“Climate initiatives can reduce poverty & inequality”: Shailendra Singh Rao, Founder, Creduce

Rao, talking to SME futures emphasises on the importance of climate solutions and how India’s economy will benefit from them, besides creating millions of jobs for marginalised communities

   
Shailendra-Singh-Rao-Creduce

As the global focus intensifies on climate change, Creduce, led by its Founder Shailendra Singh Rao, stands at the forefront of sustainable initiatives. In this comprehensive interview with SME Futures, Rao reflects on the recent government initiatives, shares his insights on the impact of climate solutions on India’s economy, discusses how MSMEs can embrace climate-friendly operations, provides a glimpse into Creduce’s achievements in 2023, and sets ambitious expectations for growth and development in 2024.

The world is viewing climate change seriously now. What are your views on the recent government initiatives and the COP28 Summit?

The initiatives and participation of the Indian Government in COP28 have demonstrated advancements and dedication towards mitigating climate change. Nevertheless, concerns persist with respect to the efficacy of certain endeavours and the dearth of fresh, tangible dedications. India must ensure that these initiatives and aspirations are translated into concrete actions to accomplish its ambitious climate objectives.

The Green Card initiative is a significant undertaking of the government that provides incentives for organisations and individuals to adopt environmentally sustainable practices. While certain individuals praise the initiative for its innovative methodology, others contend that its execution is obscure and opaque.

Additionally, in partnership with the European Union, the Resource Mobilisation Plan was established to raise funds for developing nations’ efforts to combat climate change. The proposal is regarded as a constructive stride; however, apprehensions persist about the precise magnitude of available funds and their allocation.

Meanwhile, LeadIT 2.0 is a program designed to streamline the process by which industries adopt more sustainable practices.

Additionally, PM Modi suggested that India host the COP33 Summit in 2028. This proposition was perceived as a constructive stride in the direction of demonstrating India’s pre-eminence on climate-related matters. Despite this, the timing of the proposal has been called into question by some, given that India still faces formidable obstacles in its pursuit of its own climate objectives.

Although India emphasised its previously set ambitious climate objectives, including the attainment of net-zero emissions by 2070, no novel commitments were declared at COP28. Some were dismayed by this, as they believe India should adopt a more assertive stance.

Prime Minister Modi underscored the significance of embracing sustainable lifestyles during his remarks at COP28. This message was met with widespread approval, particularly considering India’s substantial and expanding populace.

Do you think these initiatives are going to aid India’s economy?

Yes absolutely! Recent green initiatives in India could boost the economy in many ways.

The transition to a green economy is expected to create millions of jobs in waste management, sustainable agriculture, and renewable energy. By leading green technology and standardisation, India can gain a competitive edge. International corporations and institutions supporting sustainable businesses and clean technologies may invest in green initiatives. Environmentally friendly practices reduce resource and energy use, increasing business profitability. Green solutions in sustainable infrastructure, clean technologies, and renewable energy will drive innovation and technology.

Environmental stewardship improves air and water quality, improving public health and lowering healthcare costs. India can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help mitigate climate change by preventing its worst effects. Sustainable agriculture can reduce food imports and improve food security.

Conservation of India’s forests and water will benefit future generations. Environmental initiatives will improve public health by cleaning water and air and reducing respiratory illnesses. Green initiatives will increase rural access to clean energy, improving their economy and quality of life.

Green infrastructure and organic resource management can help India withstand climate change-related floods and droughts. Green initiatives can reduce poverty and inequality by creating jobs for marginalised communities.

How can MSMEs include climate solutions in their operations, how will it aid them?

MSMEs boost the global economy by creating jobs. Going green and adapting to climate change are difficult. Despite these challenges, MSMEs can save money, improve operations, and compete with climate solutions.

They could replace old equipment with LED lighting, energy-saving appliances, and variable-speed motor drives. They could conduct audits, management systems, and employee awareness programs to improve energy efficiency. Solar panels and other renewable energy sources can be used to generate clean energy and reduce fossil fuel use.

Recycling, composting, and closed-loop manufacturing reduce waste. Rainwater harvesting, water-efficient fixtures, and production process optimization save water. Sustainable packaging, production, and pollution control reduce air and water pollution.

Using local materials to support local communities will reduce transportation emissions. They could partner with universities and research institutions to develop climate solutions with academics.

MSMEs best practices, resources, and supportive policies could be supported by the government and banks by offering them green loans, grants, and tax incentives.

How has 2023 treated Creduce?

Our transition to (International Renewable Energy Certificate) IREC has been our most significant accomplishment of 2023. We will soon surpass all others in India as the leading trader of IRECs. This development significantly benefits the global renewable energy industry. It is one growth area in which we initially had modest expectations, but which has since exceeded all our expectations.

Another significant accomplishment relates to our active participation in the policy-making process concerning climate change leadership in India. We have been fortunate to be a significant private sector stakeholder. In addition to expanding and establishing an ecosystem, we are in the process of closing a few investment opportunities to further diversify our holdings. Since we are already ahead of schedule, we have also managed to spread some joy at the onset of the new year.

As global awareness grows regarding India’s prowess in the realm of climate change, Creduce also stands to gain from this development. We have had an exceptional year thus far. Notwithstanding the inherent unpredictability of the Carbon Credits sector, we unveiled novel opportunities for expansion and value generation. Likewise, this year has been fantastic for the team, as we have doubled our membership and are poised to grow even more. Our revenue increased by a factor of ten, and we are on track to surpass this milestone by an additional ten percent next year. 2023 was a tremendous year of expansion and discovery.

What is the roadmap for 2024?

We are preparing for exponential growth in 2024. Our objective is to achieve greater success than ever before in this industry by striving for first place in trade, service, and delivery. Our objective is to actively involve every individual citizen in the discourse surrounding climate change and their ecological impact. We also strive to establish a strong presence and extend our influence on other regions across the globe. We, as a nation and team anticipate 2024 to be a year of tremendous expansion.

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