October 07, 2021
GURUGRAM: MDI Gurgaon inaugurated a Centre of Excellence for Ethics, Responsible Organisations and ESG initiatives (CERO@MDI Gurgaon) online Otober 7, 2021. Prof. Tanuja Sharma of MDI, Centre Lead, emphasised the sense of urgency for this Centre to “Build a Better World” in her welcome address. Her views were supported by some grave concerns about environmental degradation.
Speaking on the occasion, MDI Gurgaon Director Dr. Rajesh Chakrabarti emphasised the on strong need for Centres of Excellence in B-schools. He said that organisations could no longer function in the traditional framework of profit maximisation. He also stressed on the need for sustainability beyond altruism for organisations seeking the larger interest of society.
A website for COE was also unveiled. A panel discussion on “Integrating SDGs for Responsible Organisations” was moderated by Ms. Jayati Talapatra, an expert and visiting faculty in Sustainability, also a CERO@MDI Gurgaon member. The Advisory Council members shared their views on the topic, and role of CERO@MDI Gurgaon in integrating SDGs for responsible organizations. Panel members included Prof. Sharda Nandram from Nyenrode Business School, Netherlands, Mr. Vivek Mehra from Sage Publications, Mr. Gupta from Deloitte TT India LLP, Mr. Parul Soni of Think Through Consulting, and Mr. Vinod Sharma of Deki Electronics.
Prof. Nanadram talked about integrative mindset and development of individual as integral to collaborating towards common goals of sustainability. Mr. Mehra said that publication houses are now “pathways to knowledge”, and set the tone for the role of ethics and governance in building practices that are visible to ensure that professed and practiced values are consistent. Mr. Gupta from Deloitte spoke about the growing importance of ESG initiatives in the last two years globally and in India. He also pointed out how ESG initiatives can add value for different stakeholders, that can give organisations a sense of value-driven purpose. He also discussed the role of the Board in setting the direction for organisations. Mr. Soni emphasised on the need for more cross-sectoral collaboration and partnerships to work together to achieve SDGs. He expressed hope and optimism that such partnerships have grown in the last few years. Mr. Sharma, MD of Deki Electronics, pointed out that responsible organisations can also be profitable organizations, and ended with a framework for defining and creating value, 8 Cs: Clarity/concept of the keywords in the name, culture, conviction (belief that our actions will make a better world), charter (definitions, pledges), content, collaboration and connect, champions.
Prof. Tanushree Jain from Trinity College Dublin sent a note with the following message to the Centre: “Governance relates to the very foundation of how an organisation is managed and controlled. Be it a large organisation of family owned, if we want our business community to become better and ethical citizens, we need to increasingly focus on developing responsible behaviours and processes where they matter the most – the executive levels and within the corporate board room."
Prof. Elizabeth Chacko from The George Washington University sent an audio message. She mentioned that “profit and sustainability are not at cross-purposes”. “$26 trillion can be gained by adopting Climate Action. Tens of millions of jobs can be created in the Green economy space," she stated.
The webinar ended with vote of thanks from Prof. Madhushree Agarwal of MDI Gurgaon.