Investors can be convinced of future returns from green investments: Singhi

United Nations, April 23 (IANS) Investors and corporate boards can be convinced to make green investments by showing them the value of tangible and intangible future returns, industrialist Mahendra Singhi has said.

Singhi, Group CEO of Dalmia Cement, said here on Friday that many green initiatives – to reduce the carbon footprint of industries and make them environmentally sustainable – will not require much additional investments.

But some initiatives, like using waste for power generation or adopting certain low carbon technologies, do need larger investments, he said. Whenever there are such projects that may not produce “normal investment return”, the cost of the green initiative is noted.

“They may not be the right return today, but considering the problems of climate and the future benefits we do convince the board as well as the the investors to support those projects,” he said.

Singhi briefed the news media about the “Impact of the Paris Climate Agreement on Business and Investors”. In recognition of Indian businesses vigorously joining the climate change battle, he was one of the two Indian industrialists showcased by the UN at the Paris Agreement signing events. The other was Anand Mahindra, the CEO of Mahindra Group, who spoke on behalf of the corporate world at the opening ceremony.

Many green projects requiring large investments but low returns are beyond the reach of industries in developing countries and are not being implemented, Singhi said. “That is why there is the demand from developing countries for green funds,” he said. “Developed countries should support developing countries for achieving” environmental goals.

He said his company decided it would “walk the talk” on sustainable development and adopted voluntary targets. These were ensuring that its carbon footprint should be one of the lowest in the industry, which it has achieved, and becoming “water positive” so that more water is conserved, he said.

“We are also working in a big way on renewable power,” Singhi said. “Almost seven percent of our power consumption is from renewable resources and we will make it to 20 percent by 2019.”

The company has also started to convert the waste of other industries into power and projects its message of “waste to wealth”, he said. “We conserve the very important resources of our planet.”

“We have worked on corporate social responsibility for serving the poor part of society so that we don’t become an island of prosperity, but we create prosperity for all. We follow the philosophy of total prosperity shared with all stakeholders including the poor in our society.”

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