The Sustainability100+ Summit in 2023 was a gala occasion that imparted a new legacy of excellence and innovation to the quest for sustainability. On March 31st, the country’s leading voices for sustainable development and progenitors of noteworthy sustainability efforts gathered at Taj Palace, New Delhi, to celebrate the winners of the first-ever Sustainability100+ Awards and the culmination of Season 2 of the Sustainability100+ campaign, presented by AB InBev India and Network18.
A rousing welcome by Ruchiraa Sharma, followed by an opening note from Anand Narasimhan, Managing Editor – Special Initiatives, News18, set the stage for the evening. The Minister of Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, who had been widely anticipated to deliver a keynote speech, spent much of his time on stage thanking various stakeholders for helping achieve complete sanitation across 40% of rural India. Mr Shekhawat also spoke about using digital tools in his ministry's efforts to deliver clean drinking water to all Indians.
The Sustainability100+ Summit brought together a diverse array of corporate leaders to share their ideas on how corporations can be better stewards of the environment. During a fireside chat with Shereen Bhan on ‘How Corporates can lead the way towards SDGs’, Kartikeya Sharma, President – India, AB InBev, spoke about how his company promotes inclusivity and is pioneering a collaborative business model. Kartikeya’s inputs along with special addresses by Ezgi Barcenas, Chief Sustainability Officer, AB InBev, and Jan Clysner, VP, Procurement & Sustainability APAC, Budweiser Brewing Co., laid out AB InBev’s multifaceted global approach to solving sustainability challenges across markets and regions.
This conversation was followed by a panel discussion yielding sharp insights on sustainability hosted by Shereen Bhan, and featuring Manish Bandish, Managing Director, Mother Dairy Fruit & Vegetable Pvt. Ltd., Atul Bagai, Country Head, UNEP, and Shiv Shivkumar, Non-Exec Chairman, Burger King & Former Chairperson and CEO, PepsiCo India.
An engaging presentation by special guest, Professor Michael Braungart, Founder & CEO of the Environment Protection Encouragement Agency and Author of ‘Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things’ highlighted the urgent need for businesses and society to engage in sustainable modes of living.
While the Summit had these eye-opening and inspiring conversations, the highlight of the evening was the introduction of the first-ever Sustainability100+ Awards. The Awards were presented to NGOs, Startups and Corporates who impressed the jury of distinguished leaders with their innovative solutions for Climate Action, Water Stewardship, Smart Agriculture, and Circular Packaging. Notable award winners included Infosys Technologies for their pathbreaking move towards Carbon Neutrality, MakeMyTrip Foundation which was recognised for creating carbon offsets in the state of Rajasthan, and Sankalp Taru Foundation for restoring the vitality of local ecosystems in Ladakh.
The Sustainability100+ Summit wound down, with time to praise and commend AB InBev India’s Swadhaar program, which helps create sustainable livelihoods in rural India and empowers micro-entrepreneurs. Anasuya Ray, Vice President – Corporate Affairs, AB InBev South Asia, detailed how the program has uplifted 1000 families and helped rural entrepreneurs receive grants and loans.
The summit came to a close, with viewers gaining another hopeful vision of change when the Action Manifesto AV detailed the evolution of our collective approach to sustainability, before Anand Narasimhan capped off the event with a closing note that articulated our enduring hope for a healthier and better future.
The Sustainability 100+ platform goes beyond the idea of inspiring change — it is about galvanising targeted actions and driving them forward.The pages slugged ‘Brand Connect’ are equivalent to advertisements and are not written and produced by Forbes India journalists.