Sustainable Advancements (www.sustainableadvancements.com) steered a first-of-its-kind, two-day workshop on Social Impact: the CSR and SDG Way at Ilead (Topsia), Kolkata, on November 15, 2019. It is an exclusive regional partner in India and Bangladesh for the certification programme on ‘Certified Assessor for Sustainable Organizations’, jointly conducted by German companies UBB and CF Advantage.com and endorsed by the African Excellence Forum International and such national resource persons as Alexander Herzner, Dr Christian Forstner and Dr Nayan Mitra. They addressed niche participants; over 90% had post-graduate qualifications of whom 20% had doctoral backgrounds. Almost 70% were management educators and the remaining were practitioners in the development sector.
At a time when Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is no longer an option, but, literally, a compulsion in India for companies, there is a need to integrate the concepts of responsible business within organizations. The workshop-cum-certification programme helped enhance key potentials of participants in productivity, efficiency, innovation and business excellence, as well as recognize their responsibility to key stakeholders, such as customers, investors and employees, to name a few.
It further facilitated verifying and communicating the efforts in the fields of sustainable development and creating a productive culture for innovation and finding new business models — even new markets — with the objective of fostering social impact!
Dr Forstner and Herzner are convinced that India is at a great starting point to jump to the next level by not repeating the same mistakes that other countries have made. The participants, although aware of social impact, lacked awareness of how to implement these topics into their organizations. So, while Dr Forstner and Herzner trained the first assessors for sustainable organizations, Dr Nayan Mitra spoke in terms of the Indian context. They provided the world’s leading and newest model on CSR and sustainability. This approach will enable organizations to take over a pole position and create a considerable competitive advantage. For the participants, it was a great qualification opportunity.
The trainers were pleasantly surprised at the creativity and engagement of the first participants here. “That’s why, we want to enable Indian organizations and companies to engage in sustainability,” mentioned Dr Forstner.
“Creating benefits for the stakeholders and increasing reputation as a competitive advantage is one consideration; the other is Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that offer a huge profit potential for new products, or even new markets. India is very innovative and agile, so, why not start here?” added Herzner.
Dr Nayan Mitra, Founder-Director, Sustainable Advancements, said, “The workshop is very timely and relevant at a time when the world is going through a transformation and India needs not only to be a key player but a leader in sustainability.”