SDG Pioneers are business leaders selected by the UN Global Compact for doing an exceptional job to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the implementation of the UN Global Compact Ten Principles on human rights, environment, labor, and anti-corruption.
This year’s global search focused on professionals working at any level in a company participating in the UN Global Compact and the winners selected come from every continent. Sumant Sinha of ReNew Power was recognised as an SDG Pioneer of the year.
This honor comes in recognition of Sumant ‘s work to advance access to clean and affordable energy (SDG 7). As the leader of India’s leading renewable energy company, ReNew Power, Sumant has set an example by building the core business of ReNew Power around the targets of SDG 7. Over the last 10 years, under the helm of Sumant, ReNew Power has demonstrated excellence in integrating SDGs into the company’s core business. This has enabled the company to identify opportunities for creating shared value for all stakeholders. Under his able leadership, ReNew Power has aligned its operations to the objectives of Agenda 2030 and has forged partnerships for achieving various SDGs, beyond just SDG 7. These partnerships include NGOs, research institutes, philanthropic foundations, private sector organizations and government agencies, thus working towards the targets of SDG 17 (Partnerships for the goals). ReNew Power has been a strong advocate of promoting an inclusive work force within the company and India Inc. and is also working towards women empowerment in rural India through the ReNew Women India initiative, in line with SDG 5. ReNew Power has been a participant in the UN Global Compact since 2016.
ReNew Power will continue to focus on its sustainability efforts in line with global commitments. As signatories of “Race to Zero” and “Terra Carta”, ReNew is committed to reducing emissions and creating a sustainable future by adopting Science Based targets.
“Business has a critical role to play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals at a time when progress has been set back by the Covid-19 pandemic. These ten exceptional professionals show exactly what can be done by business to make a difference that not only serves shareholders but also society at large. I hope our ten 2021 SDG Pioneers will also inspire others to join them in uniting business for a better world,” said Sanda Ojiambo, CEO & Executive Director of the UN Global Compact.
The SDG Pioneer entries were judged by an expert panel composed of previous SDG Pioneers and representatives from the UN Global Compact Expert Network, academia, and UN agencies. The selection criteria included the individuals’ commitment to embedding the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact into their companies’ core strategies, their efforts to advance the SDGs, as well as their engagement with the UN Global Compact and its Local Networks. The 2021 SDG Pioneers were announced during the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2021 on 16 June.
Sumant founded ReNew Power in January 2011, with a vision to transform the way energy is produced and consumed in India. Since then, under his leadership, the company has grown exponentially and is today one of India’s premier renewable energy companies with an aggregate portfolio of around 10 GW spread over more than 100 sites. It now generates one per cent of India’s total electricity annually, and in doing so helps mitigate half a per cent of India’s carbon emissions in a year. Sumant is a passionate advocate for solutions related to climate change and sustainable development. His recent book – Fossil Free: Reimagining Clean Energy in a Carbon-Constrained World talks about the past, present and future of the world’s energy systems in the context of the world’s changing climate and spells out a playbook to create a carbon light future for India. Former Vice President Al Gore describes the book as “a compelling roadmap to a better, cleaner future for India—and other developing regions of the world”.
Commenting on the recognition, Sumant Sinha, Chairman and MD of ReNew Power said, “I would like to thank UNGC for this incredible honour. The role of the private sector in helping achieve the targets of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals is becoming increasingly critical. Let us hope businesses can gear themselves towards sustainability and climate change mitigation, and most importantly collaborate towards a sustainable, inclusive, and climate-resilient future. A green recovery is of paramount importance in the post-pandemic planet, and we must ensure that this recovery is accelerated through partnerships!”