Press Releases 2009
U.S. Ambassador Timothy J. Roemer’s Statement at CII – Sohrabji Green Business Centre
October 21, 2009
I am very happy to be here today and very proud that the U.S. government has been involved with the award winning Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) – Sohrabji Green Business Centre since its inception almost ten years ago.
This Green Business Centre (GBC) not only represents the promise of a green economy, it demonstrates the importance of partnership between India and the United States in the 21st century. Combining resources and experience, the GBC was created through an innovative public-private partnership between the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), the Andhra Pradesh government, and the Godrej Corporation.
The Green Business Centre is the first structure outside the U.S. to have received the U.S. Green Business Council’s platinum award for Leadership in Environment and Energy Design, and earlier this year it won the prestigious Aspen Institute’s Energy and Environment Award for Non-Government Organizations.
While these are impressive achievements, what is truly remarkable is that in its short existence, the Green Business Center has already spurred an active Green Building movement throughout India. Starting from a small base of 20,000 square feet in 2003, the Green Business Centre has catalyzed over 295 million square feet of green building space throughout India.
The GBC provides business leaders with a concrete example of how strategic design and the use of clean, climate-friendly technologies can save money, make buildings and industries more efficient, and benefit surrounding communities. All over India new business are being drawn to the concepts of environmentally friendly architecture and construction.
The CII - GBC has emerged as a center of excellence that is capable of promoting green business practices, incubating and developing green businesses, and providing training and educational opportunities to businesses across all sectors in the areas of cleaner production, green building sciences, renewable energy, pollution prevention, energy efficiency, and other areas of environmentally responsible development.
With U.S. government support, CII has also teamed with World Resources Institute, a Washington, DC based non-profit organization, to launch New Ventures India, which connects entrepreneurs with investors and mentors them in sustainable enterprises.
During my first few days in India with Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, back in July, I had the pleasure of seeing firsthand the catalyzing effect of the Green Business Centre when we visited the ITC Green Building outside of Delhi. With support from the CII-GBC, the ITC building is one of 11 buildings in India to have earned the elite platinum designation – a designation we can all feel proud to have been a part of.
The U.S. government has a long history of working to promote innovation within the energy and environment sectors in India.
The success of the CII-GBC has demonstrated that public private partnerships can advance sustainable energy development in India. Conservation of energy is vital to both of our countries and our governments have recognized that our mutual interests are best served by working together in a collaborative fashion.
To this end our two governments are actively engaged in a Strategic Dialogue that will, among other things, continue our successful energy dialogue and begin discussions on actions to address the serious challenges of global climate change.
We look forward to many years of continued partnership as we all work to promote market-based energy efficiency services, accelerate the pace of renewable energy development, and advance the development of clean technologies.