India is a Water Hog, Says BT Index

by CXOtoday Staff    Nov 19, 2008

BT today announced the launch of its “Sustainable Development Index - an assessment of business performance in India”. The SD index has been developed in partnership with GlobeScan, an independent public opinion and stakeholder research company. Through a survey of senior opinion leaders across India the index is a means to measure the performance of business in India in the progression towards sustainable development over time.

The SD index report reveals that although Indian companies are taking positive steps towards sustainable development, the overall performance of the corporate sector is disappointing. 46% of India’s opinion leaders surveyed blame a lack of awareness around sustainable development issues as the main cause of inaction. Some 40% of opinion leaders also cited a lack of political will as a major obstacle to making significant progress in this area.

According to the report, this lack of action means India lags behind China, Japan, and the European Union when it comes to addressing key issues, such as tackling climate change, corporate governance practices, and water resource management.

Interestingly, the country’s largest cities were seen as making the strongest moves to improve sustainable development practices.

Whilst there are negative views around India’s progress, a majority of opinion leaders (57%) feel that companies in India are now more active with regard to sustainable development compared to one year ago. In fact, the corporate sector is considered to have made significantly stronger progress than either government or the general public.

Allen Ma, president of BT Asia Pacific said, “India is rapidly becoming a global centre for information and communications technology development, and boasts a high economic growth rate. It is vital that this commercial success is matched by a commitment to, and leadership in, corporate responsibility. Through the launch of the BT Sustainable Development Index we hope that other organisations in India will do the same.”

The most frequently mentioned corporate leaders in sustainable development in India were: TATA Group (named by 31% of respondents), Reliance (13 %) and Infosys (10%).

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