A very large proportion of
Indians say that they are aware of Climate Change and are keen to address it.
They also agree that their behaviour may not always reflect this concern.
According to research by the Mahindra Group, the principal explanation for this
paradox is the absence of suitable environment friendly products and services
at an affordable price.
According to Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group, “We think that
Climate Change is this century’s biggest business opportunity. Our basic
philosophy is that a business must create shared value by doing good and doing
well at the same time. We intend to create shared value by committing to the
battle against climate change and by embracing the business opportunities that
arise from it. It is time for action. Business cannot be divorced from the
consequences of climate change on the world we share and the people we love.”
The Mahindra Group’s inaugural ‘Alternativism’
report reveals that 4 out of 5 (80%) Indians are aware about the impact
of plastic and waste management on climate change, while 3 out of 4 respondents
(75%) claim to be ‘concerned’ about the risks that single use plastics pose
to the environment.
In addition, 83% of Indians describe themselves as ‘interested’ in making
lifestyle changes such as carpooling, using public transport, or driving electric
vehicles to conserve energy. With regard to water shortages, 70% of respondents are ‘aware and informed’
about the environmental issue of water conservation, while more than 2 out of 3
(68%) are ‘concerned’ about water shortages in the near future that countries,
including India, are almost certain to face.
70% of respondents would like
their employers to act on water conservation by using aerators, doing rainwater
harnessing, and recycling waste water, among other initiatives. Indians’
expectations from the business community are very clear. 89% believe
they would be able to address climate change more actively if companies offered
alternative products and solutions.
According to the research, just
over a quarter (27%) of Indians are able to find alternative products
minimizing their use of plastic. 88% of respondents believe that it is the
absence of affordable, eco-friendly alternatives, that prevents them from being
more environmentally considerate in their daily lives.
“As the research confirms,
today’s generation of Indians are more environmentally conscious than at any
time in our long history. However, to transform this awareness into action,
consumers need viable, environment-friendly alternatives. The business
community will be increasingly accountable not merely for the products it
develops, but also the manner in which it behaves. The message is unequivocal;
it is for business to take up the environmental baton,” says Anirban Ghosh, Chief Sustainability
Officer. Mahindra Group.
The lack of
alternatives is, in part, exacerbated by conventional thinking being applied to
solutions that address climate change. True sustainability will only be
achieved through unconventional, alternative thinking with respect to business
models, production, materials, infrastructure, commercial propositions,
valuations, etc. This process is not linear, there are no guarantees; and true
is a state-of-mind, a readiness to experiment and speculate, a commitment to
think differently and an opportunity to innovate.
The Mahindra Group
is keen to promote greener options in view of the challenge posed by climate
change. The Group has, for the
past decade, worked towards offering greener products across its businesses including
mobility solutions, energy solutions, green buildings, micro irrigation and other
 Data is based
on research conducted by Innovative Research Services (India) Pvt. Ltd.,
Mumbai, through face-to-face interviews with 2,006 respondents in the following
5 cities: Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, and Kolkata. Interviews were
conducted in July/August 2019. The findings are illustrative only.