Sustainability for Breakfast

Key Takeaways from the 9th Edition

20 December, 2023

Treeni’s Sustainability for Breakfast recently concluded its 9th edition on 13 December in Bengaluru. Collaboration was the theme that resoundingly reflected in all the panel discussions - a collaboration between enterprises and SMBs, companies and regulators, and most importantly, procurement officers and suppliers.

Established in 2014, Sustainability for Breakfast (S4B) is a platform offering industry professionals an opportunity to engage with the latest industry trends and network with like-minded professionals passionate about sustainability. This year’s primary topic was Supply Chain Sustainability within the ITeS Sector. The summit’s esteemed panel included thought leaders, seasoned veterans, and best industry practitioners.

While achieving this objective, the 9th edition of S4B also inspired the attendees with Azim Premji University's Forests of Life Festival exhibit, making it a perfect morning for sustainability practitioners.

Here are the key takeaways from the summit.

Panel 1 - Supply Chain Sustainability within the ITeS Sector from the CPO’s Perspective

Future and Sustainability

In his keynote address, Prof Jose PD, Professor in Charge at IIM Bengaluru, acknowledged how far the sustainability considerations have come from a few years ago, “Sustainability is moving from the corporate back burner to the boardroom.” Further citing a UNEP report, he emphasized how climate risk reporting and human rights due diligence policies have now become mandated in over 50 major economies.

“In the next ten years, all procurement leaders will be talking only about sustainability,” declared Kumaralingam MC, Chief Procurement Officer at Wipro. He further made a case for the role of sustainability while engaging with suppliers, “The sustainability parameter is going to be an important decision-maker while working with suppliers.” Prof Jose PD (IIM Bengaluru) elaborated on the benefits of sustainable procurement practices, “Leading in sustainable procurement impresses stakeholders, attracts talented individuals, and develops trusted status for tenders and preferred supplier sections.”

Panel 2 - Supply Chain Sustainability within the ITeS Sector from the Supplier Perspective

Role of Technology

While new-age technologies such as SaaS, ML, and AI help enterprises and SMBs enhance their reporting and compliance capabilities, developing digital infrastructure and employee training demands resources that create new challenges. Aruna Newton, Global Head - DEI, ESG Governance & Reporting at Infosys, emphasized the dual impact of technology - “Innovation and disruption can have both positive and challenging impacts on businesses.”

Maxson Lewis, Founder & MD of Magenta Mobility, acknowledged technology’s pivotal role in ensuring transparency and tracking the sourced material. Furthermore, from an EV business perspective, he also made a case for the new-age energy and mobility technologies, “Do not dismiss the technology because it might not be ‘clean’ right now; give it some time and then make your decision.”

Resources and Cost

Talking about the resources required for adopting and implementing compliance measures, Deepesh Agarwal, Founder and CEO of MoveInSync, emphasized the larger role enterprises can play - enterprises often have large resource pools at their disposal, putting them in a position to empower their suppliers and enable more effective and efficient sustainability practices.

Recent studies suggest consumers are ready to pay higher prices for a sustainable product. It may allow companies to offset their investment in adopting ESG practices. But should the cost of ESG get transferred to end consumers? Reflecting on this, Abhishek Ranjan, Senior Director of Sustainability and Admin at Brillio, took a stand, “If the cost (of ESG) is passed to the end consumers, the whole purpose (of ESG) is defeated. It has to be more integrated into the business.”

Aruna Newton (Infosys), also pointed out the fact that, while Tier-I SMBs are most active in the mainstream ESG conversation, SMBs from Tier-II & III are the ones facing the most challenges in completing the enterprise’s compliance requirements due to lack of capital and other resources.


India has made significant strides recently, setting new ESG regulations and frameworks. While still nascent, the Indian reporting ecosystem promises tremendous potential. Kanishk Negi, Sustainable Procurement Director at Schneider Electric, emphasizes the shift towards a more holistic approach taken by regulators, “In the past ten years, there have been multiple regulations that put a lot of focus on the upstream value chain, so it has become important to move in this direction,” he added. “Regulations are essential, but how companies respond to them is just as vital,” he elaborated further, highlighting the need for enterprises to do their part.

Not Just Environment

As the discourse around ESG has evolved, Environmental concerns often overshadow the Social and Governance considerations despite their vital roles. Be it the boardroom or public forum. Malini Lobo, Head of Procurement at Infosys, highlighted this disparity: “Social and governance play a major role, but they are not mature or stabilized as is the focus on the environment.” Kanishk Negi (Schneider Electric) reflected on this issue, “Social issues are often more complex and messy and require a lot of focus on engineering a solution.”

From Left to Right - Radhica Kanniganti, ESG Leader at Wipro, with Narayan P.S., Global Head of Sustainability and Social Initiatives at Wipro, and Ankush Patel, Founder and CEO at Treeni Sustainability Solutions

Engaging, experiential, and enlightening! The 9th edition of Sustainability for Breakfast provided an enriching platform for experts in the field of ESG to converge, exchange knowledge, and explore strategies for advancing responsible business practices. We would like to thank the informed, passionate, and eloquent set of moderators and panelists, the Wipro leadership and tireless support team, and a highly engaged audience for making this edition a success!

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