“Integrating sustainability within value chain strengthens business resilience and accelerates the journey towards agile transformation and a low-carbon future. Marico’s Responsible Sourcing Framework’ titled ‘SAMYUT’ was institutionalized in 2018. The intent of the framework is to source material & services for Marico products through sustainable and responsible suppliers or business associates who share our sustainability vision”, highlights Bipin Odhekar, Head – Sustainability & Operations excellence, Marico Ltd., during an interview…
How do corporates view sustainability as a whole?
Sustainability is a way of doing business, irrespective of sector it belongs to. It is no longer a ‘good to have’ function for taking environmental initiatives but it is a business differentiator to pursue responsible growth and create shared value for all stakeholders. One can easily recognize the success of corporates with sustainability as a core strategy.
What have been the sustainability initiatives taken by Marico?
Sustainability aspects are embedded in business decision at Marico. A robust risk assessment and materiality analysis has helped us to identify specific impact areas with measurable long-term targets. There are eight impact areas, which encompass ESG material issues. These include Conserving energy and reducing emissions, Water Stewardship, Circular Economy, Responsible Sourcing, Product Responsibility (product quality, ingredient safety, health and nutritional opportunities, and reducing environmental footprint across life cycle of the product), Sustainable Coconut Conservation, Social Value Creation (CSR initiatives on Education, Skill Empowerment, Healthcare, Community Sustenance and Social Innovation) and a robust Corporate Governance framework.
How can sustainability be imbibed in supply chain?
Integrating sustainability within value chain strengthens business resilience and accelerates the journey towards agile transformation and a low-carbon future. Marico’s Responsible Sourcing Framework’ titled ‘SAMYUT’ was institutionalized in 2018. The intent of framework is to “Source material & services for Marico products through sustainable and responsible suppliers or business associates who share our sustainability vision”. We have a three step program (Educate, Evaluate and Evolve) which ensures forward movement of our supply chain associates in terms of “Ethical Standards”, “Environmental protection” and “Social commitments”.
There are innumerable stories and examples of organizations that are leading the sustainability agenda from the front. Taking specific names may not be correct but good work is happening in carbon & water neutrality, safe products, and waste / pollution control.
What are the sustainable packaging innovations that we can look forward to?
Packaging related innovations have deep-seated value creation potential for a business like ours. The plastics economy is currently undergoing a paradigm shift in terms of how circularity principles are ingrained in the overall dynamics of the system. From a future-ready standpoint, we will see 100% recyclable packaging portfolios, increased use of recycled or bio-based content in packaging, innovative packaging designs to reduce consumption intensity, transport ease and improved material recovery cycles.
Kindly enlighten us on Marico’s theme, ‘Ecosystem Restoration’.
‘Ecosystem Restoration’ is a part of Marico’s overall goal towards climate action. As mentioned above, we have various programs related to resource management. Currently, Marico’s Perundurai factory has been externally certified as carbon neutral. As a small step to offset the carbon footprint from the factory operations, we created a Miyawaki forest in 2019 within the premises. This green patch currently comprises of 1100+ trees and sequester 5000kg carbon annually.
Your advice to companies to move towards Carbon Neutrality…
Carbon neutrality means having a balance between emitting carbon and absorbing carbon from the atmosphere in carbon sinks. This paves business opportunities for companies to optimize costs through resource efficiency. Carbon neutrality also proves advantageous while managing physical and transitional climate risks to the entire value chain.
What are the learnings from the pandemic and the way forward?
The pandemic has pushed organizations to transform business forever, requiring them to reprioritize their material issues as well as amplify the adoption of digital technologies by several years. As part of this transformed business focus, it has become imperative for organizations to embed sustainable and ESG goals in all aspects of their business strategies and transformation agenda. For us at Marico, the ‘next normal’ of business environment has been perceived as an opportunity to deepen our sustainability led efforts and impact while pursuing an agile growth journey.
Where is India Inc in achieving sustainable expanse? What can be done to enhance the green expanse?
India Inc. has a promising future when it comes to striking an optimal balance between industrialization and protection of natural, ecological, and social assets. All stakeholders including governments, businesses, investors, social enterprises, academia, and consumers have critical and complementary roles to shape a greener, safer and more sustainable India in the times to come. Given the population rise and other global megatrends impacting India, there is a distinct opportunity for us to epitomize sustainable development on a global canvas. Education, tech enabled disruptions, impact leadership from corporates and favourable policy mechanisms can fulfil our vision of replenishing natural resources and restoring ecological sanity.