The environment is suffering as are the people. In light of this, sustainability has become a major concern for businesses. It pressurizes them to adapt accordingly so that their practices meet the need of the changing environment.

That's where we come in. We nurture companies to compete, expand opportunity and excel in today’s dynamic business environments.


To catalyse innovative ideas and solutions, in India, and globally, to enable business, and its stakeholders, in sustainable value creation.


Be a global leader, in thought and action, to drive transformation, towards sustainable development.






On the eve of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) [also known as the Earth Summit or Rio Summit] in June 1992, a new global organisation - Business Council for Sustainable Development (BCSD) - was founded to involve business in sustainable development issues.

A similar and parallel movement emerged in India at the very same time as the BCSD. In 1991, Ratan Tata of the Tata Group of Companies, a leading corporate conglomerate in India, was selected to represent India, China and SouthEast Asia in the BCSD. Being a past president of the leading industry association, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), known as Confederation of Engineering Industry (CEI) at that time, Ratan Tata urged the industry association to organise a regional conference “Changing Course towards Sustainable Development”. Recognising the importance of this emerging discipline, the then Director-General, Tarun Das, willingly accepted this responsibility. The regional initiative was lead by Avininder Singh, Chairman, CII National Environment Committee. Eminent global, regional and national personalities participated in this milestone conference. This included Maurice Strong, Chairman of the Earth Summit, Stephan Schmidheiny, Founder of the BCSD and author of Changing Course, Hugh Faulkner, a former Canadian politician, industrialist & co-founder of BCSD, and Ratan Tata. Through this conference, Indian industry leaders made a strong commitment and a solid intellectual foundation was laid to what is today the CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development (CII-ITC CESD).

From its challenging origin to its stand-apart identity, Seema Arora, Executive Director of CII-ITC CESD, shares the evolution and future of CESD.


CESD is a place where people build careers in conceptualising and delivering a sustainable future for the planet. We create a place for people to develop and grow themselves as professionals with a drive to make a difference in the society. Our work calls for people with strong values and a tendency to work independently within structures of the organisation. There is space for thinkers and doers who want to be challenged and open to change.

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