Sustainability Report / Inclusive Growth
Corporate Social Responsibility Policy
For us in the Aditya Birla Group, reaching out to underserved communities is part of our DNA. We believe in the trusteeship concept. This entails transcending business interests and grappling with the “quality of life” challenges that underserved communities face, and working towards making a meaningful difference to them.
Our vision is - “to actively contribute to the social and economic development of the communities in which we operate. In so doing build a better, sustainable way of life for the weaker sections of society and raise the country’s human development index” (Mrs. Rajashree Birla, Chairperson, Aditya Birla Centre for Community Initiatives and Rural Development).
Implementation process: Identification of projects
All projects are identified in a participatory manner, in consultation with the community, literally sitting with them and gauging their basic needs. We recourse to the participatory rural appraisal mapping process. Subsequently, based on a consensus and in discussion with the village panchayats, and other influentials, projects are prioritised.
Arising from this, the focus areas that have emerged are Education, Health care, Sustainable livelihood, Infrastructure development, and espousing social causes. All of our community projects are carried out under the aegis of The Aditya Birla Centre for Community Initiatives and Rural Development.
In Education, our endeavour is to spark the desire for learning and knowledge at every stage through • Formal schools • Balwadis for elementary education • Quality primary education • Aditya Bal Vidya Mandirs • Girl child education • Adult education programmes.
In Health care our goal is to render quality health care facilities to people living in the villages and elsewhere through our Hospitals • Primary health care centres • Mother and Child care projects • Immunisation programmes with a thrust on polio eradication • Health care for the visually impaired, and physically challenged • Preventive health through awareness programmes.
In Sustainable Livelihood our programmes aim at providing livelihood in a locally appropriate and environmentally sustainable manner through • Formation of Self Help Groups for women empowerment • Vocational training through Aditya Birla Rural Technology Parks • Agriculture development and better farmer focus • Watershed development • Partnership with Industrial Training Institutes.
In Infrastructure Development we endeavour to set up essential services that form the foundation of sustainable development through • Basic infrastructure facilities • Housing facilities • Safe drinking water • Sanitation & hygiene • Renewable sources of energy.
To bring about Social Change, we advocate and support • Dowryless marriage • Widow remarriage • Awareness programmes on anti social issues • De-addiction campaigns and programmes • Espousing basic moral values.
Activities, setting measurable targets with timeframes and performance management
Prior to the commencement of projects, we carry out a baseline study of the villages. The study encompasses various parameters such as – health indicators, literacy levels, sustainable livelihood processes, population data - below the poverty line and above the poverty line, state of infrastructure, among others. From the data generated, a 1-year plan and a 5-year rolling plan are developed for the holistic and integrated development of the marginalised. These plans are presented at the Annual Planning and Budgeting meet. All projects are assessed under the agreed strategy, and are monitored every quarter, measured against targets and budgets. Wherever necessary, midcourse corrections are affected.
Organisational mechanism and responsibilities
The Aditya Birla Centre for Community Initiatives and Rural Development provides the vision under the leadership of its Chairperson, Mrs. Rajashree Birla. This vision underlines all CSR activities. Every Manufacturing Unit has a CSR Cell. Every Company has a CSR Head, who reports to the Group Executive President (Communications & CSR) at the Centre. At the Company, the Business Director takes on the role of the mentor, while the onus for the successful and time bound implementation of the projects is on the various Unit Heads and CSR teams. To measure the impact of the work done, a social satisfaction survey / audit is carried out by an external agency.
Collaborative partnerships are formed with the Government, the District Authorities, the village panchayats, NGOs and other like-minded stakeholders. This helps widen the Company’s reach and leverage upon the collective expertise, wisdom and experience that these partnerships bring to the table.
In collaboration with FICCI, we have set up Aditya Birla CSR Centre for Excellence to make CSR an integral part of corporate culture.
The Company engages with well established and recognised programs and national platforms such as the CII, FICCI, ASSOCHAM to name a few, given their commitment to inclusive growth.
A specific budget is allocated for CSR activities. This budget is project driven.
The Company’s engagement in this domain is disseminated on its website, Annual Reports, its house journals and through the media.
Our Board of Directors, our Management and all of our employees subscribe to the philosophy of compassionate care. We believe and act on an ethos of generosity and compassion, characterised by a willingness to build a society that works for everyone. This is the cornerstone of our CSR policy.
Our Corporate Social Responsibility policy conforms to the Corporate Social Responsibility Voluntary Guidelines spelt out by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India in collaboration with FICCI (2009).
Towards inclusive growth
A snapshot of your Company’s work
Your Company’s CSR activities extend to 127 villages, in proximity to its plants, across the country.
At the rural medical camps organised for general health check-ups 46,873 villagers were examined. Those afflicted with serious ailments were taken to your Company’s hospitals for treatment.
Intra-ocular lens surgery benefited 640 cataract patients at Hirmi, Awarpur, Tadipatri and Jafrabad. Spectacles were provided to 540 beneficiaries.
The Oral health care programme benefited 227 patients.
Over 20 patients were operated for cleft lips.
To sensitise people on the dangers of HIV/AIDS and its prevention, awareness programmes were conducted at Hirmi, Awarpur, Tadipatri, Jharsuguda, Kovaya and Jafrabad. These were attended by 3,216 people.
Sessions on TB awareness and treatment were attended by 3,210 persons at Hirmi, Awarpur and Jharsuguda.
Over 2,175 children participated in general health check-up camps organised at Hirmi, Awarpur and Kovaya.
At Awarpur, Hirmi and Tadipatri 268 colleagues donated blood.
At medical camps to treat Orthopaedic, Cardiac related problems, skin diseases and ENT, 2,793 patients felt advantaged.
A senior citizens health check-up covered 351 patients at Awarpur.
Mother and Child Care
We administered 40,000 polio doses to children at Hirmi, Awarpur, Tadipatri, Kovaya, Jafrabad, Jharsuguda, Durgapur and Ratnagiri. Nearly 8,000 children were immunised against tuberculosis, diphtheria, tetanus and measles.
Over 5,000 expectant mothers were provided pre and post natal care at Jafrabad, Awarpur, Hirmi, Jharsuguda and Tadipatri.
More than 590 couples have opted for planned families and responsible parenting at Tadipatri, Awarpur, Jharsuguda, Kovaya and Jafrabad.
Your Company supports the education of the girl child. This year we were able to persuade the parents of 176 girls who had dropped out from their schools in the villages to enlist again in schools at Awarpur and Jharsuguda.
Uniforms, books and bags have been distributed to 7,027 children in the rural areas. Visual educational aids and lab equipment was given to schools at Awarpur, Hirmi, Kovaya, Tadipatri, Jharsuguda, Jafrabad, Durgapur and Ratnagiri.
We continue to provide informal education to 217 adult women.
Our talent search programs and Pratibha Protshahan Samaroha drew 404 students from Hirmi, Tadipatri, Awarpur, Kovaya and Jharsuguda.
At our balwadis 330 children learn the basics of pre-primary education.
Free coaching classes at Hirmi, Tadipatri, Kovaya and Awarpur proved a boon to 1,083 students.
Career counseling sessions held at Jafrabad, Hirmi, Awarpur and Kovaya drew 4,312 students.
Safe drinking water and sanitation
Safe Drinking Water Programmes at Tadipatri, Hirmi, Awarpur, Kovaya and Jafrabad have helped 30,000 people access clean drinking water.
More than 800 people benefited from improved sanitary facilities at Jharsuguda, Tadipatri and Awarpur.
To conserve water and support agriculture, 9 ponds and check dams were repaired for both agriculture and domestic use at Jafrabad, Awarpur, Hirmi, Jharsuguda and 9 bore-wells were dug at Awarpur.
Approach roads were built in two villages at Tadipatri and repaired in 7 villages at other locations.
Streetlights were provided in 4 villages at Jharsuguda and Tadipatri.
At the Hirmi skill development centre 675 youngsters received training in photography, videography, motor driving, computer application, sewing and dressmaking. A training course on basic tailoring was imparted to 295 women at Tadipatri, Jafrabad and Kovaya.
Alongside, 30 widows were rehabilitated at Awarpur through training in tailoring and provision of sewing machines.
To promote sustainable agriculture, at Jharsuguda, a farmers mela (Fair) was organised. Farmers from 22 villages actively participated in the mela. At Jafrabad, Kovaya, Hirmi and Awarpur 621 farmers have been trained in the latest agricultural techniques of plumgrafting, soil health and vermin compost. This was done in collaboration with the local agricultural technology management centres.
Exposure visit to centres of agricultural technology were organised for 253 farmer club members of Jafrabad, Hirmi and Kovaya, besides conducting Krishak Khet Pathsala programme.
Our 152 Self Help Groups across all your Company’s Units have led to the empowerment of 1,598 women.
Mass marriages conducted at Jafrabad united 22 couples.
At the macro level
To embed CSR as a way of life in organisations, we have set up the FICCI – Aditya Birla CSR Centre for Excellence (Delhi).
In line with our commitment to sustainable development, we have partnered the Columbia University in establishing the Columbia Global Centre’s Earth Institute in Mumbai.
In our work among the underprivileged, our goal is to bring in inclusive growth, collaborating with the Government and other stakeholders.
The challenges that the world faces on environment conservation, are indeed alarming. Just to highlight a few – climate change, the severity of droughts and floods, their impact on rain fed agriculture, the emission of greenhouse gases and our ability to pursue sustainable development. We in India are no exception to these issues. Environment conservation and sustainable development are continuously on your Company’s radar. Hence these are integrated into its business strategies as well as its efforts towards fostering inclusive growth through its rural development and community initiatives.
On the environment conservation front, your Company is greatly advantaged by its linkages with its parent Company, Grasim Industries Limited, which is a voluntary member of the Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI). The CSI sets common measures and is a knowledge networking forum on environmental impact issues. Your Company’s sustainable development program is in sync with the parameters of the CSI.
Your Company’s Units continue to validate its energy efficiency, kiln reliability and productivity based on data from Global Benchmarking Surveys, conducted annually by Whitehopleman – an independent UK based consulting firm.
Our environmental auditors help us in assessing the condition of the environment we influence, and prioritise actions to reduce risks to the environment and demonstrate our accountability to third parties. The rigorous in-depth environmental audits of our plants by KPMG Peat Maverick, Det Norkse Veritas, the State Pollution Control Board’s certified auditors and Environmental Systems auditors reconfirm our sense of responsibility and accountability.
Your Company’s Units are ISO14001 EMS, OHSAS 14001 and SA8000 certified. Transcending regulatory norms, your Company has stepped up the accelerator, evolving innovative ways to preserve the environment and manage resources responsibly. Clean technologies and processes that combine both economic progress and sustainable environment remain on top of mind at your Company’s Units.
Your Company’s thrust on use of alternative fuels is gaining momentum. We have been unrelenting in our efforts to reduce consumption of fossil fuels by substituting these with wastes from other industries. It is difficult for the waste generating industries to safely dispose these wastes generated and the only other choice is through incineration.
We have saved using coal by recoursing to alternative fuels such as processed municipal solid waste, agro waste, tyre chips and used polythene and plastics. In 2009-10, we substituted the use of natural resources with 20,000 tons of waste materials as fuel, equivalent to 10,000 tons of coal burning every day. This has helped our environmental conservation efforts significantly. We are building competency and installing machinery at our Units to handle waste fuels in the most eco-friendly manner.
Your Company’s Units at Kovaya and Jafrabad in Gujarat are among the largest users of shipping in the cement industry. The sea route is the most cost effective and environmentally friendly transport for delivering cement and clinker in the coastal and export markets. These Units also receive incoming raw material and fuel sources such as gypsum, iron ore, coal and petcoke at its captive berth. In this way green house gas emission in the environment is contained.
Surface miners have been deployed, facilitating production of limestone from the mines up to 40% in a dust free manner.
Your Company’s Unit at Kovaya is the only Unit in this sector in India to have a desalination plant. It is used for meeting the water needs of the plant and the colony. The waste gases from the cooler are used in the desalination plant.
At all your Company’s Units, the treated water from the sewage treated plant is used for horticulture and process requirements as well.
Rain water harvesting is a priority area. Water bodies in the catchment areas for rainwater storage and ground water recharging have been set up. At the same time in shopping complexes, hospital roofs, school and mine offices at our Unit locations, rain water harvesting system has been instituted. These effectively recharges rain water in the bore wells and helps maintain ground water levels.
While we had planned the development of greenbelt cover of 11 hectares, we were able to spread it to 15 hectares, which gives us a lot of satisfaction. We have also initiated a Jetropha project at our mines.
The greenbelt at our Units is simply awesome and is surrounded by trees all around. At some points, you cannot even see the skyline. Only the leaves and the flowers and hear the cacophony of the birds. When you walk through this wooded ambience, you can never imagine that there would be a plant in the midst of nature. Our Board, our Management and all of our colleagues are committed to living in harmony with nature.-- Pg 48 - 53 of Annual Report
For more information visit http://www.adityabirla.com/social_projects/overview.htm