India has the potential for $1 trillion worth of business opportunities and 72 million job opportunities by 2030 for companies working in the sustainable development space, especially in sectors such as food and agriculture, energy, construction, and healthcare, according to Lise Kingo, CEO and Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact.
The United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) is an initiative by the global body to encourage private sector companies to do more in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, the deadline for which is less than 5,000 days away, Ms Kingo noted.
“India is the land of opportunity for sustainable development,” Ms Kingo said while speaking at an event organised by the UNGC. “More than 50% of the progress towards the global (Sustainable Development) Goals will come from India. The report we have come out with shows that there is $1 trillion worth of market opportunities for companies working in the sustainable area in India and employment generation of 72 million by 2030.”
The major areas where these gains are possible include food and agriculture, energy, cities, health, and construction, Ms Kingo added. The report citing the basis for these figures will be released on Thursday.
“Inequality, tackling which is goal 10 in the Sustainable Development Goals, has been rising but there has been a huge jump recently,” Nisha Agrawal, Chief Executive Officer, Oxfam India said while also speaking at the event. “It is in the companies’ self-interest to address these problems.”
“Look at inequality, where the top small section commands most of the wealth,” Ms Agrawal added. “This affects the spending power of the bulk of the population, which hurts the companies. The same can be argued with climate change and environmental effects. Companies can’t first do their production and then look at the environment.”
Ms Kingo highlighted the example of Adidas as a company trying to do its part in helping the environment. “Adidas has made a sports shoe made of the waste plastics collected from the oceans, which is increasingly becoming a major pollution problem.”