ESG Viewpoint: Warm India, Wet India – Incredible India?

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by Juan Salazar, Vice President, Analyst, Responsible Investment, BMO Global Asset Management. This is the first in a series of viewpoints based on a recent trip to India to engage with companies on all things ESG.

India is among the countries most vulnerable to climate change. Our recent trip there provided valuable insights into how climate change management has risen up most companies’ strategic agendas. However, the potential magnitude of the impacts of climate change on people’s livelihoods, economic growth and, ultimately, companies’ bottom line is so significant that climate considerations need to be more deeply embedded into medium and long-term corporate strategies.

We travelled to Mumbai and Bangalore to engage with close to 20 large and medium-sized Indian companies mainly in the financial, healthcare and consumer staples industries. Our discussions covered a wide range of ESG issues, particularly corporate governance, climate change, plastics, and access to affordable products and services. In light of the breadth of industries and topics we covered during the trip, we plan to share our impressions throughout a small number of separate Viewpoints over the course of the next few months.

This introductory piece will cover the country’s significant exposure to the impacts of climate change, as well as highlights from our conversations with companies on their approach to managing climate-related risks as well as opportunities.

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Read the entire paper here.

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