Nadir Godrej has green dreams
In Conversation with Shradha Sharma, Nadir Godrej, Managing Director, Godrej Industries and chairperson of Godrej Agrovet talks about the importance of moving away from fossil fuels.
- Nadir Godrej of Godrej Industries believes that it is necessary to progress proactively on the path of green energy.
- He adds that all stakeholders must look at new technologies to adopt greener sources of energy and avoid fossil fuels.
- Nadir is keen to play a meaningful role in making Godrej a sustainable and energy efficient business group.
The World Economic Forum witnessed something unique during a panel discussion on climate change. Instead of presenting a speech, Godrej Industries’ Nadir Godrej read out a poem instead.
“It is no longer Climate Change
Within a tolerable range.
A crisis is what it’s about
With fires, floods as well as drought.”
For Nadir, this is not just poetry, it is a cause that he is deeply passionate about. As the chairperson of Godrej Agrovet and as a member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, he plays an active role in adopting renewable sources of energy while cutting down on fossil fuels.
“Today we have newer, safer technologies and we should explore those tools. We should stop using fossil fuels as soon as possible,” says Nadir, Managing Director, Godrej Industries and chairperson of Godrej Agrovet, in conversation with Shradha Sharma.
“India is already going on the path of green energy and the government has further expanded the green energy programme,” he adds.
He is not just an advocate for climate change, Nadir is walking the talk. Godrej Industries has made rapid strides in increasing energy efficiency and incorporating renewable energy. The group’s renewable portfolio is 50% and over half of the energy it uses across its group companies is from renewable sources. Similarly, it has lowered energy use by 30% and for every tonne of product manufactured, it uses 35% less water.
A chemical engineer by qualification, Nadir also has ideas for ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
“The carbon dioxide that comes out of coal mining can be sequestered, sometimes in the coal mine itself. But there is a cost attached to it. We need to decide what is a good baseload energy, even something like modular nuclear energy can be explored,” he explains.
His views at a time when climate change is not just an issue to be dealt with in the distant future. It has become a boardroom matter and a government priority. For example, India has set a target to achieve net zero emissions by 2070. The government has also announced plans to offer up to 300 units free electricity every month to one crore households through rooftop solarisation.
Being climate conscious
Nadir believes in building a business with purpose and that is what drives him at Godrej. He narrates that he became climate conscious on the job through interactions with climate professionals and other like-minded individuals.
“My niece Nisa (Nisaba Godrej) had an idea for a corporate social responsibility programme. We named it Good & Green and launched it in 2010. I found it very exciting. We could reduce our carbon footprint, reduce our water consumption, water footprint, and solid waste without affecting our profits, because we became much more efficient,” he adds.
From thereon, climate became one of his priority areas. Nadir explains that he started to quickly approve every energy efficiency project since then. Progressively, green energy started to get cheaper than regular electricity. Soon after, the Godrej Group started using biomass cogeneration. It now makes steam and electricity in the factories using biomass, which is greener and cheaper.
Nadir has done his bit at Godrej but now he has a global agenda to tackle. As a part of the team at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, he has a larger responsibility: To encourage businesses across the world to take climate risks seriously.
“The Executive Council is working very hard. I would like to contribute to them to convince the whole world to solve climate change. We have to fight climate change at a faster rate than what we are at,” says Nadir. It is not an easy task, but as always, Nadir loves a good challenge.