Integrating Sustainability in Business: Swedish and Indian Chiefs discuss at Panel Discussion, Swedish Design Weeks, Mumbai

Mar 22, 2018 | Posted by admin in Campus Corner, Events & Happenings, Student Achievements   No Comments »


L-R: Ms. Karin Boding, Swedish designer on Sustainability; Ms. Elin Astrom, Head of Sustainability, H&M; Ms. Jaxa Gohil, IKEA, India; Ms. Ulrika Sundberg, Sweden Consul General; Prof. Dr. Uday Salunkhe, Group Director, WeSchool; Mr. Sameer Bhand, VP, Strategy & Sustainability, Apparel Export Promotion Council and Mr. Lawrence Fernandes, Director, Retail Learning, Retailers Association of India.


Saving the environment has become a mission with climate change and rising air pollution. Taking this initiative to another level are companies and startups in Sweden and India. These companies have raised the bar at advocating sustainability by integrating it into their business process. These are the breed of environmentally conscious organizations who are educating their consumers along. Product conceptualization and industrial processing of the product are looking at adopting the principles of social, economic, and ecological sustainability to help create a circular economy. As a part of Ung Svensk Form design exhibition, the Consulate General of Sweden in Mumbai in cooperation with S. P. Mandali’s Prin. L. N. Welingkar Institute of Management Development & Research (WeSchool) invited leading corporates from Mumbai and Sweden to exchange their perspective on the inclusion of sustainability in business design, for a panel discussion under the theme, “Integrating sustainability into the business to transform markets”.

Ms. Elin Astrom, Head of Sustainability, H&M; Ms. Karin Boding, Swedish designer on Sustainability; Ms. Jaxa Gohil, IKEA, India; Mr. Lawrence Fernandes, Director Retail Learning, Retailers Association of India; Mr. Sameer Bhand, VP Strategy & Sustainability, Apparel Export Promotion Council and Prof. Dr. Uday Salunkhe, Group Director, WeSchool were the esteemed panelists. Sweden Consul General Ms Ulrika Sundberg animated the panel discussion as the moderator for the evening. Sweden Consul, Mr Nils Eliasson graced the event with his presence.

Diversity is a vital component of contemporary Swedish design, which challenges aesthetics and traditional methods.  Sweden’s sustainable design philosophy encourages decisions at each phase of the design process that will reduce negative impacts on the environment and the health of the occupants, without any compromise. It is an integrated, holistic approach that encourages us to act green.

Sweden has taken climate change to the task, drastically helping to reduce the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. Sweden is the first country to enact a Climate Change Law. Future generations are bound to zero CO2 emissions by 2045 and a fossil-free society by 2030. Sweden has since 1970 been in the forefront of devising sustainable system solutions: central heating, district heating, green buildings, air and water treatment and e-vehicles. 50% of our energy supply is renewables and 99 % of waste goes to energy or reuse. Only 1% goes to landfills

Giving a Swedish perspective on sustainable design, Consul General of Sweden Mrs Ulrika Sundberg, said “Design isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s about practical solutions, improving experiences and enriching the quality of life. This exhibit highlights the importance of global challenges like climate change and also throws light on the benefits of circular bio-economy and sustainability. Sweden strongly propagates the concept of democratic design i.e. guaranteeing the product fulfils the highest standards of sustainability, form, function and quality at affordable prices for the majority of people.  Taking long-term responsibility all the way from sourcing the material to the people who are producing it, all the way on to the customer will help people make sustainable choices that influence our future in a good way and helps create a circular economy.  Sweden’s reputation as an environmen­tal and democratic pioneer in design began with a number of pro­active moves in the 1960s. Recognizing a loss of limited natural resources, Sweden was the first country to establish an environmental protection agency, in 1967. E.g. Sweden was the first to move to Viscose as an alternative to cotton for fabrics. In fact, we aim to have a vehicle fleet completely rid of fossil fuels by 2030. We believe that a sustainable and secure environment is best achieved by focusing on long-term design efficiency and a greater supply of renewable resources.”


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