Mahindra: driving down emissions through energy efficiency and renewables
The Mahindra Group, a $20 billion+ Indian multinational conglomerate covering over 20 sectors including automotives, farm equipment, financial and IT services, is aligning its strategy with ambitious science-based emission reduction targets. The Group’s goal to reach net zero by 2040 (on Scope 1 and Scope 2) is thirty years ahead of India’s national goal (2070). It has also committed to doubling energy productivity by signing on to The Climate Group’s energy productivity program EP100 and is committed to 100% renewable energy in its operations.
Mahindra aims to achieve carbon neutrality by driving down emissions by 47% for Scope 1 and 2 and 30% for Scope 3 by 2034, following approved Science-Based Targets (SBTs). The Mahindra Group MD & CEO Dr. Anish Shah told the World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos in 2022, that if business wants to “make a significant contribution we’ve got to be bold about the targets we set. At Mahindra we have set a target of getting to net zero by 2040… to be a catalyst for change.”
By 2021, The Mahindra Group had already reduced total Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 7% compared to the previous year. The methods to achieve this included a focus on energy efficiency, such as the replacement of high-energy-consuming blowers with energy efficient EC blowers or swapping old air circulators for Brushless Direct Current Motor air circulators. The energy productivity of its auto business has increased by 55%, and in its farm business by 61% compared to 2009.
The Mahindra Group has shown leadership by becoming a founder member of other initiatives too, becoming the first global company to join the EP100 initiative, with a target to double energy productivity within the next 25 years. Such action will enable the company to achieve emissions reductions that complement their Scope 1 and Scope 2 SBTi targets. The IEA estimates that energy efficiency can deliver more than 40% of the reduction in energy-related emissions by 2040.
Alongside this, the Group has focussed on an enhanced use of renewable energy. It saw a 55% increase in renewable energy consumption in 2021 compared to 2020 (reaching 12% cumulative renewable energy share in electricity mix), and the commissioning of a 60 MWp captive solar plant (expected to take cumulative renewable share closer to 40% by year end 2023).
Meanwhile, by championing the EV100 initiative, Mahindra hopes to create a facilitative environment to transition to e-mobility, raise electric vehicle (EV) demand, influence policy and push mainstream adoption to make electric transport the new normal. The Indian government target is for 65% of new car sales to be electric by 2030. As a pioneer in bringing EVs to the Indian market, by 2021 Mahindra-manufactured EVs had completed over 295 million kilometers on Indian roads and saved over 29,500 Mt CO2 emissions in India, the equivalent of planting 1.35 million trees.
Advocacy is essential to bring about science-based climate action. The Mahindra Group uses its powerful voice, activities and associations to call for strong policy ambition. This includes partnerships with key priority organizations (WEF’s First Movers’ Coalition, UN Global Compact, Climate Group, UNFCCC, the Indian government) and engagement at priority events (COP, Climate Week, WEF). This is always backed up with clear and consistent disclosure of plans and progress. Mahindra has been reporting on its sustainability performance and impact since 2007-08, with sector leading scores in CDP, Dow Jones Sustainability Indices, MSCI, Sustainalytics and CRISIL. True climate action demands results, and the Mahindra Group’s action plan shows resilience and readiness for a net-zero world.