Look beyond govt for green initiatives: Hart

Look beyond govt for green initiatives: Hart

Innovators should stop depending on government to achieve their objective and move beyond “greening” to confront growing inequality and environmental degradation successfully, said Prof Stuart L Hart, the founding director of the Indian Institute for Sustainable Enterprise (IISE) based in the City.

He was speaking at a leadership conclave on ‘Defining Sustainability: Rio and Beyond - The New Corporate Challenge of the 21st Century’ in the City on Wednesday.
The adverse impact of the involvement of governments or policy makers in sustainability was glaring during the recent Rio Earth Summit, where “global politics” was played out aggressively, especially, by emerging economic forces like India and China, Hart said.

“Nothing substantial came out of Rio. Twenty years ago, there was commitment to address climate change. But, with developing countries getting to play the multi-polar role, it has resulted in a zero-sum game. These emerging economic forces were so busy pointing fingers at the US and European countries that the actual purpose was defeated,” he said.

As a result, the private sector was forced to play a catalytic role.
He said that the era of “globalisation driven by the West imposed on the rest” had also come to an end, and that the world was in the midst of a transformation.
Hart urged companies to harness technology and business model innovations to create new growth platforms that could actually regenerate the environment and lift the base of the income pyramid, while growing and earning profits.

Hart is one of the world’s top authorities on implications of environment and poverty for business strategy.

His article ‘Beyond Greening: Strategies for a Sustainable World’ won the McKinsey award for the Best Article in the Harvard Business Review in 1997 and helped launch a movement for corporate sustainability.

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