ITC has been ranked number one for the second consecutive year in the CSR category in the recently published Nielsen Corporate Image Monitor 2012-13. The rating – most active in CSR – is an acknowledgement of the scale and impact of its sustainability initiatives that have created large-scale livelihoods and augment natural resources. ITC’s business and value chains have created sustainable livelihoods for 5 million people, many of whom belong to the poorest sections of the society, an ITC release said.
The company’s performance on augmenting scarce natural resources and combating climate change has been globally recognised. ITC is the only company in the world to be carbon-positive for seven years in a row, water positive for 10 years consecutive and solid waste recycling positive for 5 years now. Renewable energy makes nearly 40% of its total energy consumption, according to a company release.
As part of its 360 degree interventions in rural agricultural communities, ITC has constantly endeavoured to strengthen and broad-base livelihood options through farm and off-farm activities. ITC’s e-Choupal, the world’s largest rural digital infrastructure, has empowered over 4 million farmers. ITC’s integrated watershed development programme has provided soil and moisture conservation to farmers in water-stressed areas and helped promote sustainable agriculture, apart from contributing to ITC’s water positive status. This programme has so far covered over 1, 00,000 hectare of water-stressed areas in rural India.
ITC’s social and farm forestry programme, which helps rural wasteland owners convert their land into pulpwood plantations, has planted trees over 1,40, 000 hectare, creating livelihood opportunities for poor tribals and farmers.