Mr. Ashish Agarwal is the Director & CEO at SEROS Logistics, a leading player in multimodal and marine logistics that supports end-to-end requirements of bulk cargo. Nurturing a strong leadership team, Mr. Agarwal oversees the strategic direction for the company and its offerings. With his exceptional entrepreneurial instinct, he aims to keep the clients’ tactical distractions at bay, by offering them customized logistics solutions. He envisions SEROS to be India’s largest green logistics company with the largest fleet of clean fuel-powered commercial vehicles. He strongly believes in India’s commitment towards a gas-based economy and wishes to help industries transition towards cleaner fuels.
Innovation in business processes is no longer meant for just attaining business and profitability goals. Technological advancements and innovations introduced in various fields have helped address significant challenges – achieving sustainable development.
Caring for the environment and following green practices have become a part of business operations. At the same time, a region’s economic growth brings sustainable harm to the ecology and planet. However, innovation ensures that financial objectives and sustainability can go hand in hand. The concepts of sustainability and innovation are too comprehensive. Hence, the focus here shall be on how energy, transportation, logistics, and recycling improvements have driven sustainable development.
Innovation and energy production
Energy production is critical for the economic development of any country. However, burning fossil fuels to generate electricity can have a long-lasting negative impact on the environment. In an emerging economy such as India, the debate is often whether sustainable development should be preferred over economic growth or not.
However, based on the innovation in this field, the nation has achieved some unprecedented goals, such as generating 37% of the electricity consumed through renewable sources. It could be attributed to the innovation in developing green energy from renewable sources such as solar panels, which was difficult earlier. In addition to this, usage of alternative fuels has also increased due to the innovation in waste management. The government anticipates India will attain the top position globally in the automobile sector by shifting from fossil to alternative fuels in the next five years.
Innovation in passenger transportation
Passenger transportation at local and inter-state or city levels has witnessed significant innovation, with e-vehicles becoming the first choice by operators. For instance, the issue of local transport in major cities has been addressed through the introduction of e-rickshaws which are reliable and efficient. India has more than 15 lakh e-rickshaws that address unskilled workers’ employment challenges and help attain sustainable development goals.
In addition, interstate and city transport of passengers is quickly shifting to e-buses, and some leading bus manufacturers have already started to manufacture electronic buses for passenger travel. The government plans a $10 billion contract of electric buses to curb emissions that will aim at purchasing 50000 such buses.
Innovation in supply chain and logistics
There is an ongoing effort to strengthen the EV ecosystem in the country as EV sales recently surpassed 333% (YoY). From heavy vehicles to smaller carriages, a systematic effort aims at electrifying the supply chain and management system.
In addition, LNG and CNG fuelled heavy vehicles can be an excellent alternative to traditional trucks. LNG and CNG have numerous benefits as they are more efficient (in terms of mileage per kilometre driven), much safer to store and transport.
In addition, the country’s last-mile delivery partners, including food aggregators and delivery partners, two-wheeler cabs, and grocery supply, are gradually turning towards electric vehicles, thereby ensuring sustainable development at the micro levels.
In addition to e-vehicles, the usage of analytics and advanced inventory management and tracking methods can ensure that the overall wastage in the supply chain could be reduced. This will also have a direct impact on the sustainable development process.
Innovation and Recycling
Recycling different products, including single-use plastics, has been a significant challenge in attaining truly sustainable development. However, recycling innovation gives a ray of hope for achieving sustainable development goals.
Some of the innovations in recycling include using plastic in roads, eco-bricks (for construction), 3D printing, microemulsion, depolymerization, and the development of plastic-eating bacteria. All these innovative measures have been developed recently to ensure that recycling single-use plastic can be carried out effectively, and the goal of attaining a cleaner planet can be achieved.
Sustainable development as a goal can be achieved through the integrated and collective efforts of different sectors, fields, and industries. The innovations in energy generation, transportation, supply chain, and recycling ensure better operations efficiency and address a critical objective of saving the planet. Sustainability is inevitable for every industry; hence, different functional aspects of a business are analyzed to determine the most vital issues currently affecting the environment. The overall transformation of business processes shall be critical in attaining the sustainability goals, and innovation shall be the stimulant in this quest.