KARACHI: Industrialists, researchers, academia, and civil society activists came together at the “Champions of Change: A Dialogue with the Private Sector” conference in Karachi on Wednesday, urging corporations to prioritise transparency and accountability in their commitment to achieving net-zero emissions. The discussions centred on the severe impacts of emissions on Pakistan’s health, lives, and environment.

The conference paved the way for the launch of two ground-breaking research studies. The first, titled “Scoping Study of Corporate Sector Energy Consumption,” conducted by the Indus Consortium in collaboration with the research team of the Centre for Business and Economic Research (CBER), Institute of Business Administration, focused on the energy consumption of corporate sectors, particularly the findings related to Indus Motor Company (IMC) and Coca-Cola Beverages Pakistan. The second study, presented by Alternate Development Services, examined the carbon emissions of the textile and sports industries, titled “Textile and Sports Industry- Assessing Decarbonization and Growth Potential.”

CEO of Indus Motor Company, Ali Asghar Jamali, addressing the event as the chief guest said that Toyota’s global commitment included going carbon neutral by 2035 and reaching out to net zero emissions by 2050 while Indus Motor Company was using energy efficient equipment to reduce carbon footprints.

He said that IMC was using the largest solar plant by any automobile company in the country with 4.5MW energy generation while it’s all buildings were covered with solar panels.

Jamali said that IMC was committed to increasing the green energy share in its overall energy consumption.

Asad Abdullah, Head of Corporate Communications and CSR, IMC, said Toyota was on a mission to reduce its carbon footprints.

He said that IMC was all set to launch the first locally manufactured hybrid vehicle in Pakistan in the next month and has invested $100 million in hybrid vehicle manufacturing, which reduces the consumption of energy, mostly based on fossil fuels.

Hussain Jarwar, CEO Indus Consortium, said that there was no trace of Scope-3 emissions of Indus Motor Company, whose data should be made available if they were being recorded.

He urged that the corporations and IFIs should make efforts to support the affected environment and communities to make their lending Paris-aligned.

Mashood Ali Khan, Former Chairman Pakistan Association of Automotive Parts and Accessories Manufacturers (PAAPAM) said that it was imperative for the auto parts manufacturers to move towards solar energy, which would not only be healthy for the environment but also reduce the cost for the sector.

Asim Jaffry, Country Program Lead, Fair Finance Pakistan said the road to transport was one of the most significant sources of air pollution in Pakistani cities, reducing life expectancy by up to 7 years in Lahore, Faisalabad, Peshawar, Karachi and Islamabad.

Dr Amir Jahan Khan of the IBA was the presenter of the scoping study of the corporate sector. CBER-IBA research team studied energy use and the resulting carbon footprints of Indus Motor Company IMC and Coco-Cola Beverages Pakistan. The main objective of the study was to develop profiles of the two companies and document their contribution to greenhouse emissions including their overall supply chain. The findings also showed a clear gap between standard protocols and the actual practice of measuring carbon footprints.

Amjad Nazeer, Chief Executive ADS, while presenting the findings of their study on the textile and sports sector, highlighted the energy mix of the mentioned industrial sectors and strategies they are implementing to reduce their carbon emissions.

Dr Raza Ali Khan, Chairman Dept. of Economics and Management Sciences, NEDUET, said that the climate clock was ticking and it was the responsibility of the government as well as the private sector to address the basic questions towards the safety of the people during the climate change impacts.

Participants urged the developed countries to pay the price for climate-induced disasters in developing countries like the flood in 2022 in Pakistan.