Aligned with the thought of ecosystem restoration by focusing on the 3R’s of United Nation Environment Programme viz. Reimagine, Recreate and Restore, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) conducted a virtual interactive session with the theme “Ecosystem Restoration: Initiatives by Indian Auto Industry” to observe the World Environment Day. The programme was graced by Mr Suresh Prabhu, India’s Sherpa to G20 & G7 and Hon’ble Member of the Parliament along with a distinguished panel of leaders from the automobile industry and conservation ecologists. The programme also witnessed the launch of SIAM’s Report on Environmental Sustainability by Indian Automobile Manufacturers, capturing details of various sustainability efforts made by the automotive industry to help save our environment.
Opening the inaugural session, Mr Rajesh Menon, Director General, SIAM, said, “We have come together to discuss about various sustainability efforts of automobile industry and its contribution in ecosystem restoration space.”
Mr Ashwath Ram, Chairman, SIAM Sustainability Mobility Group & Managing Director, TATA Cummins and Cummins India, said “The World Environment Day encourages everyone towards positive change. The automotive industry has been at the forefront of embracing new fuel efficiency standards since 2017 and is getting ready for phase 2 in 2022-2023 to ensure better air quality. Furthermore, the industry is adopting cleaner environmental standards with many SIAM partners working towards achieving carbon neutrality by 2030 or 2040.”
In his special address, Mr Vikram Kirloskar, Vice Chairman, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, said “By 2040, modern bioenergy and renewable fuels are likely to meet 25% of India’s energy needs. However, due to the rapid increase in our overall energy needs, we are likely to see a 50% rise in CO2 emissions, the largest for any country, even then the per capita carbon emission will continue to remain well below the global average.”
Appreciating the sustainability efforts of automotive industry, Mr Suresh Prabhu, Hon’ble Member of Parliament, designated as India’s Sherpa to G20 & G7 said, “There has been rapid progress made by the automotive industry towards sustainability. Hence, the industry is able to achieve both mobility and nobility for the country. The integration of human beings into the ecology is very complex. We can’t lose the balance between ecology and economy. We need to maintain ecology its natural form. Towards that, the Forest Conservation Act was a landmark legislation due to which India has 24% of forest cover today.”
Emphasising on the SIAM efforts towards knowledge sharing on sustainability, Mr Prashant K Banerjee, Executive Director, SIAM said, “SIAM has committed itself to multiple sustainability initiatives. Last year, we had launched the Lecture Series 2020 which was well received. We are proud to announce Green Tea with SIAM 2021, live rendezvous with automotive industry leaders and think tanks with an objective to reach million other stakeholders through a virtual platform.”
Moderating the second session on Eco-sustainability, Mr Rajendra Petkar, Co-Chair, Sustainable Mobility Group and President & CTO, TATA Motors, discussed the five zeros pillars of holistic ecosystem, which are zero impact on the environment, zero fatality, zero waste, zero left-out, and zero stress.
Dr Abhishek Ghoshal, Conservation Ecologist, UNDP, spoke about the impact of degradation of land and marine ecosystems on 3.2 billion people. He informed that degradation cost is about 10% of the annual global GDP and the restoration of 350 million hectare of degraded land by 2030 could generate US$ 9 trillion in ecosystem services. Adding to the conversation Dr J R Bhatt, Advisor, Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, GoI, highlighted that while India is not responsible for global warming and climate change, as per the Paris pledge, the nation is committed to reduce the emissions intensity of GDP by 33-35% from 2005 levels.
Mr Marius Ochel, Head of Cluster International Association Partnership Africa & India, German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), gave an international perspective on the transport sector sustainability, e-mobility, and related challenges as well as discussed the automotive sustainability assessment and audit program launched by VDA for the industry and tier one, two and three vendors. Giving perspective of value chain, Mr Raju B Ketkale, Dy. Managing Director (Manufacturing), Toyota Kirloskar Motor, emphasised on society existing in harmony with nature. He discussed various measures for reduction of CO2 across value chain, promotion of renewable energy, and developing circular economy thought process.
Mr Stein Jens-Olaf, Vice President (Powertrain Engineering), BOSCH, discussed how sustainability and environmental compatibility are major drivers in operations and affects the entire supply chain. He declared that Bosch India is carbon neutral from January 2020 and is increasing the green energy share upto 50% in 2021. Adding to the conversation, Mr Ashish Gupta, Brand Head – Volkswagen Group Sales India, emphasised on environment being at the centre of all industry actions and emphasised on greening of aftersales services which included adoption of various measures like reducing dependency on non-renewable energy sources, using waterless car washing systems, and various other measures.
The programme focused on automotive industry’s commitment to adopt environment friendly policies aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals 2030. The Eco Sustainability session threw light on the automotive industry’s contribution and adopting green automotive technologies and various measures for the sustainable management of auto products at every stage of the product life cycle.
Over the years, SIAM has been engaging with governments, corporates, and stakeholders in an effort to address environmental issues aligning with SIAM theme of Building the Nation, Responsibly.
The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) is a not-for-profit apex national body representing all major vehicle and vehicular engine manufacturers in India. SIAM works towards supporting the sustainable development of the Indian Automobile Industry with the vision that India emerges as the destination of choice in the world for design and manufacture of automobiles. It also works towards facilitating enhancement of the competitiveness of the Indian Automobile Industry, reducing the cost of vehicles, increasing productivity, and achieving global standards of quality.