Indian corporates are going through a challenging period as far as practice of Sustainability is concerned. The slowing economy exerts pressure on them to improvise and look for savings by way of resource use. The agenda to disclose and prove the practice of transparency is becoming increasingly popular. The risk involved with vendors in the atmosphere of just-in-time production has opened the debate of vendor management, from mere lip-service to actual alignment is a requirement. Meanwhile, global climate politics is resolved in discovering emissions at source and assigning a cess called carbon task.
Over the last few years after many missteps corporates in India may have concluded that the practice of sustainability is a local challenge and so a global solution will not quite work. Going further not only is it specific to geography it is also specific to the present experience of the company in terms of revenues, exposure and culture. They also have concluded that there is a need for sustainability software and are aggressively shopping for it, perhaps they think that adapting to software will solve their challenges.
I will concede that software is an enabler and one must make use of its potential but then where does one start with the software.
Like for everything else. Must we look to the West for such kind of software?. We have a perception that the practice of sustainability is far advanced in the western countries and that there are leaders whose case studies we must follow. Nothing more is farther from the truth, yes! there is tested resource saving technology that is practiced and available in the developed west but that cannot be mistaken to be advanced sustainability practice. Here it is important to understand the difference between practice and technology, Practice is specific to culture and whereas technology is economic advantage. It is appropriate to mention that there is more benchmarking data embedded in the software that based in the west but then it is absolutely useless as benchmarking data even from a slightly different geography comes with different energy mix. Conclusively sustainability software is related to culture and not to a resource saving technology. If that above reason is not enough it must be said that the software comes loaded with the Euro/ Dollar.
Note: There are products from companies such as Thinkstep (PE international) and Enablon are doing the rounds aggressively and they are solutions from Germany and UK respectively.