Most responsible Indian companies in terms of sustainability and CSR

BuzzOnEarth is an online publication on environmental sustainability and human wellness, focused on creating positive impact. BoE aims to bridge the knowledge gap and act as a catalyst in accelerating sustainable development.

Introduction

Thanks to the pressure from law enforcement and also the general public, every company is trying out ways to stay sustainable. The logic is simple, each of these firms will now be catering to millennials and hence they will have to show that they are also accountable to the society and everything else that the millennials deem to be important.

Needless to say, that since there is such a pressure or even social conscience to deem oneself, as socially responsible, there will be a competition too.

A recent survey done by ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) mapped the 10 most active companies when it comes to CSR or Corporate Social Responsibility.

Let us have a look!

The Top Companies

  1. Infosys

Infosys, with its Arohan foundation, creates opportunities for the underprivileged and works towards building a more equitable society through support for programs in areas like education, healthcare, rural development, arts and culture, and destitute care. While the Infosys foundation has its strong hold in India and supports the multifarious activities, the two sub-arms that were evaluated by ESG are as follows:

Infosys Foundation USA

The foundation’s mission is to expand computer science and make education to K-12 teachers and students across the United States, along with a specific focus on underrepresented communities.

Infosys Science Foundation

It is an annual award to honour achievements of researchers and scientists across computer science, engineering, social sciences, physical sciences, mathematical sciences, life sciences and humanities.

Sustainability

Infosys’ commitment is to deliver the business, in a manner that it spans the entirety of ecological, economic and social well being.

  • Mahindra and Mahindra

Sustainability

To mitigate emissions and to achieve sustainability checkpoints, the Mahindra group under the “Rise for Good” initiative adopted eco-friendly technology and sustainable processes that reduced wastage. They have #CutTheCrap project, under which 11 facilities have gone zero waste certified by recycling, reusing and composting waste and have also made their offices plastic-free.

They have also undertaken several projects of cleaning water bodies and preserving them. Along with groundwater recharging, they have positively impacted 32 villages.

The most notable among these is the Hariyali Programme

Under this programme, Mahindra Group focuses on planting trees, and since inception, they have grown over 16.4 million trees across India.

  • Tata Chemicals Ltd.

Tata Chemicals with their consistent efforts towards sustainable development and community initiatives have always been known as the “responsible company”. The care for environment and community has always been their core value.The company has always strived to adopt practices that align to the environment, social and governance parameters.

 Ms Alka Talwar, Chief of CSR and Sustainability at Tata Chemicals said that as a science-led organization they would continue to serve the society through science and innovation and be a leader in corporate sustainability along with focusing on all three elements of ‘people, planet and profits’.

  • ITC Limited

ITC believes that a company’s performance must be measured by its Triple Bottom Line contribution in building economic, social and environmental capital and enhancing societal sustainability.

It also believes that in the strategic context of business, enterprises possess, beyond mere financial resources, the transformational capacity to create game-changing development models by unleashing their power of entrepreneurial vitality, innovation and creativity.

ITC continues to craft unique models for generating livelihoods and environmental capital. Such Corporate Social Responsibility projects are further scalable, replicable, and sustainable, with a significant multiplier impact on sustainable livelihood creation and environmental replenishment.

Sustainability

They focus on:

  • Spurring innovative strategies that would enable them to make a growing contribution along the triple bottom lines of building economic, environmental and social capital.
  • To create world-class Indian brands and help in capturing and retaining more value for the Indian economy. The vitality of such brands also serves as market anchors that enhance the competitiveness of the complete value chain, including that of farmers and rural communities.
  • Ensuring a positive environmental footprint, they adopted a low-carbon growth strategy that focused on enhancing using renewable energy sources and a reduction in individual consumption of energy.
  • Reduce specific water consumption at their units and augment rainwater harvesting activities contributed to the imperative need to ensure water security.
  • They even have waste management initiatives like flagship WoW (Well-being Out of Waste) programme that contribute to addressing yet another national priority.
  • Vedanta

The CSR program of Vedanta are a part of the Vedanta Sustainability Framework- something that forms an integral part of their business too. They have different projects like:

  • Nand Ghar and Children’s Well-being Projects
  • Women’s Empowerment
  • Health Care
  • Agriculture and Animal Husbandry
  • Skilling the Youth
  • Sports and Culture

Sustainability

Vedanta have sought to embed a high-performance, standardized sustainability cultures across all business along with the autonomy to make each day decisions. The goal of Vedanta’s sustainability is to ensure that individual company integrates its sustainability principles into operational and decisions making structures.

  • Wipro Ltd

CSR Activities and Sustainability

Wipro’s sustainability is all about good citizenship. Wipro believes that they should try and make a lasting impact in creating a humane, equitable and sustainable society.

Wipro thinks that their foremost responsibility is running the business ethically and compliance with the law in letter and spirit.

The domains of engagement are:

  • Education, Ecology, and Community Care
    • School Education in India- Education for children with disability and Sustainability Education
    • School Education outside of India
    • Engineering Education
    • Primary Health Care
    • Business Sustainability
  • Working with communities everywhere
  • Hindustan Unilever Ltd

The CSR Committee of Hindustan Unilever Ltd works around formulating and recommending to the Board the CSR Policy and activities needed by the company. The committee recommends the amount of expenditure required to incur on CSR activities of the company and reviews the performance of the company in CSR areas.

Sustainability

The company plans to make sustainable living commonplace. It also believes that the best way to deliver long-term sustainable growth is by reducing its environmental footprint and increasing positive social impact is by sustainability. They have three global goals-

  • Helping more than a billion people take action for improving their health and well-being
  • Reduce the environmental footprint in the making and using of products
  • Enhancing the lives of a million people and growing the business
  • Godrej Consumer Products Ltd

The company’s CSR policy outlines the focus areas and defines the scope of their activities pretty objectively. The policy focuses on addressing critical social, environmental, and economic needs of the marginalized/underprivileged sections of the society by adopting a shared value approach that helps solve problems while strengthening the firm’s competitive advantage.

Sustainability

  • People- Train one million people in skills that will enhance their income
  • Planet- Achieve zero waste to landfill, achieve vivacious water, be carbon neutral, balance, reduce specific energy, and lastly consumption and increasing the use of renewable energy
  • Products- Generate a third of our portfolio revenues from ‘good’ or ‘green’ products
  • Grasim Industries Ltd

The socio-economic interventions helped Grasim transform the lives of communities, mostly in rural and tribal belts by empowering them for a better living and future.

Grasim also focuses on education, sustainable livelihood, healthcare, infrastructure development and social reform along with a holistic approach to inclusive growth. With Grasim’s agricultural interventions, farmers have switched from traditional to modern farming practices.

Sustainability

  • By pulp and fibre business, there is a 50 per cent reduction in water consumption
  • Through closed-loop fibre manufacturing, output material is reused at every step of the process
  • The lowest consumer of water globally is Grasim’s VSF unit at Nagda
  • They have four USDA certifies Biobased products- Birla Viscose, Birla Modal, Birla Excel and Birla Spunshades
  • DuPont sustainable solutions keeping end-to-end safety focus for employees, customers and transporters
  • For transportation of raw material and products, reduction in energy consumption
  • For safety movements of vehicles, regular training of drivers
  • Every year empowering more than 3000 women by self-help groups
  • Educating approx 49,000 students by schools, adult education programmes, scholarships and more
  • Through health camps, immunization drives, free specialized healthcare facilities and more, helping patients
  • Enabling career guide to local youth, upskilling of artisans and local farmers and infrastructure development projects
  1.  Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd

Their CSR vision is to be a model of a corporate entity with social responsibility committed to energize lives by sustainable development.

Their mission is to:

  • Create a confident and positive impact on all the communities where they operate
  • Plan to transform 150 villages to water vivacious from water scare
  • Enable the education of more than 10 lakh children in India
  • Create a resource of expert panels on issues to thrust areas
  • Encourage employees volunteering in the upcoming five years

Sustainability

Their efforts towards sustainability in general involve

  • Recycling / reusing of scrap material
  • Development of Butterfly garden
  • Enzyme based Bio-remediation
  • Tree Plantation

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