What started as a voluntary initiative by a clutch of business houses to report their carbon emissions may help India keep its promise to reduce carbon intensity by 25% by 2020. Hundreds of companies are likely to join them in the next few years.
Godrej & Boyce, Infosys, ITC, Tata Chemicals, NTPC, GAIL, Hindustan Construction Company (HCC), Jet Airways, Ambuja Cement, Yes Bank and Ford Motors are few of the companies that are part of the India Greenhouse Gas Programme.
India made this commitment in 2009 by a declaration in Parliament by then environment minister Jairam Ramesh.
"There are about 100 companies getting their carbon emission measured on a voluntary basis today. Our target is to get at least a 1,000 companies in the next three years," Jamshyd N Godrej, chairman of Godrej & Boyce, one of the industry leaders who spearhead this initiative, told HT.
Companies use Greenhouse Gas Protocol standards and tools developed by World Resources Institute (WRI), a global research organisation, to measure and manage their carbon footprint. "Measuring of emission in our production and supply chain systems are important to bring it down significantly over time," said Godrej.
"At some stage the international agreement on carbon reduction will come into force. And then the government will make mandatory emission cuts and existing emission norms will become tighter," he said. "It is very much in the interest of companies that you reduce carbon emission. You save money by using less energy," he added.
Godrej said the initiatives have started to bear fruit as consumer goods major ITC, one of the pioneers, has emerged the only company in the world carbon, water and recycling solid waste positive.
The Bureau of Energy Efficiency has initiated a scheme for 500 units in the energy-intensive sectors such as oil and gas, power, steel and cement to trade benefits of carbon reduction among themselves. "It will take some time to gain traction, but will help bring down average carbon emission," said Godrej.