Dr S.S. Garg: General Manager and Head, Environmental and Social Safeguards Management Unit, IIFCL

Dr S.S. Garg has over 28 years of experience in the fields of envi­ro­n­ment and so­cial safeguards (ESS), ESG and sustainability. He is currently general manager and he­ad of department for the environment and social ma­na­gement unit at IIFCL. His key res­ponsibilities include discussions with developers regarding compliance with environmental and social due diligence reports, and providing suggestions on various safeguard-related policy do­cu­me­nts of the Indian government and multilateral financial institutio­ns (MFIs). He also works on creating inputs on ESS issues during lo­­an negotiations with various MFIs and development fi­n­a­n­ce in­s­ti­tutions, as well as reviewing and fact-fin­ding missions for MFIs. Additionally, he periodically updates the ESS framework, and conducts periodic stakehol­d­­er wo­­­rkshops to create awareness about IIFCL’s ESSF. During his te­n­ure at IIFCL, he has wo­rked om multiple international assi­­gn­ments. Regard­ing the str­ategic priorities for In­dia with respect to rene­w­able energy development, he says, “the IEEFA and Climate Energy Fi­­nance have estimated that India will attain 405 GW of renewable en­ergy capacity by 2030. In my opinion, in order to meet the net ze­ro goal, it is im­portant to focus on four key areas. First, promoti­ng solar, wind, hydro and green hydrogen, and building ancillary ma­r­k­ets. Se­co­nd, building enhanced evacuation infrastructure. Th­i­rd, in­vesting in digitalisation. Fourth, developing battery storage solutions.”

Optimistic by nature, Dr Garg believes in sustainability, green finance, a go-green lifestyle, and building a team spirit. He likes to read and watch television when not engaged in research work in the fields of ESG and sustainability. He wishes for the entire world to go green, and is striving towards zero pollution. He believes it is critical to contribute to the 3R (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) initiative. He wants to do his part in achieving zero carbon goals and con­tributing to long-term sustainability.

Dr Garg has a postgraduate degree and a doctorate in environmental sciences, along with an MBA degree and a diploma in industrial safety. He is an NRBPT-ap­p­roved lead auditor for ISO 14001, an IRCA-approved lead auditor for OHSAS 18001 and an NBQP-accredited lead auditor for ISO 9001. He has had extensive exposure to over 35 comprehe­n­sive rapid environmental impa­ct ass­essment and environment mana­g­ement plan studies, and has done due diligence studies for abo­ut 60 infrastructure projects across different sectors. He has also published many research papers in leading journals.