Any viable approach to sustainable development needs to go hand in hand with waste recycling, said Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Chairperson and Managing Director, Biocon Ltd. Speaking at the third regional conference on ‘Innovations in Sustainable Habitats’, organised by The Energy Research Institute (TERI) on Monday, Ms. Shaw said technologies that are relevant to India need to be developed.

The two-day conference, which concludes on Tuesday, is discussing the GRIHA approach — GRIHA, an acronym for Green Rating for Integrated Habitat Assessment, the building rating standard in India devised by TERI.

‘Serious problem’

Observing that Bangalore’s “waste problem” had assumed “serious proportions”, Ms. Shaw said, “The city does not even have the infrastructure to handle waste, let alone have a system of waste management.”

T.V. Mohandas Pai, Chairman, Manipal Global Education Services, who had served on the board of Infosys earlier, pointed out that the IT services company had implemented several innovations on its facilities that reduced its “carbon footprint”.

Mr. Pai observed that the company had spent $10 million over a four-year period on the project to reduce energy consumption, but had saved $32 million. “The payback period was just 9 to 10 months for the company,” he said.

He said structural standards for buildings in India have not been updated since the 1960s.

R.K. Pachauri, Director-General, TERI, said while energy conservation in buildings is important, the ratings of buildings also need to be revised regularly.