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On the second day of the 16th National Convention of Global Compact Network India (GCNI), ONGC Director (Onshore) Anurag Sharma emphasized that to create an ecosystem to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), technology and innovation will be the game changer. Mr Sharma highlighted that the currently India is spearheading to achieve the 2030 goal. The success of 2030 goal will be fundamentally based on technology, innovation, operational efficiency and creativity to develop new solutions that protect the environment and accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy, increase productivity, boost business competitiveness and reduce overall carbon footprint.

The “Deep Dive Session” on “Target 2030: Role of innovation & ecosystem partnerships in scaling SDGs” was held on 16 December 2021. Key panelists of the session included ONGC Director (Onshore) Anurag Sharma, Vice President Sustainability and Mobility Strategy BMW Group Dr Thomas Becker, Assistant Secretary General of PHDCCI Dr Jatinder Singh and Executive Director and Founder & CEO SuperHumanRace Gagandeep Bhullar. The session was moderated by Vice President & CSR Leader Capgemini Anurag Pratap.

(Clockwise from top left): Anurag Pratap, Dr Thomas Becker, Gagandeep Bhullar, Anurag Sharma and Dr Jatinder Singh at the panel discussion
(Clockwise from top left): Anurag Pratap, Dr Thomas Becker, Gagandeep Bhullar, Anurag Sharma and Dr Jatinder Singh at the panel discussion

Over the policy measures to be taken to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, Director (Onshore) said that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 SDGs is the most ambitious development agenda in the history. The policies are drivers for enhancing sustainable development, for example the energy requirements of the country are increasing with continual growth in population and they will continue to increase and the investments will continue to follow. Our policies, future investment and government incentives should be streamlined to fulfil our future energy demand with minimal environmental impacts. The policy responses should incentivize mitigation measures so that the emissions are capped realistically while prospering with investments and inclusive growth, said Mr Sharma.

While demonstrating on how SDGs can be augmented through partnerships, Mr Sharma gave the example of ONGC Tripura Power Company (OTPC). The project is an illustration of a seamless partnership between ONGC, Government of Tripura state, Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Ltd (IL&FS) and the neighboring country Bangladesh. The 726 MW capacity natural gas based combined cycle power plant is one of the largest Clean Development Mechanism project in the world, earning about 1.6 Million Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) every year. ONGC has also registered another 14 CDM projects contributing to Sustainable Development.

Mr Sharma further elaborated that for successful implementation of SDGs, it is vital to have deeper collaborative tie-ups between all stakeholders to help the nation navigate through the unprecedented and changing times. Alike we have been utilizing expert services and collaborations to improve our systems and energy efficiency over the years. In terms of sustainability, we endeavor to reduce our carbon emissions in the form of identifying and reducing leakages, reducing flares to the minimum number. We are also utilizing services like Data Analytics, Digital Oil Fields which would automate our operations, said Mr Sharma.

On ONGC initiatives to support innovation at a social level, Mr Sharma mentioned that the ONGC’s start-up initiative through which solar stoves were installed in villages of Madhya Pradesh, there is a scope of further improvement in the prototype and developing the same on commercial basis.

On ONGC's efforts towards sustainable growth, we contribute a lot through our CSR schemes like supporting education, nutrition, gender equality, ending poverty and water saving schemes, etc. It has also been an immense support to the local communities in the time of Covid helping them with the basic necessities to sustain life.

Vice President Sustainability and Mobility Strategy BMW Group Dr Thomas Becker noted that the energy agenda and the mobility agenda are closely associated. “To look into the complete CO2 footprint, we need to look into the value chain. For example, even while making a car electric we need to look into what raw material goes into it,” said Dr Becker adding that the sustainability goals can only be met with collaborative efforts and individual players cannot play an entire role in it.

Assistant Secretary General of PHDCCI Dr Jatinder Singh stated that there should be major focus on research and development. He noted that the fourth SDG focusing on education is key, through which cutting-edge technologies can be created which will catapult in realizing the other SDGs. Dr Singh said that the innovation and technology should be for and by the people who use it. He suggested that corporates should dedicate a section of their CSR funding on proven technologies.

Executive Director and Founder & CEO SuperHumanRace Gagandeep Bhullar mentioned that the key challenges at the time to collaboration to bring in larger mandate is trust, as the outcome of any project is different for everyone and the requirement of the government, industry and the people also varies. Mrs Bhullar said that investment and agility are other two major challenges in the area. She stated that investment is the major problems for mostly the small players and ground players. “Also, context is a factor. For example, a non-profit organization working on the electrification of a village has one intention but the company executing the project has business objectives,” she added.

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