Suman Majumdar
Sustainability Facilitator
Suman's Introduction

I'm a freelance facilitator and I provide training, advisory and policy advocacy services to businesses on sustainability, climate change, ESG, circular economy, and related topics. With 33 years of experience, I held roles in India as a CSO in the JSW Group, Principal Counsellor on Sustainability with India's apex industry body CII, and Manager - Sustainability with Procter & Gamble.

Among other achievements, I pioneered Asia’s 1st Sustainability Awards, organised all events at COP-8, created the India Business & Biodiversity Initiative, set up the green building movement in India and co-created the world’s 1st ESG index for emerging economies (S&P).

I have a PhD and MTech in Environmental Engineering (IIT Bombay), and MSc in Environmental Sciences (JNU).

Countries where Suman can help you: Worldwide, especially India & Singapore

What brought you to sustainability?

My interest in sustainability began from my graduate days while studying Ecology (optional subject), and thereafter pursuing post-graduate degrees in Environmental Science and then Environmental Engineering, ending with my Doctorate in Environmental Engineering. It taught me the the what and why (science) as well as the where, how and when (application), all of which are essential for sustainability. My stints in industry as well as in apex industry body gave me the experience and ability to train, implement and measure results, as well as analyse policies related to sustainability.

I've always nurtured a passion to create solutions that the masses can use and drive benefit from. The evolution of environment management, ecological services of nature, climate change and social development all converged into sustainability as we understand today. Or by its closely-related concepts of triple bottom line, or ESG. In this journey, my interactions of pioneers strengthened this passion.

Which sustainable actions are you in charge of or have you implemented in your organisations?

There are several examples from my experience of 33 years, some of which are listed here.

  1. Provide advisory services on sustainability to companies in different parts of the world
  2. Expert trainer for leading academic institutions in Singapore and advisor to consulting firms (2022 onwards)
  3. Developed the GRI South Asia Charter on Sustainability Imperatives (2020) and implementation (ongoing)
  4. Completed the Strategic Leadership Development course at IIM Ahmedabad for the JSW Group as part of the Future Fit talent (top 50 managers) (2019)
  5. Championed the development of India’s 1st environment product declaration (EPD) for steel sector (2018)
  6. Led, designed, developed and implemented the CII-ITC Sustainability Awards (2007-2013)
  7. Led the partnership for the JSW - The Times of India Earth Care Awards (2018)
  8. Created the blueprint for CII’s India Business & Biodiversity Initiative (2014)
  9. Principal Investigator for the IPPU Sector for India’s 2nd National Communication to UNFCCC for National GHG Inventory (2013). Also awarded repeat of the project for India’s 3rd National Communication (2014)
  10. Led the introduction of CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) for its first 6 years, and also in the establishment of its office in India.
  11. Led the inclusion of the E and S components in developing and creating the world’s 1st ESG Index for Emerging Economies by S&P (launched Jan 2008)
  12. Qualified in India’s 1st batch of Lead Auditors for Social Accountability 8000 (by SAI)
  13. Completed the Sustainable Enterprise Academy’s Business Leader Seminar (York University, Toronto) and facilitated CII-Cornell University Business Leaders’ Programmes on Sustainability Strategy in India
  14. Led the organising of the seminars, conferences and exhibitions for UNFCCC's COP-8 held in New Delhi (2002)
  15. Member  of the global corporate team that prepared the world's first sustainability report using the zero draft of the GRI Guidelines (1998)
  16. Organised major international events, including exhibitions, summits, seminars, and training programmes
  17. Handled regulatory requirements pertaining to licences, consents and registrations for consumer products
  18. Participated in national and international expert groups, advisory bodies and technical committees
  19. Pro bono volunteer for the World Toilet Organisation (WTO); mentor for creation of standards for toilets

Working to change mindsets so that all of us work towards development (sustainable, how else ?), and measuring the impacts, are the key parts of my current passion.

Which challenges did you meet and how did you overcome them?

Working most of my life in an emerging economy, and in creating pioneering knowledge products or solutions that add to competitiveness of business, as well as shaping policies for the nation has been full of challenges. Effective stakeholder engagement was key to succeeding. The topic of challenges as well as resolving them is too vast to list in a few words here. However, I'm happy to provide details or discuss them with all those interested.

What are you most proud of?

Leaving a legacy of people who are now champions of sustainability in their own ways within their organisations, and also working towards that in my current stay at Singapore.

What would be your top 3 pieces of advice to the Matcha Initiative users?
  1. Learn to unlearn. If you keep doing what you did, you will only get what you got!
  2. Identify material aspects for everything, and channelise resources to them.
  3. Review, measure and improve - in personal and professional lives
In which field could you help The Matcha Initiative users as a buddy?
  • Kick Start Help
  • Best Practices sharing
  • Experience Sharing
  • Expertise Sharing

Please describe how you could help The Matcha Initiative users as a buddy?

My diverse experience allows me to contribute as a content developer, trainer, facilitator, reviewer and be an agent of change. These can help me also be a "king-maker"!

Suman's 3 main sustainability skills

Strategy trainer / Policy analyst / Reviewer

Suman kindly accepts to answer your questions.

If you need additional insights, you can send him a message.