Institute for Sustainable Communities Launches India EHS+ Center

By EHS+ Center Staff
November 19, 2014

Will Train 2,000 Factory Managers Each Year in Environment, Health and Safety Skills

Pune, India – November 18, 2014 – The Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) and Symbiosis Institute of International Business (SIIB) have announced their partnership to support a new EHS+ Center in Pune. The Center, which will begin trainings for factory managers early in 2015, is India’s first training center for environment, health and safety training designed to help managers improve worker safety as well as energy management and environmental performance. The partners held a partnership ceremony on October 31, 2014, at the Symbiosis campus.

Said Michael Despines, ISC’s Vice President for International Programs, “Our work to advance environment, health and safety training in India is critical to building a strong local commitment to sustainable manufacturing. We are very proud to be partnering with SIIB and to receive support from The Walt Disney Company and the GE Foundation to open the EHS+Center and usher in a new era of responsible management.”

The rapid growth of Indian industry presents a critical opportunity to pursue growth which is inclusive, environmentally friendly and leads to overall sustainable development. To achieve such growth, organizations need to integrate Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) practices into their business operations. Small and medium enterprises need affordable and industry-relevant EHS training and technical assistance. The EHS+ Center trainings will initially focus on the automotive, chemical, pharmaceutical and textile industries.

Dr. Bhama Venkataramani, Dean of the School of Management at Symbiosis International University, noted, “It is exciting for SIIB to be involved in developing a program that is so relevant to the industry and to the business environment. The EHS domain, as a significant component of major industry sectors, requires constant capacity building and I am happy that SIIB is partnering with ISC to enhance academic-industry collaboration and to strengthen our efforts towards promoting corporate sustainability.”

Funding for the EHS+ Center at Symbiosis has been provided by GE Foundation and the Walt Disney Company. ISC is still accepting support from donors on the establishment of the new Center in India.

The India EHS+ Center will be part of ISC’s EHS+ Network, which encompasses two EHS+ Centers in China and one in Bangladesh. ISC has developed the Network to provide high-quality training and support the principles of sustainable manufacturing in Asia.


ISC’s innovative EHS programs began in the heavily industrialized region of Guangdong, China, in 2009; their second Center opened in Jiangsu in 2011. The EHS+ Center in Bangladesh opened at North South University in 2014. Each Center is a public-private partnership that pairs international nonprofit ISC with a local host organization, provides technical training in essential skills for EHS management and sustainability leadership. After completing the training, factory managers work to improve health and safety on the job and drive improvements in environmental health, energy efficiency, and greenhouse gas management. Hundreds of global brands have sent their local EHS managers and suppliers to the EHSCenters, and consider the program an integral part of achieving their global sustainability goals.


An international nonprofit organization, the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) has 23 years of practical experience working with local leaders to accelerate climate change and sustainability solutions. ISC’s programs are designed to facilitate peer learning and engagement among local leaders charged with the work of making their communities more sustainable. ISC has led 99 projects in 30 countries, and currently works in China, India, Bangladesh, Serbia and the United States.


Symbiosis International University (SIU), established in 1971, has a rich heritage of cutting-edge innovation and enterprise, and of quality through pursuit of educational excellence. Located in Pune, it is one of India’s leading educational Institutions imparting quality education for over 40 years. Symbiosis is a family of 43 academic institutions spread across nine campuses in Pune and other regions of India, serving over 13,350 Indian and international students from 75 countries on campus and many more off campus.

Symbiosis Institute of International Business (SIIB), a member school of Symbiosis International University, is one of India’s premier business schools. Established in 1992, the Institute has focused on education, research and training in the field of international business to equip aspiring global managers with managerial, economic, legal and relevant technical competence. As part of their continued efforts to focus on global business issues, in 2009 the Institute created an industry-focused business initiative on global energy and environment issues.