News & Updates - Sustainable business initiatives in developing countries

Beyond simple support: Responsible business creates added value

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The programme of the German government was set up to foster the involvement of the private sector in areas where business opportunities and development policy initiatives overlap. Whether the aim is to provide training for local employees, promote the use of climate-friendly technologies or improve social standards at production facilities, provides companies investing in India and other emerging and developing countries with financial and technical support. Since its launch in 1999, the programme has realized over 1,500 development partnerships with German and European companies. Since this year, Indian companies are also eligible to apply for funding.

At every stage, your company will work with one of the two official partners DEG – Deutsche Investitions- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Gmbh.

As well as tailored advice, you will benefit from your partner’s regional market expertise and from access to local networks and policymakers. – Development partnerships with the private sector

Projects typically cover a wide range of sectors and themes – from training local experts and piloting innovative technologies and demonstration units to protecting value chains and improving manufacturers’ environmental and social standards.

You can submit your project idea to DEG or GIZ by participating in one of the ideas competitions held four times a year.

Target group
Companies with project ideas that offer potential development benefits and do not simply constitute an investment in their actual core business.

Between EUR 100,000 and EUR 2 million* of public funding on top of your company’s own contribution (≥ 50%)

Minimum annual turnover: EUR 800,000
Minimum number of employees: 8
At least two years of audited financial statements

Up to three years

Click here for further information

Also click here for the pdf

Fridays for Sustainable Future Conference on Sustainability and CSR

On Friday, the 11th of October 2019, IGCC SustainMarkets held “Fridays for Sustainable Future – Conference on Sustainability and CSR” at German Days 2019 in Mumbai. With a participating audience of 103, high-level speakers from different industries and NGOs gathered to discuss on environmental and social aspects of sustainable development and responsible business conduct. The conference brought together companies, NGOs, foundations and special initiatives showcasing best-practices on sustainability and CSR while creating a momentum for the private sector and civil society to join forces and facilitate innovative solutions with mutual benefit.

In the first session, our speakers Anil Mane (COO, Fuchs Lubricants pvt.Ltd.) and Anil Ranglani (CEO, Sunsaar) shared their contribution on how they leverage local sustainability by transforming waste into value. The way treated effluent water can be used shows us the importance of how well recycling can be done, while the adaption of waste management habits we all can adhere to and incorporate into the dynamics of urbanisation. Water is a scarce resource within our time and especially in India as approximately 42% of its land area is facing drought. Suhas Joshi (Head of CSR South Asia, Bayer CropScience) and Arun Krishnamurty (Founder, Environmentalist Foundation of India) showed us their exceptional work on fighting drought and the relevance of restoring water body’s in India.

In the second session, our speakers Sandhya Kedlaya (Head of Corporate Communications, Henkel) and Bettina Schmidt (Senior Advisor Global Programme Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities, GIZ) addressed the importance of inclusion of differently-abled individuals. There is no doubt that raising awareness about social inclusion and integrating people with disabilities at the workplace adds value to not only these peoples’ lives, but also to the businesses they are employed in. Sanjeev Taneja (President and Managing Director, Evonik) and Natasha Majumdar (Network Representative India, amfori) clearly agree on the relevance of women empowerment. Women’s empowerment is crucial for sustainable business conduct and development, hence to increase productivity, creativity and economic growth, not only in India, but globally.

The most essential take away of the conference was: Our effort is to sustain the markets, our environment and our community at once. The solution lies within everyone’s ranks!

Here are some insights from our professionals:

"This conference highlighted an array of initiatives and was a unique platform to explore synergies that are mutually beneficial. At Bayer, our focus is to promote societal engagement in the fields of Rural Development, Climate Proofing Agriculture and Health & Wellness. A congenial ecosystem is the need of the hour where we work hand-in-hand with partners towards a shared goal of sustainable development." - Suhas Joshi, Head, Corporate Social Responsibility, Bayer South Asia

“Sustainability and climate change are some of the most pressing challenges we face today. Therefore this conference is very well-timed. I highly appreciate the work of IGCC Sustain Markets of providing a platform for businesses to exchange ideas and share best-practices on responsible business conduct. This conference shows how companies can positively impact the community and the environment while sustaining business growth.” - Marja-Sirkka Einig, Deputy Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany

Reflecting on the inter-connectivity of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) this activity focused on:

IGCC SustainMarkets believes in its strong network and the benefits it provides for the Indo-German Business & Sustainability Community. At our expanding Indo-German platform, we are connecting players from different backgrounds and support their knowledge development by best-practices sharing and know-how transfer. The event Fridays for a Sustainable Future contributed to an inclusive approach bringing all relevant stakeholder together for the goal of a more sustainable development.

If you have questions or enquiries, please do not hesitate to connect with us:

A special thanks goes to:
Fuchs Lubricants (Indida) Pvt. Ltd., Sunsaar, Bayer CropScience Ltd., Environmentalist Foundation of India, Henkel Adhesives Technologies India Pvt. Ltd., Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Evonik India Pvt.Ltd., amfori, General Consulate of the Federal Republic of Germany.

How to Achieve Sustainable Supply Chains

On 6th August, 2019, the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce (IGCC) and amfori jointly organized a forum on “How to achieve sustainable supply chains” in Kolkata. With the objectives of raising awareness of the importance and need for sustainability, establishing the importance of Gender Equality  and sharing frameworks, standards and guidelines for sustainability, the forum focussed on the business case for sustainability.

The Forum entailed two panel discussions on Women Empowerment in the Supply Chains and Decent Working Conditions in the Supply Chains. Some of the distinguished speakers at the Forum were buyers, suppliers and retailers in leather, textiles and handicrafts industries as well as representatives of amfori and IGCC.

The welcome address was given by Dr. Michael Feiner, the Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Kolkata. Following him were Mr. Nari Kalwani, Chairman, Eastern Region, IGCC, and Ms. Joyce Chau, Director Asia Pacific, amfori. They spoke about human rights in business, sustainable practices and ways to conform to them and the interlinkage of human rights and business.

Both panels also included representatives of companies, national and international non-governmental organisations and labour unions. Issues discussed in the panel on women empowerment were gender discrimination, women’s role in unorganized sectors, women to gain handholding in work with the help of the government and corporate houses and women, being productive workers.

Points of reflection in the panel on decent working conditions were the implementation of sustainable practices in the supply chains, workers’ rights in unorganized sectors, food sustainability audits, fair trade and social protection of workers.

This Forum provided an opportunity to learn about the importance of sustainability and the need for training in implementing some of the best sustainable social compliance practices in industries in India, especially in West Bengal.

The event was kindly supported by Asian Leather, Deutsche Bank, Gloster Limited and the Indian Leather Products Association.

German companies discuss the issue of human rights

In 2016, the German government issued a National Action Plan (NAP) on business and human rights. The document is based on the United Nations “Guiding Principles”, a global standard to prevent and address adverse impacts on human rights by economic activities. Currently, the government is evaluating the adherence to the NAP in a two-year monitoring process. If until 2020, less than half of German companies with more than 500 employees observe human rights due diligence in their business conduct, the government has announced to consider making the NAP legally binding.

The core elements of the NAP that companies have to realise are a human rights statement, the identification of and measures to ward off adverse impacts on human rights, reporting and grievance mechanisms. Since these specifications also apply to German subsidiaries abroad, the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce (IGCC) in cooperation with the German Embassy and other partners established the Indo-German Network Business and Human Rights and is working on structures to aid companies in implementing the NAP.

The first step is to assess the awareness and existing activities of German companies. Towards this end, IGCC in cooperation with the German Consulates conducted round tables at six locations and discussed conditions and requirements as well as advantages and disadvantages of the NAP. About 120 representatives of leading German companies participated in the round tables in Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Bengaluru, Kolkata and Chennai.

The results of the discussions show that the demographic, cultural and geographical conditions in India complicate the realisation of the NAP. While about half of the participants were conscious of the German initiative, major tasks of the Network that were identified will be to increase the awareness for human rights and to offer practical knowledge on its enforcement. Participants also asked for platforms to exchange experiences and award-like incentives to foster its implementation. IGCC and its partners will be starting to offer such services in autumn 2019.

This project contributes to the following SDGs: