IR framework. Based on a request from the Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF), the Centre is hosting the India Business and Biodiversity Initiative (IBBI) platform. This national level initiative will represent India's business sector at the UN Global Business and Biodiversity Initiative.
Over the last year, the Centre published several case studies and research papers that include the "Business Responsibility India Survey 2013", "Public Private Partnerships in CSR in India – 10 Case Studies (2013)", "Public Procurement and Transformative Solutions: A Migration Strategy for India's Procurement in the 21st Century (2013)" and "How India Innovates: The Promise of Sustainable and Inclusive Innovation (2013)".
The Centre also instituted the world's first corporate sustainability label, "Sustainable Plus", that provides a brand identity tool for companies to communicate that they are sustainable, responsible and well-governed.
The Centre's 31 open programmes and 40 in-company programmes on a gamut of areas including Value Innovation, Sustainability Reporting, Stakeholder Engagement, Social Return on Investment (SRoI), Supply Chain, and Corporate Sustainability Performance management, conducted both in India and abroad, reached out to over 2,700 participants.
The 8th Annual Sustainability Solutions Summit continued its legacy of bringing together thought-and-action leaders from across the globe to discuss and propagate innovative and actionable solutions towards building a more sustainable future. The Centre recognises and rewards the most significant contributions to sustainable development in the country through the CII-ITC Sustainability Awards. In 2013, the Awards were presented to 23 companies.
The Centre is today playing a major role in engaging with policy makers to create an environment that encourages the adoption of sustainable business practices. It is a consulting partner in several policy interventions such as Green Guidelines for Public Procurement, Low Carbon Expert Group of the Planning Commission, National Innovation Council, Ministry of Corporate Affairs on CSR Policy, National Awards for Prevention of Pollution, Rajiv Gandhi Environment Awards for Clean Technology and Technology and Finance Committee under the Montreal Protocol. It is also represented on the Board of the Central Pollution Control Board and other eminent bodies.