Sustainability And Bop Corporate Responsiveness Initiatives Essay


Sustainability or “ Sustainable Development ” gained impulse in re-examining the critical environmental and developmental issues ; escalate the degrees of international co-operation and stressing the engagement of persons, concern entities, authoritiess and voluntary organisations with the publication of study titled “ Our Common hereafter “ by World Commission on Environment & A ; Development ( WCED ) in 1987. Issues of sustainable development revolve round the three aspects of economic system, environment & A ; society and the challenge lies in run intoing the demands of the present without compromising the demands of the future coevalss by optimising resource ingestion and just distribution to avoid prostration of environment and associated jeopardies. James Lovelock, the advocate of Gaia Theory, has righty opined that the resources of the planet are non merely finite but they are besides held in intricate balance, hence, preservation, recycling and usage of renewable engineerings are indispensable for sustainability. Every concern has an impact on society through what its green goodss, how it employs and develops people and how it relates to the environment and community in the broader position. Corporate Social Responsibility ( CSR ) and Strategic Philanthropy have been undertaken by assorted organisations to unite economic ends with the desire to add societal value.

However, Poverty has been agreed to be a stumbling block towards development and sustainability. The construct of the “ Bottom of the Pyramid ( BoP ) ” , introduced by Prof. C K Prahlad drew attending to the huge 4-5 billion hapless whom he identified as “ engine of the following unit of ammunition of planetary trade and prosperity ” .

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( Prahlad, C.K & A ; Hart, S.L, 2002 ) .

UN-Habitat estimations that approximately 1, 80,000 people are added to the population grid every twenty-four hours and this when added to the current degree of 4-5 billion, sustainability becomes a major cause of concern. The studies of Indicus Analytics, a research house, indicates that urban and rural BOPs in India are about 27.7 and 129.4 million families in 2008-2009, which clearly shows that we have a long manner to travel. Government passing in wellness, instruction, employment coevals strategies, lodging and substructure have increased over the old ages in India, nevertheless, non authorities entirely but the corporate sector has a function to play in guaranting sustainability through qualititative economic development and non merely quantitative economic growing, so the yearss of companies “ privatising the attempts ” and authorities “ socialising the losingss ” are gone everlastingly.

The paper looks at the chances of the corporate sector at BoP, actions, enterprises and challenges to develop ecologically and economically sustainable inventions in the hereafter. Organizations have realized that originative entrepreneurship and invention are requirements for sustainability. The enterprises undertaken by some companies and their function in supplying sustainable development for the present and the hereafter have besides been analyzed in this paper.Keywords: Sustainability, BoP, Corporate Social Responsibility, Innovations, Corporate Enterprises


Every human being in this universe expects a nice, healthy and safe life and thrives on the natural ecosystem for his endurance. Given that, human existences have made unprecedented alterations in ecosystems in last few decennaries to run into lifting demands and better lives of one million millions, the biophysical bound has been stretched to a great extent. Rapid economic growing has resulted in ecological development and interfered with nature ‘s balance.

Population rise with its Thai twin, ingestion, has led to depletion of natural resources and has posed the challenge of sustainability before us. For illustration, handiness of fresh H2O per capita in India came down to 2300 three-dimensional meters per twelvemonth in 1997 from 6000 three-dimensional meters per twelvemonth from 1947. It has been estimated that H2O deficit in India would be acute in 2017 as per capita fresh H2O handiness would farther travel down to 1600 three-dimensional meters[ 1 ]. Besides, harmonizing to a survey by Tata Energy Research Institute ( TERI ) called “ Green India 2047 ” , India is losing around 6-11 per centum of agricultural end product on history of dirt debasement. The impression of changeless growing and ageless advancement in a finite system like our planet is non practical and therefore the bendability of environment is tested against economic devotion.

The old proverb “ economic system is a entirely owned subordinate of environment ” may sound stale, but true in the context of sustainability.Sustainable development puts frontward our shared concern in a planetary society of pull offing our economic growing and societal system within the boundaries of environment. In twenty-first century, the issue of planetary sustainability has been widely recognized by universe leaders and citizens all across the universe. The World Summit on Sustainable Development ( WSSD, 2002 ) reiterated the demand for sustainability which was earlier brought to limelight through United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm in 1972, World Conservation Strategy ( 1980 ) , the Brundtland Report ( 1987 ) , and the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio ( 1992 ) . Government, concern entities, and NGOs have realized the importance of sustainability to some extent and have taken up many enterprises to construct a stable province economic system runing within the fringes of ecological balance.Government of India has besides addressed the issue of sustainable development by concentrating upon many programmes on clime variableness. The Economic Survey, 2010[ 2 ]released by Government of India provinces “ Current Government outgos on version to climate variableness exceeds 2.6 % of GDP with agribusiness, H2O resources, wellness and sanitation, woods, coastal zone substructure and utmost events being specific countries of concern ” .

National Action Plan on Climate Change ( NAPCC ) has been formed by the Government where countries like solar energy, sustainable agribusiness, sustainable home ground and H2O etc. have been identified as critical drivers to accomplish sustainable development with co-benefit in footings of clime alteration. Furthermore, in the brotherhood budget of 2010-2011, the authorities has besides announced puting up of National Clean Energy Fund ( NCEF ) for funding research and inventions in clean engineerings. The program outlay for Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has besides increased by 61 per centum in 2010-2011 from that of the old twelvemonth to a degree of US $ 220 million. The issue of sustainability or sustainable development is explicably linked with poorness.

In 1972, at the first UN Conference on Environment, the so premier curate, Mrs. Indira Gandhi declared “ poorness is the greatest danger to environment ” . Poverty, non merely in India, but in the planetary context is a major hinderance to the way of sustainability. The World Bank Data pronounce that over 4.6 billion people consisting of lower income and lower in-between income group manage with US $ 2.67 to US $ 10.5 a twenty-four hours.[ 3 ]The planetary BoP market which represents this 4.

6 billion people and turning, puts before us an unprecedented challenge of sustainability. National and State Governments are non to the full equipped to confront up to the undertaking unless competently supported by the private sector. The important function of private sector in poverty relief and sustainable development was foremost discussed and stressed upon by the pioneering work of Blue Ribbon Commission[ 4 ]on Ukraine under the auspices of United Nations Development Program in 2004. The private sector ‘s function can been competently summarized as “ making advanced and sustainable solutions with use of proficient and fiscal resources, answerability, subject and entrepreneurial thrust ”[ 5 ]. In add-on to it, the construct of originative capitalist economy[ 6 ]put frontward by Microsoft Chairman, Bill Gates demonstrates the demand of usage of net income and acknowledgment inducements by authoritiess, multinationals to cut down universe ‘s inequalities and making a system that draws pioneers to happen sustainable solutions. The demand of uniting concern ends with social development has been justly enunciated by Patrick Cescau, the retired CEO of Unilever when he says “ Agenda of Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility are non merely cardinal to concern scheme but a critical driver to concern growing. ”[ 7 ]The private sector needs to concentrate on assorted countries of sustainability like preservation, recycling, usage of renewable energy which impact environment and the society at big and explore the Bottom of the Pyramid as a major beginning of ecologically sustainable inventions in the close hereafter. ( Prahlad C.

K. 2009 ) . The paper is configured along the undermentioned subjects: Bottom of Pyramid ( BoP ) : Global & A ; Indian Context: Scope and Opportunities ; Corporate Social Responsibility: Corporate Responsiveness and Sustainability Challenges ; Corporate Initiatives at BoP and Sustainability.

Bottom of the Pyramid ( BoP ) : Global & A ; Indian Context: Scope & A ; Opportunities

The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development ( UNCED ) , which took topographic point in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 identified “ Eradicating poorness and cut downing disparities in life criterions in different parts of the universe are indispensable to accomplish sustainable development and run into the demands of bulk of people. ” As stated earlier, major menace to sustainable development is poorness. The World Bank estimation released in 2008 reveals that approximately 1.4 billion people in the underdeveloped universe ( one in four ) were populating on less than $ 1.

25 a twenty-four hours in 2005, down from 1.9 billion ( one in two ) in 1981. While there has been significant advancement in poorness relief in the planetary context, broad disparities still exist between different states. Poverty in East Asia has fallen significantly, chiefly because of the attempts of China, nevertheless, in Sub-Saharan Africa there is no such any diminution. In India as per the Planning Commission estimates poorness degrees have been falling aggressively since 1983 and around 21.8 per cent of the population ( 238 million out of a entire population of 1,093 million ) suffered from want and were below the poorness line in 2005.A survey done by Indicus Analytics[ 8 ]in 2008-2009 on the available secondary informations of family income, 157 million families with one-year income up to Rs.1,50,000 are at the underside of the economic pyramid.

The research of Indicus Analytics besides states that rural BoPs are prevailing as they account for 129.4 million families out of the entire batch.Government reforms or anti- poorness plans ( APP ) over the old ages have been chiefly targeted at the rural section and hinged upon agribusiness, wellness and instruction, rural development and self-employment. The TPDS ( targeted PDS ) strategy for supplying subsidised food-grains to the hapless, Integrated Rural Development Programme ( IRDP ) for constructing rural substructure and employment coevals plans like Jawahar Rojgar Yojna ( JRY ) , National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme ( NREGS ) have been rolled out, nevertheless, the efficaciousness of such programmes in execution has raised several inquiries as the benefits likely did non make the intended donees. The issue of cut downing poorness remained a authorities privilege until the corporate found a principle of come ining the BoP market as feasible for sustainable concern ventures. The BoP doctrine originally enunciated by C K Prahlad, upholds that if organisations customize goods and services to run into the demands of the hapless and hence innovate, a common benefit exists for the private sector and the BoPs.[ 9 ]Global BoP of 4.

6 billion people as stated in the World Bank Report, 2010 comprises of lower income of group with one-year buying power below $ 975 and lower in-between income group with buying power below $ 3825. Asia represents the biggest portion of this population and more significantly India has 924 million BoP size with estimated $ 1.2 trillion buying power para and 85 % of national family market. The Mckinsey Global Institute along with Oxford Economics released a study in 2007 which undertakings India ‘s existent GDP to be turning at a 7.3 % CAGR through 2025 go forthing behind most of the Asiatic states.

Forecast ( CAGR )


3 %


6.0 %

Beginning: MGI India consumer demand theoretical account, v1.0In congruity to GDP growing, the survey besides predicts that Indian income degrees will about treble in 2025 from that of 2005 and India would go universe ‘s fifith largest consumer market go forthing behind Germany, Italy and Mexico and most siginficantly discretional disbursement of Indian consumers will account for 70 % of all disbursement by 2025 as forecasted in the study. The lifting family income would fuel higher consumer disbursement and the aggergate ingestion would be 70 trillion by 2025. The consumer disbursement form will alter significantly though Food, Beverages & A ; Tobacco ( FBT ) would still stay the biggest class.Growth rate ( ’05-’25 )Beginning: hypertext transfer protocol: //


2005 Consumption trillion INR, 2000

2025 Consumption trillion INR, 2000


Food, Beverages & A ; Tobacco



Transportation system


Housing & A ; Utilities



Personal Merchandises

Health Care




Education & A ; Diversion



Family Merchandises



313.4Beginning: MGI Consumer Report, 2007Communicationss, instruction and diversion and wellness would go the fastest spread outing classs while transit, personal and family merchandises would germinate into ample markets. The Mckinsey research besides affirms that Indian BoP ‘s sum disposable income and ingestion is expected to turn to $ 2.2 trillion and $ 1.8 trillion severally by 2015 and Indian BoP would bit by bit migrate to middle category class by 2025.[ 10 ]In an article released in The Economic Times in 2007, the estimation that BoP accounts for 88.1 % of the entire national family outgo on nutrient, 87.2 % of energy outgo, 85.

3 % of wellness spend, 78.8 % of family goods outgo and 52.6 % of the state ‘s spend on information and communicating engineering[ 11 ]clearly brings about the range and chances for concern entities to research.

The economic potency justifies the corporate sector to come in such markets ; nevertheless non gain entirely, but society and environment are the other dimensions they need to incorporate in their concern policies to guarantee sustainable development.

Corporate Social Responsibility: Corporate Responsiveness & A ; Sustainable Inventions

The issue of uniting concern scheme with society at big is a critical one and common dependance of private sector and society implies that concern determinations and societal policies follow the rule of shared value.[ 12 ]Any corporate activity affects society and besides a corporate is influenced by the society as it evolves.

Business, natural forces and human activity must move cohesively to guarantee societal, economic and ecological wellness, which are the pillars of sustainability. Economy and ecology are so elaborately balanced that if quantitative economic growing is merely allowed to guarantee social equity without caring for the environment, so it would take to a state of affairs of irreparable harm.


Natural Forces

Business ‘s Functions

Social Health



Social Responsibility



Customer Choice

Economic Health

Human ActivityBeginning: www.

wbscsd.orgThe World Business Council on Sustainable Development defines corporate societal duty ( CSR ) as ‘commitment of concern to lend to sustainable economic development, working with employees, their households, the local community and society at big to better their quality of life ‘ . Companies undertake assorted activities to go socially responsible like corporate philanthropic gift, community investing, societal and environmental coverage etc. , but several concern instances emphasize that companies reap benefits of repute and public good will in the procedure to guarantee client trueness and greater net incomes.

Corporate societal duty is bit by bit change from a “ antiphonal ” position of corporate citizenship and attachment to assorted codifications of behavior as a portion of value concatenation activities to beyond antiphonal or as “ strategic ” where the value concatenation activities have been transformed to profit society. Corporate societal duty is now being transformed to Corporate Social Innovation ( CSI ) . Corporate societal inventions happen when companies integrate advanced solutions in their nucleus concern to turn to demands of the society. Invention is cardinal to any business-either responding to alterations in ordinances or redesigning the system in position of a new chance. Creativity, invention and entrepreneurship are at the root of happening sustainable solutions. Sustainability is based on a strategic relation between invention and corporate societal duty as ‘CSR provides the land for values and managerial capablenesss on which relationships between companies and other socio-economic and environmental factors which support invention are built. ‘[ 13 ]Traditional attacks of making concern are gnawing fast, giving rise to inventions as the concern entities derive assorted benefits by alining their inventions to sustainable aims. The primary concern benefits they get are in footings of increased grosss or net incomes, new market creative activity, trade name repute and decreased hazard.

Besides, the environmental and societal benefits which they accrue are energy usage efficiency, natural resources protection and Restoration, support creative activity and community relation sweetening[ 14 ]. India ‘s GDP growing over the last five old ages though have been promoting with a splurge in advanced activities, still invention remains concentrated to a little subdivision of the economic system with a prejudice to urban mass and exports markets. The heterogeneousness of Indian economic system like India being universe ‘s fourth-largest economic system in buying power para ( PPP ) and taking pioneer in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, IT and ITeS, India ‘s disbursement in R & A ; D has traditionally hovered around 1 % of GDP ( World Bank, 2007 ) . Advanced potency of India is underexplored as one-fourth of its population still live below the national poorness line and hence there is a demand for expressed publicity of invention to cut down poorness ( inclusive invention ) .[ 15 ]Inclusive Inventions are necessary to make full the urban-rural divide, the rich-poor spread and needs to be aimed at economic, societal and environmental sustainability at the Bottom of the Pyramid. Corporate societal duty is therefore beyond corporate citizenship or philanthropic gift and “ ifaˆ¦corporations were to analyze their chances for societal duty utilizing the same models that guide their nucleus picks, they would detect that CSR can be much more than a cost, a restraint, or a charitable title – it can be a beginning of chance, invention, and competitory advantage.

[ 16 ]

Corporate Enterprises at BoP and Sustainability

India with its immense diverseness poses great challenges to concern entities to turn to sustainability challenges through advanced attacks. India, on one manus, is one of the fastest turning economic systems in the universe, while on other ; it is the state with highest incidences of diseases like diarrhea, cholera, TB and diabetes. The 924 million BoP Indians provide chances for corporations to research and come up with major advanced solutions.

Corporations like Philips with “ A Sustainable Design Vision – Design for Sense & A ; Simplicity ” has brought frontward a Chulha Smokeless Stove in 2008 for 700 to 800 million people populating in rural and semi-rural countries in India who cook utilizing biomass fuels like wood and droppings. With more than 1.6 million people deceasing yearly due to smoke inspiration from indoor wood- combustion ranges worldwide and India accounting 25 % of the human deaths, it is a really important accomplishment peculiarly for adult females aged from 23 to 45, who carry out cooking activities. The two versions of the Chulha smokeless range: Sampoorna and Saral reduces smoke to the extent of 90 % and the ranges being priced at a‚¬8 and a‚¬5 severally are rather low-cost to the BoP section.

Simona Rocchi, Director of Sustainable Design at Philips Design in Eindhoven explains “ This undertaking saw us back uping societal invention on one manus while lending to concern invention on the other. Everyone benefitsaˆ¦aˆ¦.. This simple range demonstrates that we can clearly better the quality of many people ‘s lives through design.

[ 17 ]Like Philips, Nestle ‘s Moga narrative is an illustration of invention which changed lives of little dairy husbandmans of Punjab. The company, with its aim of constructing a dairy, started its operation in 1962 with aggregation of 511 kilograms of milk from 180 husbandmans. The socio-economic status at that clip in Moga was grave — destitute and without basic comfortss like electricity, transit, telephones or medical service. Today, Nestle procures milk from over 85,000 husbandmans and the milk production has increased many- crease. The transmutation took topographic point over the old ages with Nestle constructing chilling Centres and farm chilling armored combat vehicles for aggregation points in each town, supplying medical specialties and nutritionary addendums to vomit animate beings and keeping preparation Sessionss for husbandmans.

Nestle could give higher monetary values to husbandmans with higher production and improved quality. The criterion of life in Moga improved with increased buying power of the husbandmans. As Kramer and Porter ( 2006 ) points out “ Nestle ‘s committedness to work with husbandmans is cardinal to its scheme aˆ¦aˆ¦ to set up value concatenation to transform the competitory context in ways that created enormous shared value for both the company and the part.

” Nestle part to creative activity of prosperity on a uninterrupted and sustainable footing has transformed Moga into an industrial hub today.Cosmos Ignite Innovations Pvt. Ltd.

, an Indo-US Joint Venture in “ Social Entrepreneurship ‘ between a squad of immature enterprisers from India & A ; Stanford University USA, with the vision of “ Empowering lives through advanced merchandises ” came up with “ Mighty Light ” , a solar LED to assist “ Removal of Darkness ” for 1000000s without visible radiation at the Bottom of the Pyramid[ 18 ]. The BoP people who are otherwise forced to utilize expensive and unsafe kerosine oil lamps in India and developing states around the universe found Mighty Light solar LED as preferable option. Cosmos concern theoretical account was built on market designation, merchandise development, affordability and graduated table. The hapless who spends about Rs.

100-200 per month on kerosine oil found Mighty Light an acceptable replacement with a monetary value ticket of Rs.2000 and besides micro-financing options at their disposal. The extremely inefficient kerosine lamps besides bring forthing 1000000s of metric tons of CO2 besides gives rise to wellness jobs and inadvertent hazards. A Mighty Light has immense CO2 decrease capableness and at the same time addresses societal issues of wellness and accidents. So, sustainability benefits of solar-powered LED visible radiation are important compared to societal, economic and environmental jobs created by dependence on kerosine lamps.

Indian pudding stone Godrej and Boyce launched “ ChotuKool ” , a portable icebox targeted at the BoP section with family earning of about $ 5 a twenty-four hours. The portable, top-opening unit weighs merely 7.8kg, uses high-end insularity to remain cool for hours. The ChotuKool does n’t utilize a compressor, alternatively runs on a chilling bit and a fan similar to those used in computing machines, so like computing machines it can run on batteries. The ChotuKool was co-designed with village adult females to guarantee its acceptableness, and is distributed by members of a micro-finance group. A study by the immature employees of Godrej revealed that rural Indians expected a icebox to be used to chill 5 to 6 bottles of H2O and stock 3 to 4 kgs of veggies.[ 19 ]Portability is another facet which came up in context of household assemblages.

The villagers act as sellers and gain a committee of about $ 3 per electric refrigerator sold. Merchandises like the ChotuKool overcome technological and societal barriers and turn to the one of the most urgent issues in India. India hosts the universe ‘s largest population deprived of electricity.

This portable icebox runs without power for hours and consumes half-the energy consumed by the normal iceboxs.ITC, a company that completed 100 old ages in 2010, is one of India ‘s most admired and valuable companies which have strong committednesss to sustainable agricultural growing. Its invention “ e-choupal ” , which started in 2002, extensively engaged husbandmans to advance sustainable agricultural patterns through a dedicated enterprise “ Choupal Pradarshan Khet ”[ 20 ]. e-Choupal utilizations ICT to authorise little and fringy husbandmans – who constitute a bulk of the 75 % of the population below the poorness line by supplying them with farming know-how and services, seasonably and relevant weather information, crystalline monetary value find and entree to wider markets.

There are soon 6,500 e-Choupals in operation, which ITC plans to scale up to 20,000 by 2012 covering 100,000 small towns in 15 provinces, serving 15 million husbandmans. Through a joint enterprise with, e-Choupal model besides supports employment to rural young person through a platform “ ” .

ITC ‘s e-choupal enterprise, a concern construct embedded with societal values revolutionised Indian agricultural scenario with the power of engineering and enabled higher productiveness, higher quality and higher incomes for the husbandmans.Companies like Philips, Nestle, Cosmos, Godrej, ITC and several others from diverse economic Fieldss with changing grades of economic, societal and environmental concerns strike a common cord of sustainability and invention which has taken the driver ‘s place to find competitory concern schemes. It is perfectly indispensable for corporations to unleash the invention potency to broaden the corridor of sustainable development in future.


Sustainability needs to be understood in the context of wellbeing of worlds in consonant rhyme with nature. Inventions with economic, societal and environmental impacts are likely to alter and better of 1000000s of people populating at the Bottom of the Pyramid and well cut down the poorness degree in the following decennary. Corporations along with authorities and NGOs need to play a important function in the procedure of development and demand to incorporate the socio-economic and environmental factors in their concern scheme to take attention of the ternary bottom-line of “ Peoples, Planet & A ; Net income.


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