Anand Diwanji, Vice President, DSM India

Anand brings more than 25 years of rich experience, having held multiple leadership positions in diverse B2B industries in an international environment. He joined DSM in 2008 as a Supply Chain Head for DEM India. After this, he took on various roles within DEM as Global Category Manager, Program Manager Asia-Pacific based out of Shanghai & Automotive Segment Director India. Before being appointed as Vice President, he has served the company in various important capacities. He also serves as a Chairman on the Board of DSM-Kuibyshev joint venture in Russia.

 

 

Mobile devices have profoundly impacted our lives by changing the way we learn, entertain ourselves, and stay connected with our loved ones. And now with the breakthrough penetration of 4G across India, the necessity of working from home, the transition to online learning, and the powerful online promotions, the adoption of smartphones is on an upward swing. In fact, the industry is poised to clock double-digit growth of 21% this year while witnessing a shipment of 179 million units versus 148 million in 2020. The rising demand has propelled the industry to increase production efficiency by providing the same or more functionalities within the same product size in order to stay relevant in the effervescent industry. 

With Great Power comes Great Responsibility 

While the industry has fast evolved to become highly competitive and innovative, the smartphone market leaves a huge environmental footprint in the shape of e-waste, toxic emissions, and exploitation of non-renewable resources that goes largely unchecked. Recent studies have pointed out that India’s mobile phone replacement cycles are reducing, with two out of every three users planning to upgrade within a year. Building a new smartphone– especially mining the rare elements inside it –accounts for 85 to 95 percent of the device’s total CO2 emissions over the course of two years.  Moreover, the improper disposal of smartphones further taxes the planet by creating hazardous dumping sites, which not only comes with an environmental cost but also poses grave health threats for site workers. The need of the hour is for corporations to adopt and employ responsible policies and practices to limit improper disposal of e-waste, curb hazardous emissions, and find alternatives to depleting resources used during a products’ manufacturing cycle, thereby fighting the looming climate crisis facing the planet.

Transforming the Industry with Sustainable Solutions

As 80% of a device’s carbon footprint is generated during the manufacturing process sustainability cannot be an afterthought. It must be tied with the brand values right at the start of fabrication of the materials. So, what’s the solution to this problem? Manufacturing greener smartphone components and extending the lifespan of a smartphone among others, are some solutions that can help reduce carbon emissions and prevent the wasteful dissipation of energy and toxicants caused by the current recycling methods. 

  • Life Cycle Assessment: A longer life cycle of the product ensures minimal waste streams which in turn lead to minimal environmental pollution. The means to achieve longer life cycles lie in measuring the impact of the product from cradle to grave. At DSM, we focus on the life cycle assessment of our solutions based on four key sustainability pillars: safety, eco-efficiency, renewable resources, and recyclability.  By undertaking impartial life cycle assessment of all products, we believe that businesses can make sound business decisions in terms of reducing emissions and realising sustainability goals. 
  • Manufacturing and using greener components: As the industry braces itself for the new generation of mobile electronics, it is ever paramount to focus on products that are thinner, lighter, smaller, and carry equal strength and stiffness. At DSM, our strong belief in sustainable solutions has driven us to innovate studier components that last for longer, giving our planet a much needed reprieve from constantly piling e-waste. We have developed EcoPaXX®, a high-performance aliphatic, biobased polyamide, that generates one of the lowest Carbon footprint in PA domain. Moreover, for the industries to truly realise their sustainability goals, greener solutions have to be weaved in from the get go, i.e, from manufacturing to deliveries and disposal. For us, innovating greener solutions is crucial however, reducing our carbon footprint while devising solutions is also paramount. To that effect, 50% of our power sourcing comes from renewable sources and we are constantly looking at ways to reduce water consumption. 
  • Sustainable Consumption: Frequent technological upgrades have transitioned the society towards “throwaway culture”, which is characterised by discarding of products at ever increasing rates. Smartphone manufacturers must move away from the idea of creating and designing products that are built to depreciate in value in a short span of time only for immediate gains. Change can only be brought through a conscious collective action. While brands must integrate their marketing strategies towards sustainable consumption, consumers too must realise that old phones don’t become obsolete with newer product releases. 

Committing to sustainable brand practices can go a long way in changing the world we operate in. In fact, a recent study has indicated that 44% of Indians want brands to implement sustainable practices. Being sustainable, thus, is no more just an added cause for businesses but instead tied to the core business objectives. At DSM, we have set an ambitious target to have a 30% absolute reduction of the company’s direct emissions by 2030. With the power of science and technology, we believe that businesses can unlock the value of sustainability, creating bright lives for all – people, businesses, communities, and the planet.

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