There is a need for rational transformation of business to realize the full potential of Life Cycle Management (LCM). It is essential to encourage and propagate Life Cycle Thinking (LCT) and to equip top management with the understanding that LCM in the long term would allow business sustainability and positively impact the social, economic and environmental goals of an organization, said Ashok Pavadia, Additional Secretary & Adviser, Inter-State Council Secretariat, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.
While addressing the 4th edition of ‘Indian Conference on Life Cycle Management’ (ILCM) 2015 organized by FICCI, Pavadia urged the proponents to underscore the social and economic impact of LCM on business more prominently. He added that environmental sustainability has been the focus area for long and now was the time to give equal importance to social and economic aspects of LCM. Speaking about standards for LCM, Pavadia said that it would be beneficial if the corporates are given an opportunity to evolve their own standards. In his view, imposing standards rigidly across the board could be counter-productive. He added that industry associations, government agencies, and international organizations needed to work in tandem to bring about the desired outcome from LCM.
In his special address Jaco Cilliers, Country Director – India, United Nations Development, said that United Nations was entering a new framework of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the period 2016-230 and LCM would play a critical role in it. For sustainable development to become a success, it was essential to maintain peace and harmony amongst people, prosperity, planet and partnerships.
Cilliers said that there was a need for courage to challenge the traditional framework and be creative in approach while selling the idea of sustainable development to business. Also, the focus should be on conservation of planet, compassion to work in harmony with stakeholders and changing the mindset and allow thinking differently.
In his presentation on ‘UNEP/SETAC Life Cycle Initiative: Mainstreaming Life Cycle Approaches’, Llorenç Milà i Canals, Programme Officer, United Nations Environment Programme, said that the SDGs provide a guiding post and agenda for implementation of sustainable consumption and production (SCP) with LCT. UNEP is working with others, mainly through the Life Cycle Initiative, to provide the enabling conditions for life cycle knowledge to be used to inform decision-making for SCP.
He said that the accent is shifting towards increased Implementation without losing any of the work done in the other areas. Further collaboration needs to be promoted particularly around technology assessment this is already somewhat done by most branches and units (e.g. when assessing renewable energy or energy efficiency technologies), but the work should be better coordinated to ensure comparable approaches, and to expand them in new areas (e.g. assessing alternative mercury-free products in the frame of the Minamata Convention; considering robust life cycle approaches when appraising sustainability standards in trade, etc.).
Arbind Prasad, Director General, FICCI, said that LCT was playing an increasingly important role in guiding and shaping business operations worldwide to improve overall sustainability performance. A growing number of corporates are using LCM as the new business approach to help counter environmental impacts along with, and not at the cost of business growth and performance.
Prasad stated that LCM was a framework to analyze and manage the sustainability performance of goods and services. He added that FICCI had already issued internal guidelines to all teams for bringing in the Life Cycle perspective into its policy/business recommendations for government and industry, taking into account multiple impacts (environmental, social and economic) of FICCI recommendations from a cradle-to-grave perspective.
In her concluding remarks Sanjeevan Bajaj, CEO-Quality Forum, FICCI, said that Life Cycle Assessment comes across as a complex tool to decision makers and communication need to be more effective. Simply put, LCA helps us to find out more about what is going on, whether it is visible, not visible as yet. The panel discussion on Life Cycle Costing and SPP revealed that the rules do contain references to the procurement of environment-friendly products, but there is the lack of awareness among procurers on how such procurement process can be handled.