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Net Zero by Narsi is a series of brief posts by Narasimhan Santhanam (Narsi), on decarbonization and climate solutions.
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𝘊𝘢𝘶𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘣𝘦𝘵𝘸𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘥𝘦𝘴𝘪𝘳𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘤𝘭𝘪𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘪𝘯𝘷𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘴 – 𝘥𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘢 𝘸𝘢𝘺 𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘥?

Meeting CEOs to discuss climate action is fun – if you are prepared in terms of knowledge of the subject, and in terms of “perspective”.

What do I mean by the latter word – “perspective” – a convenient word that can be used to mean pretty much anything you want? What I mean here is an appreciation of their aspirations and empathy for the challenges they face.

Almost all CEOs I know – at least those who 𝒓𝒐𝒔𝒆 to become CEOs – are some of the brightest I have come across. A good many of them also have highly positive intentions, be they for society or the environment. And for the latter, at an emotional level, many of them want to do something about their company’s carbon impact.

And now, there is an intermission – because you see the entry of key investors, be they public shareholders, the holding family, or private equity fellows…

The dialogue changes significantly. Environment and climate hardly find a mention, kicked to a dusty corner, drowned by quarterly earnings, share price, market shares…

In the many CEO meetings I have had in the last few years, I have seen how large the gap has been between CEO aspirations for sustainability and the actual actions that follow owing to stakeholder pressure.

Very large.

What can a CEO do?

I will be kidding myself – and you – if I believe that shareholders will become concerned about climate anytime soon. And this is true for most parts of the world, except a few small, saintly nations tucked somewhere in Europe’s northern nooks.

So, again – what can a CEO do?

There are a few things she or he can do to still move forward. Explaining what those are could take a detailed post – some other day.

But I can give one clue – think of decarbonization not as an investment/cost, but as an opportunity for business expansion.

At EAI, 𝐰𝐞 𝐜𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐂𝐎3 – 𝐂𝐎2 𝐎𝐩𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐮𝐧𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐞𝐬.

Outside of the cute name, how does this work?

Think about it yourself – it is already happening around you. I will tell you more soon – right now, there is some one waiting to see me, perhaps one more CEO on the horns of a climate dilemma!

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About Narasimhan Santhanam (Narsi)

Narsi, a Director at EAI, Co-founded one of India's first climate tech consulting firm in 2008.

Since then, he has assisted over 250 Indian and International firms, across many climate tech domain Solar, Bio-energy, Green hydrogen, E-Mobility, Green Chemicals.

Narsi works closely with senior and top management corporates and helps then devise strategy and go-to-market plans to benefit from the fast growing Indian Climate tech market.

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