ITC believes that the performance of business enterprises must be measured in terms of the value they create for society. Enterprises that embed sustainability in their business strategies can deliver substantial stakeholder value through innovative development models that simultaneously create livelihood opportunities and a positive environmental footprint. The Company firmly believes that such an approach unleashes strong drivers for achieving development with social equity.
The Board of the Company has approved a CSR Policy that covers the programmes, projects and activities that the Company plans to undertake to create a significant positive impact on its identified stakeholders. These programmes fall within the purview of Schedule VII of the provisions of Section 135 of the Companies Act, 2013 and the Companies (Corporate Social Responsibility Policy) Rules, 2014. The Policy was adopted in 2014-15 and continues in its original form since there have been no developments in the external or internal environment to prompt a review.
ITC's Social Investments Programme (SIP) aims to transform the lives of even the most marginalised amongst its stakeholder groups to live a life of dignity. Our way of grassroots empowerment, based on knowledge and technology transfer, confronts livelihood challenges of today and tomorrow through a holistic approach to create healthy, educated and skilled communities which looks to the future with confidence and determination.
To actualise this, the Company is committed to:
Context: In line with the Company's CSR Policy, the key stakeholders, based on the material aspects of our businesses, comprise:
Core operational areas and dominant needs of the area: A comprehensive survey was undertaken in 2015-16 to re-evaluate the socio-economic profile of our stakeholders and their development challenges. The review covered a total of 103 clusters comprising 902 villages/wards, which form the core operational geographies for the Company's Social Investments Programme.
Key Insights: The information from the needs assessments, combined with the survey data of households, gave a clear representation of the changing nature of development challenges confronting our stakeholder communities:
Two Horizons Approach: From the comprehensive survey conducted in 2015-16 it is clear that ITC's stakeholders are confronted with multiple but inter-related issues, at the core of which are the twin challenges of securing sustainable livelihoods today and tomorrow. The findings thus validated the 2-Horizon strategy put in place a few years earlier comprising an integrated response to development:
Desired Outcomes - Adarsh Habitations: Investing in such a holistic manner will establish enabling conditions for the emergence of 'Adarsh' Habitations, with indicators aligned to national priorities and goals, whether in the area of protection of natural resources or the development of human capabilities (Table 1).
Based on the 2 Horizons strategy, a number of interventions were designed in line with Adarsh gram objectives, each with its own measurable indices to achieve the desired goals. These are detailed in the Table 2 along with the estimated time it would take to achieve these targets.
Consultations on plans take place at two levels: (1) Annually, with the relevant business managers where the projects are located. The objective is to get a business perspective on community issues faced by them and which they would like to be addressed; and (2) Assessment of problems and needs of the community through detailed Need Assessment surveys normally done once in five years for on-going projects or at the start of each new intervention/entry into a new location. During the year, such assessments were carried out in 3 new locations. The main points that emerged from this exercise have been detailed in the section on stakeholder engagement.
The two perspectives are then mapped to find a common ground and the Company's view is shared with the NGOs to ensure that both stakeholders develop and work towards a common set of goals and agenda. Annual plans are thereafter finalised in consultation with programme implementing agencies (NGOs) and the community based institutions, keeping in mind the Company's focus areas, emerging needs of the catchment and funds available.
These plans are then aggregated and presented to the Management Committee of the Social Investments Programme (SIP) which scrutinises the proposals and forwards them to the Corporate Management Committee for its approval during the annual business plan presentations. These proposals are then presented to the CSR/Sustainability Board Committee which tables, for the Board's approval, the SIP Plan outlining interventions to be carried out during the financial year and the specified budgets therein. The Board deliberates and approves the CSR Plan with modifications that may be deemed necessary. The Company's Corporate Management Committee (CMC) reviews the implementation of the SIP and issues necessary directions from time to time to ensure efficient and effective execution of SIP in accordance with this Policy. In addition, the CMC provides a status update to the CSR and Sustainability Committee on the progress in implementation of the approved CSR Programmes. The CSR and Sustainability Committee reviews such reports and keeps the Board apprised of the implementation status of the same.
ITC's SIP acquires knowledge/technical know-how, promotes partnerships and fosters inclusive development in the Company's core operational geographies.
The projects promoted under the Social Investments Programme are spread over in 182 districts of 26 States/Union Territories.
The ITC e-Choupals were designed to deliver enhanced value to all participants in the value chain, including farmers by leveraging the power of Information Technology. With a judicious blend of click and mortar capabilities, ITC e-Choupals have triggered a virtuous cycle of higher productivity, higher incomes and enhanced capacity for farmer risk management, larger investments and better quality.
Village internet-kiosks managed by lead farmers, called 'sanchalaks', facilitate information access to other farmers, in their own local language. Real-time information on weather forecasts and market prices, customised knowledge on scientific farm practices and risk management are supplemented by the availability of quality farm inputs and price discovery of farm produce within the village. Such crucial information and inputs enhance the ability of farmers to take informed decisions, align their farm output with market demand and ensure higher quality and productivity. The aggregation of demand for farm inputs from individual farmers gives them access to high quality inputs from established manufacturers at fair prices.
Launched in June 2000, ITC e-Choupal is today the largest initiative among internetbased interventions in rural India. Its services reach out to more than 4 million farmers in over 35,000 villages through 6,100 kiosks spread across 10 states.
The Programme is aimed at providing food, fuel and fodder security through plantations by enabling financial, technical and marketing support to small and marginal farmers.
Commenced in 2001-02, the Programme has covered over 1.82 lakh acres under pulpwood plantation and over 73,000 acres under energy plantation (Table 3). To date, the Farm and Social Forestry Programmes have greened over 6.20 lakh acres, generating over 11.29 crores person-days of employment.
During the year, 1,48,236 lakh MT of wood was harvested (Table 4), of which 12% (17,460 MT) was FSC certified wood, which benefits farmers through premium payment. Total wealth generation was 57.05 crores for poor and marginal farmers.
Agro-Forestry (AF) continued to be given emphasis, accounting for more than 92% of area under eucalyptus. Its rising popularity, especially with smallholders, is because it optimises land-use for such farmers (see Box 1). Given the sizeable area under agro-forestry (82,255 acres), and to drive improvement in farm economics from intercrops, ITC partnered with the World Wide Fund for Nature, India (WWF India) to implement 'Better Cotton Initiative' in three districts of Telangana - Khammam, Warangal and Nalgonda - impacting over 1,800 farmers.
Impact Assessment: Agro-forestry in Andhra Pradesh & Telangana
The study undertook crop-wise details of costs of cultivation, yields and revenue from agro-forestry plots of farmers and found that it "not only helps the farming community in terms of assured and sustainable livelihood from per unit of land but also will help in conservation of soil, water and environment".
1. Agro-forestry model allows small & marginal farmers to utilise their field for tree plantations but brings in dual benefits of regular income from field crops and lump-sum income from tree crops.
2. Average annual net returns per hectare from agro-forestry was 36,000 compared to 25,000 from pure block plantations and 21,000 from pure field crops.
3. Based on the findings, the study has recommended promotion of more than one crop per season, crosslearning between different project locations to understand different inter-crop options and to introduce new crops that are not currently cultivated but are suitable for the agro-climatic zones.
Findings of study by Transgraph Consulting Services Pvt. Ltd., November 2016
The primary objective of Sustainable agriculture practices is to de-risk farming operations from erratic weather events through the promotion of climate smart agriculture premised on dissemination of relevant package of practices, adoption of appropriate mechanisation and provision of institutional services.
Choupal Pradarshan Khets (CPK), demonstration farms, disseminate scientific and technological research to the farmer comprising best practices, improved seed varieties and better production practices. The initiative covered around 1.50 lakh acres and directly benefitted more than 69,000 farmers with a multiplier effect through its wide-spread adoption.
Project data, April-October 2016
In addition, 1,280 Farmer Field Schools (FFS) and 326 Agri Business Centres (ABCs) continued to give extension services (Table 5), promoted advanced agripractices, arranged agri-credit linkages and established collective input procurement and agricultural equipment on hire, together impacting over 44,933 farmers. To enhance participation of women in decision-making related to agriculture, 134 women led FFS were formed with 3,920 women farmers while 85 agri-enterprises run by women were active in the year.
Towards our long-term pursuit of improving Soil Organic carbon, 3,931 compost units were constructed during the year taking the cumulative total to 34,799 (Table 5). In addition, a variety of technologies were introduced to reduce cultivation costs and usage of water like zero tillage in wheat and broad bed furrow in soya. The adoption of zero tillage is now widely accepted in the project areas as is evident from the wheat acreage of the last two years. The broad bed furrow method, piloted last year, also saw a significant increase in area under soya during the year, mainly because of the benefits of in situ moisture conservation.
This Programme champions water security for all stakeholders through scientific waterbalance assessments and community-based participation in planning and execution.
This initiative covered over 1.36 lakh acres (Table 6) in 2016-17, taking the total area under SMC to over 7.76 lakh acres. Cumulatively, 10,099 water harvesting structures have been constructed, creating fresh water-harvesting potential of 300.82 lakh CuM. Going forward, one of the major challenges is to bring about greater inclusion and equity (see Box 3 on the next page).
PPP projects, with various state governments and NABARD, have traditionally formed a significant part of the total watershed projects implemented by MSK. In 2016-17, a new MoU was signed with MGNREGS in Pali district (Rajasthan) to cover 12,358 acres under watershed development. With this, the total target area under such PPP projects in Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra is over 4.03 lakh acres. Of the total, work on 51% of the area has been completed so far. Projects in partnership with NABARD are near completion since they are the earliest amongst the PPPs signed, with nearly 92% of the total target having been achieved to date.
Findings from two studies of Watershed Projects in Rajasthan & Madhya Pradesh
Water governance to ensure equitable distribution of benefits has been a matter of concern in most watershed projects. Being alive to this issue, the Company commissioned two studies on rights over natural resources and benefit sharing among communities in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
The overall observations of the studies were that the watershed programmes had improved the water situation in project villages, which led to the emergence of multi-cropping systems. At many places, landless villagers also benefitted as daily wages had increased. The two studies, however, raised valid questions on the quality of governance and therefore its impact on inclusive development. It was found that:
Based on the findings, the studies made the following recommendations, which are being actioned:
Studies by Samarthan (Madhya Pradesh) & Development Support Centre (Rajasthan), October - December 2016
Included in this overall plan are 4 water-security projects at selected factory sites. ITC is collaborating with reputed institutions to assess the current water balance in the chosen locations and recommend solutions to achieve a Water Positive status for the project areas as a whole. The recommendations include watershed development, demand side management of water use, river basin revival and managed aquifer recharge. The current status of work at these units is shown in Table7.
2,060 acres was covered under biodiversity conservation through in situ regeneration of native species in 2016-17, thus taking the cumulative total to 11,803 acres. The focus was on reviving ecosystem services provided to agriculture by nature, which has witnessed considerable erosion in recent decades (details are provided in the section on biodiversity). With direct impacts on agriculture, such an approach makes farmers stakeholders in the conservation effort, thus enhancing the probability of success significantly.
Towards this end, a partnership was launched during the year with IUCN to develop a template for the implementation of ecologically responsible agriculture in diverse landscapes in Munger district (Bihar). IUCN has identified three distinct ecosystem clusters in Munger: Sadar - riverine; Kharagpur - forest & lake and Asarganj - pond (lacustrine).
The Animal Husbandry Programme provides an opportunity for farmers to convert an existing asset into a substantial supplementary income with the potential of growing into a sustainable source of livelihood. The programme provided extension services, including breeding, fodder propagation and training of farmers to increase their incomes through enhanced productivity of milch animals in 25 districts. During the year 2.28 lakh Artificial Inseminations were carried out which led to the birth of 1.01 lakh cross-bred progeny.
In addition, pilot projects on indigenous breed promotion were initiated during the year in Madhya Pradesh in partnership with 13 existing gaushalas. 'Dugdh Choupal' in Kapurthala (Punjab) demonstrates the commercial viability of having cattle farms with indigenous breeds with the intent of encouraging them to preserve indigenous cattle varieties. Working with lead farmers and other agencies, the endeavour is to enhance farmer economics through contemporary practices and access to quality dairy services.
This initiative is designed to provide a range of gainful entrepreneurial opportunities to poor women supported with financial assistance by way of loans and grants. Strong market linkages are attempted to ensure long-term sustainability.
Ultra-Poor Women: Initiated in 2014, a holistic intervention currently supports 10,200 ultra-poor women to promote their socio-economic mainstreaming. The Programme is currently operational in 8 districts of Bihar, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Rajasthan and Assam and has cumulatively impacted 13,800 women (Table 9). 3,600 women out of total, graduated during the year with significant progress on
Jhunu Rajbangshi of Mangaldoi, Assam
Jhunu was married early and became a mother in her teens. She and her family led a hard life devoid of money and comforts. Things started to fall apart when her husband was diagnosed with a severe liver ailment. In order to feed her husband and two daughters, Jhunu started working as a housemaid. However, that was not enough to give her family a decent living.
Things changed for the better when she enrolled in the ITC-MSK-Bandhan Programme, where she got to run her grocery cum tea stall on a state highway, just outside Mangaldoi. Soon her business started to bloom. And to attract more customers, she started cooking snacks and food as well.
Jhunu recently took a small shop on rent behind her tea stall to earn extra income. Here she keeps packed eatables and grocery items, and cooks meals too. Jhunu is happy that her kids have re-joined school and she is able to take care of her husband's medical expenses, and he now helps her in business too.
In her own words: "My life had become a living hell as I had an ill husband and two young daughters to look after. In a patriarchal society, it is very hard for a woman to step out of her home and work. Thanks to the ITC-MSK and Bandhan, my life has now changed completely. They gave me courage to run a business. I am not only taking good care of my family, but also expanding my business to secure our future. Today, people in my village give me more respect. From a 'kaamwali bai (maid)', I am a 'dukaan waali (shop owner)' now. No small feat indeed."
Income Jump: To 3,670 per month from the initial 1,500 per month
Initial Support: 10, 825
Secondary Assets: The value of her enterprise asset has increased to 20,000/- and she has taken a shop on rent.
Takeaway: This woman demonstrates how with the right training and guidance, the most disadvantaged can excel in a profession largely dominated by men in rural India.
outcome indicators in the areas of financial inclusion, literacy, health, water, sanitation and nutrition, besides income. 56% of the graduating women are earning more than 60,000 per annum from a base of less than 15,000 per annum (see Box 4 for impacts).
Self-Help Groups (SHGs): 496 SHGs were formed during the year with a membership of 6,398 women. Over 46,000 women were linked to individual bank accounts under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana and life insurance schemes under Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Yojana (PMJJY) and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Beema Yojana (PMSBY).
Micro-enterprise: 300 women in Chandauli district have been provided livelihood opportunities through a model that enables them to produce agarbattis at their homes itself along with easy access to quality raw material and market for their produce.
ITC's Education Programme is designed to provide children from weaker sections access to education with focus on learning outcomes and retention. Introduced in 2013- 14 in 14 factory locations in 11 states, the Read India Plus programme continues to bring about significant improvements in the learning levels of children in reading, number recognition and basic maths operations (see Box 5 for impacts on learning outcomes).
In 2016-17, 49,392 children were covered under the Primary education initiative (Table 10). Over and above this, 210 Supplementary Learning Centres were operational with focus on mainstreaming weak students/ students from marginalised communities into regular schools.
Improvement in infrastructure at identified government primary schools/anganwadis is an important feature of the programme with the aim of creating an attractive and enabling learning environment through 'child friendly schools'. In 2016-17, 160 primary schools were provided with infrastructure support taking the cumulative numbers till date to 1,482.
Sustainable Operations and Maintenance: The programme strengthened 276 School Management Committees (SMCs) to enable participation, ownership and involvement in sustainable maintenance of school infrastructure being provided by the Company. In several schools, contributions for sustainable operations and maintenance of infrastructure/sanitation facilities, creation of soap banks, capacity building of Head Masters, teachers and Child Cabinet members has also been initiated. In addition, 215 child cabinets were formed and strengthened across locations to drive cleanliness and hygienic practices in the schools.
ITC's Vocational Training Programme focuses on providing market relevant skills so as to make potential job seekers industry-ready and employable. The programme is being implemented around ITC's factories and Agri Business catchments in 29 districts of 17 states and has impacted 43,705 youth cumulatively. 39% of the youth were from the SC/ST communities and 35% were female students (Table 11).
The Programme offered courses in about 10 skills with the most sought after skills being hospitality, electrical, retail and bedside assistance which accounted for 66% of total enrolment. 71% of the students trained in 2016-17 have been placed so far with salaries ranging from 3,000 to 12,500 per month. The top four trades with highest placement records are hospitality, electrical, bedside assistance and computer skills.
The Company continues to work with the Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration (WGSHA) together with Dr TMA Pai Foundation to cater to the ever growing need for professionally trained human resources in the hospitality industry. WGSHA has been recently rated by CEO World Magazine amongst the top 50 hospitality schools in the world. In addition, since the inception of ITC Culinary Skills Training Centre, Chhindwara in 2014, 63 trainee chefs in five batches have successfully completed the 6-months Programme wherein cooking skills are imparted to youth from the lower economic strata.
Impact of Read India Plus Programme
The 'Annual Status of Education Report' (ASER) from Pratham is an annual survey on children's enrolment and basic learning levels for each district and state in India. It is the only annual source of information on children's learning outcomes available in India today.
Presented alongside are some of the key highlights of ASER 2016 report released in Jan 2017 for India as a whole and how the children in our project areas performed on the same parameters.
Data from Pratham project in ITC catchment areas, October - December 2016
The objective of the Programme is to promote a hygienic environment through prevention of open defecation and reduction in incidence of water-borne diseases. ITC has promoted low cost toilets on a cost sharing basis, coupled with high impact awareness campaigns, to ensure higher levels of ownership and behavioural change (see Box 6). During the year, 8,550 Individual Household Toilets were constructed (Table 12) in 22 districts of 14 states, in collaboration with the government's flagship programme, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, which provides a significant part of funds for toilet construction.
As a result of these efforts, by March 2017, 178 of the Project Core Villages/wards have been declared ODF by the government out of a total of 397 villages/wards where SIP has sanitation related interventions.
Evidence from Two Pan-India Studies of ITC Sanitation Projects
The Programme has been equally focused on interventions to enhance awareness and impact behaviour change on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH). Independent studies, to assess usage of sanitation facilities constructed by ITC, largely validated our approach, with 91% usage at the household level and 95% by all adult members of the household (see table below). Lack of usage tended to be the highest for children in the age range of 5-12 years.
Studies by iKOnet Research & Consultants Private Limited (for Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Uttarakhand & W Bengal); We Care Society (for Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh), October-December 2016
Potable water: To make hygienic and healthy water available to local communities in 4 districts of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, reverse osmosis water purification plants were set up in villages with poor quality water. The projects are run and maintained by the community in collaboration with the village panchayat, thereby making it a financially viable model. The beneficiaries pay for the water, which provides the revenues for the running and maintenance of the plant. 20 new RO plants were established in 2016/17 taking the total to 85, providing safe drinking water to over 1 lakh rural people.
Swasthya Choupal: The Company continued to enhance awareness on various health issues through a network of 300 women Village Health Champions (VHCs) who covered nearly 2 lakh women, adolescent girls and school children during the year. The programme is operational in 7 districts of Uttar Pradesh and 3 districts of Madhya Pradesh. The VHCs conducted over 5,000 village meetings and participated in over 2,000 group events, apart from making door-to-door visits focusing on aspects like sanitation, menstrual and personal hygiene, family planning, diarrhoea prevention and nutrition.
Hygienic practices: Through its 'Savlon Swasth India Mission', a mix of audio-visual aids, games and practical training was leveraged to encourage healthy hygiene habits amongst children. More than 9.5 lakh children from around 2,000 schools in 23 cities were covered during the year. Under the 'First Cry Programme', 60,000 mothers were made aware of hygienic practices in 1,500 hospitals.
Waste Recycling Programme: 'WOW - Well Being Out of Waste', inculcates the habit of source segregation and recycling among school children, housewives and general public as well as industries and business enterprises. Its aim is to promote a clean and green environment and provide a sustainable source of livelihood for ragpickers and waste collectors. During the year, in addition to Coimbatore, Chennai and Bengaluru, the programme was expanded to Hyderabad, Delhi, Tirupathi and Muzaffarpur. The programme covers over 64 lakh citizens, 25 lakh school children and 2,000 corporates. It creates sustainable livelihoods for 13,500 rag-pickers and waste collectors by propagating source segregation at the household level and facilitating effective collection mechanisms in collaboration with municipal corporations. It has also created over 60 social entrepreneurs for sustaining the initiative.
Solid Waste Management: These programmes are operational in 10 districts of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal. The primary focus remains on source segregation and minimising waste to the landfills. Home composting was piloted to drive waste management close to the generator so as to minimise the environmental impact and associated costs. The projects together covered 61,200 households and handled 6,033 MT of waste during the year (Table 13). Only 23% of the total waste, which is untreatable, was dumped in landfills. The Projects earned 7,79,539 per month as revenue from household levy, sale of compost and recyclables, which went towards meeting part of the administration and overhead costs.
Mangaldeep Green Temple Initiative
A new pilot on closed loop management of waste generated by a temple in Chennai was introduced during the year. Waste generated in the temple is processed to provide biogas to the kitchen and compost for its gardens. The waste generated is a mix of cow-dung from the temple gaushala and the offerings of flowers, milk, etc., from the devotees. The project envisioned making the temple premises zero-garbage by installing a 12 CuM biogas plant and bio-composter to manage the waste with community involvement and support of the temple authorities.
The project became operational in January 2017 with the bio-gas generated from temple waste used for cooking the prasad and the compost being used in the temple gardens. On an average, the bio-gas generated has replaced five commercial LPG cylinders per month leading to financial savings for the temple. The excess compost produced has the potential for sale and revenue generation.
From 100% of waste generated moving out of the temple prior to the intervention, currently approximately 73% of waste generated is recycled and reused within the temple, thus demonstrating a circular economy model of temple waste management.
The Policy on Responsible Advocacy provides the framework for the necessary interface with Government/Regulatory Authorities on matters concerning the various sectors in which the Company operates. The Company works with apex industry institutions that are engaged in policy advocacy, like the Confederation of Indian Industry, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India and various other forums including regional Chambers of Commerce. The Company's engagement with the relevant authorities is guided by the values of commitment, integrity, transparency and the need to balance interests of diverse stakeholders.
The Company, for its social development projects, organises meetings with the local administration and state governments to seek their participation and involvement. Their expert advice and counsel are also sought and approvals obtained, where required, for the planned interventions. The Company also engages in public-private-partnerships (PPP) with the state governments for such projects.
The CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development also interacts with the Government and policy makers to promote sustainable development and inclusive growth through corporate actions.
The CII-ITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development (CESD), established by ITC in 2006 in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), continues with its endeavours to promote sustainable business practices among Indian enterprises. It is steered by its Advisory Council, led by Mr Y.C. Deveshwar, Chairman, ITC Limited, and comprises members from industry, civil society and institutions, which provides strategic direction to the organisation.
The 11th edition of CESD's flagship programme, the Sustainability Summit, was held on 14-15 September 2016 in New Delhi with focus on some of the key Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and on building our national competitiveness. Key dignitaries included late Mr Anil Madhav Dave, the then Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Mr Piyush Goyal, Minister for Power, New & Renewable Energy, Coal and Mines, Mr Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog and Mr Yuri Afanasiev, UN Resident Coordinator & UNDP Resident Representative in India. The Summit was attended by over 56 speakers and 400 participants representing businesses, civil society, central and state governments, technocrats, academia, media and sustainability consultants.
The CII-ITC Sustainability Awards recognise and reward outstanding contributions by corporates to sustainable development in the country. In the last 11 years, these Awards have set benchmarks for excellence in sustainable business in India. In 2016, 96 companies applied for the Awards in the Corporate and Domain Excellence categories. Awards were declared at a ceremony on 5 December 2016 in Delhi, recognising 23 winners for excellence in sustainable business. Mr Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister for Human Resources presented the Awards to the winners.
CESD, in partnership with NITI Aayog, launched an initiative for improving the air quality in NCR on 17 November 2016 in New Delhi. The initiative was inaugurated by Mr Suresh P Prabhu, Union Minister for Railways, and Mr Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog. It completed the 44 months project on greening Indian retailers' supply chain and facilitating resource efficient practices within the retailer's operation. Some of the outcomes of the project include increased energy efficiency and reduced operational costs of retail stores. The NGO assessment framework and methodology was also finalised after putting it to pilot test. It is now available for companies in India to use. The framework is uniquely designed to identify capacities and capabilities of the assessee, and accordingly provide guidance to the sponsoring company if it should work with that implementing agency or not.
CESD undertook several consultancy assignments with large and small Indian firms to design sustainability management frameworks, develop business responsibility reports, devise carbon neutral strategies, undertake accounting of greenhouse gases, develop sustainability reports and undertake biodiversity assessments. It is currently assisting the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) on design and implementation of Energy Management Systems on a few lines.
'Small business - A big deal for biodiversity', released during the year by CESD, helps SMEs to understand the concept of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. A consolidated disclosure report 'Demonstrating Leadership in Biodiversity Management' of 16 members of India Business & Biodiversity Initiative (IBBI) was published during the year, which highlights their collective achievement of the previous two years. A sectorial publication has also been developed by IBBI to showcase business and biodiversity linkages in the construction, drugs & pharmaceuticals, food & agriculture, mining, oil & gas, and power and tourism sectors. Two IBBI member companies (ITC and BioCare Ltd) participated in the Business and Biodiversity Forum organised by CBD COP 13, Mexico on 2nd and 3rd December 2016. The IBBI also released a case study publication 'Reimagining Business for Biodiversity Enhancement: Case Studies from Indian Industry' and released a short film on three companies' (ITC, Godrej and DSCL Sugar) cases from Agriculture and Furniture sector.
The ITC Sangeet Research Academy (ITC-SRA) which was established in 1977, continues to be a true embodiment of ITC's sustained commitment to a priceless national heritage. The Company's pledge towards ensuring enduring excellence in Classical Music education has helped ITC-SRA adhere to the age-old 'Guru-Shishya Parampara'. The Academy has eminent musicians imparting quality Hindustani classical music to its scholars. Its list of Gurus includes living legends like Padma Vibhushan Vidushi Girija Devi, Padma Bhushan Buddhadev Dasgupta, Padma Shri Ulhas Kashalkar, Padma Shri Ajoy Chakrabarty and Uday Bhawalkar. The focus of the Academy is on nurturing exceptionally gifted students, carefully hand-picked across India, who receive full scholarships to reside and pursue music education in the Academy's campus. This has provided opportunities to young talent to train under the tutelage of the country's most distinguished stalwarts and has helped create the next generation of musical masters.