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Sustainability Summit 2023

Setting the Stage

The summit opened with inspiring remarks from Mr. Alessandro Giuliani, Managing Director of SDA Bocconi Asia Center, and Alessandro De Masi, Consulate General of Italy, Mumbai, setting the tone for a day of insightful discussions.

Distinguished Speakers and Thought Leadership

Distinguished speakers, including Prof. Stefano Pogutz , Professor of Practice of Corporate Sustainability and Prof. Paola Bielli, Professor of Information System shared their expertise on the practical applications of sustainability principles and the crucial role of technology in fostering sustainability.

Mr. Narinder Nayar, Chairman of Mumbai First, delivered a compelling speech, providing insights into the genesis of Mumbai First, a model inspired by the successful institution, London First. He expressed his team’s commitment to revitalizing Mumbai by identifying and bridging gaps through collaboration with the government and major corporations. Strategic dinners with the Chief Minister and key companies like TATA, McKinsey, and Mahindra marked the initial steps of this very process of Mumbai’s revival.

Addressing identified gaps through public-private partnerships resulted in significant achievements, such as the Mumbai Trans Harbor Link and Coastal Roads. International collaboration efforts, including the BRICS Summit, showcased Mumbai First’s commitment to enhancing city security. The emphasis on climate action was evident in Mumbai’s Silver Jubilee 2020 and the Global Coastal Cities Summit in 2023, aligning with the G20 Agenda to address sea level rise and flooding.

Mr. Nayar also highlighted the Mumbai First – EU – MTSU Partnerships, focusing on key areas. The speech concluded with insights into the AQI Mission, featuring initiatives to improve Mumbai’s air quality. It also exemplified Mumbai First’s dedication to sustainable development, impactful partnerships, and a forward-looking approach to addressing the city’s critical challenges.

Global Perspectives and Industry Insights:

  1. Mr. Rahul Prithiani, Global Head and Senior Director at CRISIL:
    • Presented challenges faced by Indian companies in integrating sustainability
    • Provided a deep analysis of the consequences of climate change
  1. Mr. Sumit Gupta, Managing Director and Senior Partner at BCG:
    • Offered a higher sustainability perspective in Asia
    • Highlighted the urgent need for actionable strategies in the region

These distinguished speakers added depth to the summit, shedding light on the intricate challenges faced by Indian companies and providing a comprehensive analysis of the consequences of climate change, especially within the context of higher sustainability in Asia.

Brembo: Sustainability in the Automotive Sector

Mr. Luca Bottazzi, the Managing Director at Brembo, plays a pivotal role in leading the company to achieve goals in innovation, sustainability, and corporate responsibility. Under his leadership, Brembo not only establishes itself as a global expert in braking technology but also excels in Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) standards.

Mr. Rakesh Musale, Senior Manager at Brembo, provided detailed insights into ongoing and upcoming projects. His presentation focused on impact and return on investment. Guided by Musale, Brembo sets ambitious goals like pursuing carbon neutrality through projects such as rooftop solar installations and waste-to-energy programs, including the innovative Miyawaki plantation concept.

The executive presentation unveiled Brembo’s holistic approach to ESG integration. The company collaborates with external agencies and demonstrates a strong commitment to engaging employees at all levels. Initiatives, grouped under the pillars of planet, people, and product, demonstrate a comprehensive commitment to sustainable practices ingrained in the company’s culture.

The results of Brembo’s dedication include a notable 9.5% reduction in CO2 emissions over the past year. The company adheres to the highest environmental, energy, and occupational health and safety standards with certifications like ISO 14001, ISO 50001, and ISO 45001.

Integral to Brembo’s past success is not just collaborating with external agencies but also involving active participation from its workforce. The implementation of an innovative suggestion-based system emphasizes embedding the ESG culture into the company’s core, fostering a new generation of sustainability champions among emerging leaders. This ensured that Brembo continued to lead in shaping a sustainable and responsible future in the automotive sector.

Sustainability Challenges and Solutions: Asian Paints & Smart Water


The session kicked off with Professor Paola Bielli posing a crucial question to Mr. Ravi Mariwala, the Founder and CEO of Smaart Water, regarding the challenges of water sustainability in India. Mr. Mariwala highlighted the dual predicaments of water scarcity in the country, marked by both flooding and drought. The ensuing discussion delved into the significance of water at Asian Paints, wherein Mr. Vivek Khanchandani, Lead Principal Specialist, at Asian Paints, emphasized on the commitment to a “give more than you take” philosophy. Both Asian Paints and Smaart Water advocate for an optimization approach aimed at conserving water resources. Asian Paints, with a targeted efficiency goal set for 2030, showcased their commitment to replenishing 382% of the water they currently consume.

The collaborative efforts of Smart Water and Asian Paints in promoting water sustainability stem from a steadfast dedication to their principles. Both companies actively engage in the continuous development of innovative solutions, consistently evolving in the pursuit of sustainability. A key part of their strategy is wrapped up in the idea of “water resilience,” meaning the ability to withstand and prosper despite challenges posed by climate change.

Asian Paints is deeply committed to fostering awareness through data-driven watermarks, a strategy aimed at reducing overall water consumption. Technology plays a significant role in their operational framework, with a recognition that water conservation requires a behavioural shift. Overcoming resistance to change is addressed through a concerted effort by top management to champion sustainability initiatives.

It is noteworthy that Asian Paints has actively pursued sustainable practices for the past 25 years, consistently demonstrating a commitment to environmental responsibility. At the operational level, the company ensures that its water consumption remains below its actual needs. Both Smaart Water and Asian Paints maintain well-defined priorities in their sustainability endeavours, conducting quarterly reviews to ensure the effective implementation of their practices. This strategic approach, driven by clear objectives and consistent monitoring, underscores their dedication.

Conclusion: Towards a Sustainable Future

The Sustainability Summit 2023 at SDA Bocconi Asia Center has been a convergence of ideas, insights, and commitments towards a sustainable future. From distinguished speakers providing global perspectives to industry leaders exemplifying sustainability in action, the summit has illuminated pathways for positive change.

As we reflect on the knowledge and innovative ideas shared during this event, the call to action becomes clear. The challenges outlined by Indian companies, the consequences of climate change, and the efforts of organizations like Brembo, Asian Paints, and Smaart Water underscore the urgent need for collective action.

Let us, as individuals, businesses, and communities, heed this call to action. The journey towards a brighter, greener future requires unity, collaboration, and dedication. The Sustainability Summit 2023 has certainly ignited the spark.

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