To mark World Environment Day, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) organised a webinar on ‘Making collective efforts to build a Greener and Sustainable Tomorrow’. With the presence and participation of large number of renowned speakers from designated fields, the session primarily deliberated on the roadmap of achieving the ultimate goal of conserving the environment for the present and future generations.
The keynote address was delivered by Suresh Prabhu, India’s representative at G20 and G7 and former Minister of Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation, Government of India. Other speakers included senior government officers, CEOs of automobile sector, and experts from automobile and environment sector.
With the primary focus on making an effective and sustainable plan of action to protect and conserve the environment for the generations to come, the event also highlighted the commitment of the automobile sector towards the environment through the various achievements. For instance, despite facing several challenges in terms of technology, time and resources, the industry had demonstrated outstanding achievements in cleaner fuels and meeting BS VI emission norms.
Ashwath Ram, Chairman, SIAM Sustainable Mobility Group & Managing Director, Tata Cummins and Cummins India made the opening remarks. The key speakers of the session were K S Pannu (IAS), Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Government of Punjab, Deepak Jain President, ACMA, Rajan Wadhera, President, SIAM, Dr Shruti Rai Bharadwaj, Additional Director, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Rajendra Petkar, Co Chairman Sustainable Mobility Group of SIAM & President & CTO, Tata Motors, C V Raman, Chairman, SIAM Emissions and Conservation Group & Senior Executive Director, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd and Sridhar V, Senior Director – Purchase, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd.
Addressing the environmental concern, Suresh Prabhu, said, “Over the last few decades, the exploitation and the degradation of the environment have gone up at an alarming rate. The opportunity cost of environment degradation is huge and cannot be quantified. Businesses have a possibility of finding solutions to make our environment better, climate change is a human action. We need to focus on protecting the environment & working together for improving the ecosystem for our future generations.”
Speaking on the topic, K S Pannu said, “We feel extremely grateful towards SIAM for joining hands with us through Sukh Da Saah, an initiative to mitigate crop residue burning in the farmlands, as a step towards reducing air pollution. Along with CII, we have already adopted 100 villages till last year, and now I would like to take the opportunity to urge SIAM to further adopt at least 1000 new villages.”
ACMA’s president Deepak Jain said, “ACMA drives special cluster programs for resource efficiency. Infusion of digital technologies has helped us streamline our work and the eventual increase in sales figure as a result, will have a multiplier effect on the Industry. Industry must integrate sustainability and conserving biodiversity in its business plans as it progress ahead. Together we can achieve the goal of sustainable and greener environment.”
While talking about the current situation and future opportunities, Rajan Wadhera, said: “The Indian automobile Industry has made significant progress on the environmental front, both at an industry level, and at the organisation level. On this day, I assure you, that the Indian automobile industry is committed to work closely with all stakeholders towards our vision of sustainable mobility in the country.”
He added, “Carbon Neutrality’ in the manufacturing process is being obtained by OEMs through large scale adoption of solar and wind power. Factories are also reducing their dependency on fresh water and are increasingly becoming ‘Water Neutral’, apart from undertaking bio-diversity conservation through plantations.”
SIAM has taken up several responsible initiatives to work in a more eco-friendly way, and its members, partners, and dealers have dedicated themselves to environment-friendly measures, such as planting of saplings, conducting free pollution checks and dry wash of vehicles. Additionally, there is a greater emphasis on the judicious use of resources at every stage of the product life cycle. Monitoring systems have been put in place to ensure zero discharge in order to meet all the compliance issued by the Pollution Control Boards. Vehicle owners are also being sensitized to support these initiatives and contribute to building a sustainable future. SIAM has been conducting multiple mass awareness campaigns over the years among commuters to drive sustainable development, and it has also adopted some villages in Punjab to reduce stubble burning in the last two years.
At the webinar, Wadhera announced that SIAM would launch a series of 20 interactive lectures, focusing on environment and other issues of the automobile Industry, within the course of the this year.