BUILDING SUSTAINABLE BUSINESSES FIT FOR A SUSTAINABLE WORLD 60 Our Chairman, Mr. Kumar Mangalam Birla has called for us to become the leading Indian conglomerate for sustainable business practices and for imagining a future where we grow and prosper within a sustainable world. The virtuous circle is clear – only sustainable businesses will survive in a sustainable world, and a sustainable world is only possible if businesses operate within the legislated constraints needed for mankind to continue to live on the planet. Whether we stay within the two-degree limit, or go into ‘overshoot’, there will be dramatic implications on the way that we live and work, the way that we consume and definitely the way that businesses will operate. Many do not appreciate that disruption is coming our way, no matter the course of action. We know that the law must eventually tighten its grip on business practice if we are to enjoy a sustainable world. Through our Model for Sustainable Business, we now have the opportunity to prepare the businesses within the Aditya Birla Group in a systematic manner to ensure that they are increasingly sustainable. Enabling sustainable leadership. As a Group, it is our role to equip our businesses with the right tools, provide access to the right information and to put the right systems and processes in place with comprehensive guidance on how to achieve our vision. It is my role as Chief Sustainability Officer, together with the Group Sustainability Cell to use our issue expertise coupled with expert, scientific opinion to help support the Group’s progress in building sustainable businesses. The onus is also on our leadership to take on the understanding of what it means to be a sustainable business leader in their own sectors, in their industries and to plan out a roadmap for how it can be achieved. The planet will demand that it is so, and the markets will have no choice but to comply. At Aditya Birla we have a legacy of success. It is our leadership’s imagination that will realise our vision of becoming a sustainable business leader, and it will be their legacy that they shape. Progress is being made but much remains to be done. Partnering for the future Our strategic stakeholder engagements will become even more critical as we move towards 2030 and the resource constraints and climatic changes drive volatilities and disruptions that affect our operational capabilities. We know that climate change, and a two-degree increase in the planet’s temperature is going to have huge implications on society and for business’ ability to operate under such conditions they will have to adapt and transform. Mitigation alone is unlikely to be enough. It is only through our relationships with multi- stakeholder organisations such as World Business Council for Sustainable Development, our academic and research partnerships and membership of industry bodies like the Sustainable Apparel Coalition that our businesses will learn enough to stay ahead of the curve, align themselves with international best practice and truly understand the multifaceted challenges that they are going to face. It is known that legislation tends to follow practice, by aligning ourselves with international standards we are preparing to shape, rather than be shaped by, the landscape around us. Our collaboration with Forum for the Future to understand different ‘two degree world scenarios’ will help us understand the implications of climate change for our business strategy and portfolio. THE FUTURE OF SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS PRACTICE AT ADITYA BIRLA GROUP Insider View