Sustainable business practices may be the price of trade in the future, according to Surendra Goyal, Chief Financial Officer at Birla Carbon – leaving stragglers on the outer.
As extreme weather-related events are felt by many in our fast-changing climate, Goyal said he personally believes the market could soon decide for itself, leaving sustainable businesses with a distinct advantage.
“After a few years, [a business’ sustainability] could be… a question of your survival,” Goyal told Rajesh Gupte, Head of Corporate Coverage, India at ANZ on video.
“Whether you're able to sell your products, whether you're able to get supplies from vendors, whether you're able to get finance.”
It could even begin impacting merger and acquisition activity, Goyal said, hypothesising that in a case of two equal takeover bids, “shareholders would like to move to the company who are more sustainable”.
“I believe that in times to come as you grow, [sustainability] will become a hygiene factor,” he said.
Goyal made the comments as part of a conversation with Gupte and Stephanie Vallance, Director, Sustainable Finance at ANZ. You can watch an edited version of the conversation on video below.
Vallance said ANZ had an important role to play in assisting the sustainable transition by directing capital toward decarbonisation and supporting customers like Birla Carbon.
“In all of this we see significant commercial opportunity,” Vallance said. “McKinsey has estimated the net-zero journey requires over $US9 trillion in annual investment on an annual basis to get there by 2050.
“We’re currently falling about 35 per cent short of that.”
Increasingly, countries, governments and businesses are pledging to get to net-zero emissions.
Companies like Birla Carbon see value in adopting a formal green finance framework to fund projects which will help to meet their targets and have been sharing their sustainability reports for a decade now.
“We really want to achieve something,” Goyal said. “It’s not just good enough to do good, you have to do well, you have to track it, you have to manage it, and you need to publish it also,” he said.
For Goyal, sustainability is a big challenge for humanity, and Birla Carbon is doing its part.
“And we, Birla Carbon, having a more than a hundred years of experience, and as a [global leader], feel it is our responsibility to take this forward,” he said.
The conversation also touched on the state of the sustainable finance market in India. Watch the video above to find out more.
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