'Ombudsman needed to estimate sustainability costs'

In order to make better sense of regulator-driven sustainability and its value proposition for companies, it is time for the Centre to appoint an oversight body to do a cost- benefit analysis study on the lines of that done in the US, according to the principal secretary, commerce and industries department, government of Karnataka, M N Vidyashankar.

“The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) did a study on the cost of sustainability for US companies for 2011-12 and estimated it at $1.9 trillion. Besides, it said that the benefits were much more than the costs. We in India also need to appoint an ombudsman who would undertake a similar exercise for authentic, reliable information,” he said.

Vidyashankar was speaking to reporters after delivering the keynote address at the two-day “International Sustainable Development Conference-2013” organised by trade body Ficci in association with the government of Karnataka, British Deputy High Commission (Bangalore) and the Consulate General of Federal Republic of Germany (Bangalore) here on Tuesday.

The move should be initiated by the Centre, he added. Earlier, he spoke on the need to incorporate people, profits and planet (environment) in driving sustainability. “We should try to design a system to integrate them in a consultative manner,” he said.
The event saw delegates from the trade missions of several countries.

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