How CSR can help in Achieving SDG 9
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a series of 17 goals developed by the United Nations to achieve global sustainability by 2030. SDG 9 aspires to promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, as well as to support innovation. India, as a fast rising country, must prioritize this aim to secure long-term progress. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and corporate philanthropy can help to achieve SDG 9 by supplementing the government’s efforts and contributing to the country’s social and economic growth.
Investing in renewable energy and long-term infrastructure
The Indian economy has grown rapidly in recent years, and this trend is expected to continue. However, this expansion has come at the expense of the environment, since the country has depended largely on nonrenewable energy sources such as coal and oil. These energy sources not only contribute heavily to air pollution, but also to greenhouse gas emissions, which are key contributors to climate change.
CSR activities may play a critical role in promoting renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power to address these concerns. This may be accomplished through investing in renewable energy projects, fostering clean energy research and development, and supporting regulatory reforms that incentivize the use of clean energy.
Tata Power is one example of a firm that is substantially investing in renewable energy. By 2025, the corporation hopes to generate 30-40% of its total energy output from renewable sources. Tata Power has been investing in solar and wind power projects across India to attain this goal. throughout addition, the firm has collaborated with government agencies and other corporations to encourage the use of renewable energy throughout the country.
Corporate philanthropy may also aid in the development of long-term infrastructure that minimizes the country’s carbon impact. Transportation is a substantial contributor to carbon emissions. Corporations may greatly cut carbon emissions by funding the development of public transportation networks. Similarly, green buildings may considerably cut building energy use.
Promotion of indigenous industry and transfer of technologies
SDG 9 aspires to promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, which is critical for job creation, economic growth, and poverty reduction. Promoting indigenous industries and transferring technology to these industries is vital in India in order to achieve this aim. However, small and medium-sized firms (SMEs) frequently face substantial problems such as restricted access to capital, a lack of technological know-how, and insufficient training, all of which impede their development and competitiveness.
CSR activities may help SMEs by providing them with the required cash, training, and technological know-how. This may be accomplished by collaborating with non-profit organizations and government agencies to discover and assist SMEs with growth and innovation potential. Furthermore, firms may support inclusive supply chains by obtaining raw materials from local farmers and small enterprises, helping to build local communities and promote long-term growth.
Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL) is one example of a firm that has promoted local industries and inclusive supply chains. The firm has been procuring raw materials from small farmers in India, such as tea, coffee, and spices, therefore boosting local agriculture and helping to the growth of the country.
Corporate philanthropy may also play an important role in transferring technology to SMEs by cooperating with research organizations and universities. This may be accomplished through sponsoring research in new technologies, boosting innovation, and assisting start-ups and SMEs in these industries. Corporations may assist SMEs in overcoming technology challenges to development and competitiveness by doing so.
Promotion and entrepreneurship
The encouragement of innovation and entrepreneurship is critical for attaining sustainable development, particularly in developing nations like India. SDG 9 recognizes the importance of fostering innovation and entrepreneurship as major drivers of economic growth and employment creation. This is especially significant in India, which has a large pool of young and bright entrepreneurs with new ideas.
Corporate philanthropy may also play an important role in supporting innovation by sponsoring R&D in developing technologies. This money can assist research organizations and universities in developing new technologies that can stimulate innovation and provide new doors for businesses.
Marico Innovation Foundation is a prime illustration of how corporate social responsibility can foster innovation and entrepreneurship. Marico, a prominent FMCG firm in India, formed the foundation to give seed money and mentorship to start-ups in the field of innovation. The organization also hosts networking events and workshops to link entrepreneurs with industry professionals and investors. These programs assist entrepreneurs in overcoming the hurdles of the early phases of their firms while also creating a climate conducive to creativity.[ Another example is ITC e-Choupal, a CSR project of ITC Limited, a large Indian conglomerate. The effort leverages technology to connect farmers with buyers, giving them market access and real-time pricing and demand information. This approach has helped farmers better their incomes and livelihoods while also encouraging agricultural innovation.
To summarize, fulfilling SDG 9 is critical for India’s long-term development, and CSR and corporate philanthropy may play an important role in doing so. By spending CSR funds in the aforementioned way, India Inc. may play an inspiring role in supplementing the Government of India’s efforts to accomplish SDG 9.