Renewable energy is widely acknowledged as the most effective tool against climate change. The current state of renewable energy will serve as a solid foundation, but much more needs to be constructed on top of it in order to achieve the complete transition to renewable energy in India.
Since its inception in 1995, Suzlon has been synonymous with renewable energy and has been a consistent contributor to India’s green energy journey. In our #LetsTalkCSR series, we are evaluating the CSR initiatives of Suzlon Energy Limited.
About Suzlon Energy Limited
Since 1995, Suzlon has been regarded as a leader in developing Wind energy solutions. Suzlon Group has transformed and reinvented the Renewable Energy sector over more than 25 years and established a prestigious name for itself in product and technological innovation. Suzlon is powering a sustainable future for tomorrow with its expertise in wind energy systems with its strong presence in 18 countries across Asia, Australia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas.
Suzlon’s broad selection of durable products, backed by cutting-edge R&D and more than 20 years of experience, are made to provide customers with the best performance, highest yields, and highest return on investment possible. Suzlon’s myriad of programmes to safeguard the environment, build stronger communities, and drive responsible growth are all guided by the idea of sustainable development.
In Financial Year 2021-22, the company was not obligated to spend any amount on CSR under the Company’s Act. However, it voluntarily spent Rs. 0.94 Crores on its CSR initiatives. The company conducts its CSR programs primarily through the Suzlon Foundation, the CSR arm of the company.
CSR of Suzlon Energy Limited
The Suzlon Foundation, the Suzlon Group’s corporate social responsibility division, kept the social development ecosystem alive with its unique impact model, SUZTAIN.
Suzlon held more than 3,582 effective CSR events in FY22, reaching more than 310,000 villagers and 110,000 households throughout 555 villages. Suzlon’s CSR programmes were focused on the environment, empowerment, health, livelihood, education, and civic amenities. These projects were implemented through community consultation and collaboration with 73 organisations, including public, private, and corporate foundations.
Suzlon’s CSR Model
‘SUZTAIN’ is a unique approach that has matured from an existing provider-beneficiary development approach for development to a partnership approach wherein local communities, development functionaries, employees, company CSR teams, government departments, and NGOs work together in planning, implementing, monitoring and sustaining village level sustainable development interventions. The approach is implemented through the ‘Engage-Empower-Sustain’ principles of Suzlon’s CSR.
The CSR program’s long-term expected impact in remote rural areas is to form, strengthen and institutionalise the Village Development Committees (VDC). These empowered community-based institutions will steer the village’s development process over time when Suzlon’s CSR exits from the town to focus on other unmet strategic development needs of the area. The VDC is formed to bring collectivism to the village. The VDC then undertakes a journey through a seven-stage social engineering and behaviour change process through a systematic handholding with knowledge, awareness, skills, and network connections.
The mid-term expected impact of the CSR program is to address other significant but the unarticulated need of the most neglected persons of the community like the old, under-fives, sparrows, local civic environment, specially-abled and vulnerable adolescent girls who will never find their needs articulated through the VDC due to the village power dynamics and lack of social awareness in the initial period. Thus, Suzlon’s CSR has programmed the “Zero” initiatives undertaken across the states as and when resources are available. These include the following initiatives towards achieving:
– Zero garbage – Managing plastic and wet waste responsibly and sustainably;
– Zero sparrow deaths – Creating bird nests, feeders and water troughs;
– Zero waste – Recyclable waste materials into innovative rural use products;
– Zero darkness – Lighting up un-electrified households and hamlets;
– Zero malnutrition – Reducing malnutrition deaths of under-fives with Vitamin A and de-worming tablets;
– Zero drought – Trees plantation and Water conservation enhancing ground water table;
– Zero COVID – Supporting with devices and materials to prevent COVID infection.
The immediate expected impact is the integrated development of the community by conducting activities that address the immediate basic needs of the entire village. The basket of interventions is very diverse, unique and customised for every village depending on the needs of its people. The implementation is through full community participation, harnessing traditional local know-how and modern practices. Each of the activities conducted under the CSR program is categorised into one of the six thematic areas: Civic amenities, Education, Environment, Health, Livelihood and Empowerment.
During FY22, Suzlon Foundation planted 29,061 trees of 63 different local species. The fruit, fodder, and shade-giving trees, horticulture and agroforestry plants enrich the biodiversity, enhance health, and improve livelihoods. Almost 60% of plants survived due to committed caretakers and well-defined monitoring plans. 200 Tree guard protection was provided for the survival of roadside trees. Five hundred trees were planted with less water by using a drip irrigation system. Through water and soil moisture conservation activities, Suzlon conserved 26, 59,039 cubic meters of water, mainly in drought prone areas. Suz-HOOK was developed to bring behavioural change in rural households under the ‘Zero Garbage’ programme, which resulted in collecting and recycling 2,083 kgs of plastic waste. Under the ‘Zero Sparrow Deaths’ programme Suzlon installed 10,444 bird conservation units like nests, water troughs and bird feeders, benefiting 49,531 birds. The ‘Save the sparrows’ campaign was launched, and 930 stakeholders participated, with 1,718 bird conservation activities that helped 5,770 birds of various species. One thousand three hundred fifty-five stakeholders were involved in 87 moves in the World Environment Day celebrations. 2,508 kgs of recyclable waste materials were converted into innovative products like Library cupboards, Roofs for houses, dustbins, bird nests and bird feeders. These are useful for students, birds and people. Over 27,000 villagers benefited from the increase in water availability due to water conservation and recharge structure-based interventions like check dam repair, bore-well recharge, and pond desilting. In Karnataka, LED (Light Emitting Diode) bulb support for street lights and Solar Home UPS (Uninterruptible power supply) was provided. 4,331 cloth bags were provided to the villagers and shopkeepers to avoid plastic bag usage. 119 dustbins were placed to collect 5 kgs of garbage per month benefitting more than 11,000 villagers.
Empowering the Citizens
Suzlon had formed over 500 VDCs (Village Development Committee) and due to the pandemic there was a need for renewed efforts in strengthening the village development committees (VDC) in 8 states of India. Focus was given to selected VDCs on priority. In a structured manner, these have aligned with the 7-stage empowerment process and also VDC meetings have been conducted. After ascending to stage four, 59 VDCs have started livelihood activities like palm craft, agro-service centre, music system rental, construction tool rental, computer training centre, traditional grain seed sale and tailoring unit etc. 53 out of 59 VDCs (90%) are in a profitable stage and will soon be able to contribute financially to the village development. Suzlon firmly believes that these VDCs will soon start working towards sustainable development of the villages after Suzlon Foundation exits, to focus on other strategic needs. Additionally, Suzlon has consistently worked towards empowering rural women to make them financially and socially independent through the Self Help Groups (SHG). The purpose of this initiative is to improve women’s participation and development. This will further enable the upliftment of their families and villages. This year, Suzlon supported over 1,500 SHG women members through SHG awareness and training sessions. 10 villagers were trained in RO plant management in Andhra Pradesh.
An exposure visit for 27 SHG Leaders was organised to learn a new innovation in Gujarat State. 11,030 volunteers were trained regarding awareness about available resources under Government schemes in Gujarat. 74 SHG members participated in leadership training. 12,135 Villagers were aware of the status of their village happenings due to installation of 33 notice boards in the Gujarat State. Due to 14 sound systems installed in the villages in Gujarat state, there was increase in community mobilization.
During FY22, total 19,649 patients were treated. 7,316 women were reached under different health initiatives, 1,531 patients were covered under health camps. The provision of kitchen gardens for 21 households enabled access to healthy and nutritious vegetables. 11 Mattresses were provided to Orphanage for better comfort. 180 women received Electric Cooktop support resulting into drudgery reduction. Distribution of Government approved sanitary pads to 337 women & reusable cloth pad distribution to 805 women enabled access to feminine hygiene products in Gujarat State. In Gujarat, Open Gym support facilitated 230 children to perform various types of exercises resulting in better health status.
In Gujarat state, Suzlon treated 560 patients through supply of Vitamin C & Zinc as a preventive action promoting better heath. Also awareness and counselling sessions on personal hygiene and sanitation were conducted for students in Andhra Pradesh and Anganwadi Health Awareness Sessions were conducted for pregnant women in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Rajasthan state. Blood pressure and sugar diagnostic camps were conducted for villagers in the Karnataka state
This year Suzlon has focused on farmers under the livelihood initiatives reaching over, 6,855 farmers. 9,602 horticulture plants were provided to 1,100 farmers. Agriculture pipeline support was given to 120 farmers in Maharashtra. This resulted in 2,00,000 litres of increased water availability. 70 farmers in Maharashtra yielded 20,000 kgs fodder through fodder development for better health and production from cattle. In Madhya Pradesh income increased for 20 farmers due to Front line demonstration plots. In Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka 154 farmers cultivated green fodder for increase in milk production. 112 villagers / SHG members benefitted under tailoring unit as Income Generation activity through SHG/VDC in Gujarat, AP and Tamil Nadu. 5,231 farmers produced over 2,00,000 kg of manure and thereby were able to increase their income due to Liquid decomposer support. Cumulative income increased for 24 VDC by ₹ 2.50 Lac through various VDC Income Generation activities as they had already reached stage 4 of the VDC empowerment milestone. 2,298 animals were treated through vaccination and 750 livestock animals were fed by fodder distribution. 500 SHG members supported for Networking of SHG products through a common commerce platform in Tamil Nadu state.
In Kutch 49 village women & 8 prisoners (under a rehabilitation program) revived Kala Cotton spinning Craft based Livelihood, a traditional craft and sustained the traditional craft practices and 85 village women participated through an intervention to make new goods from waste plastic. Also, capacity building of 278 embroidery craftswomen for working with commercial markets in villages of the Lakhpat region was done to sustain embroiderers and their rich craft heritage. Sewing Machine support was provided to 25 women as livelihood support. Two Sewing machine centres with 30 sewing machines were established for tailoring training for over 600 women. 25 women were provided Groundnut Oil Processing Machine support to process 200 kgs of groundnut oil in Gujarat.
During FY22, 16,466 students were supported through various activities. 56 students benefitted with better posture due to the supply of school benches. 748 students stood much to gain from school furniture and fixtures.
In Gujarat, 676 students learned computer skills. Education kits consisting of notebooks and accessories were provided to 5,161 students. In Karnataka, 2 students were provided bicycle support for timely transportation to school. 765 students in Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat received better knowledge through a school awareness program.
Providing Civic Amenities
Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs were provided to 300 households, 60 LED bulb support was provided for street lights, 5 solar street lights, two solar lighting for school benefitting 60 students and solar home UPS was supported to 51 families. Due to this, there was a saving of over 2,70,000 hours of conventional energy. 10,950 cubic meters of water was made potable for drinking purposes for 30 fire service department personnel in Andhra Pradesh. 10,000 cubic meters of drinking water was made available for 200 villagers in Block Development Office through the installation of a fully automatic drinking water cooler in Gujarat. 5,000 cubic meters of water became available through fully automatic drinking water coolers for 1,500 villagers in Gujarat. A paucity of water storage structures was reduced for 72 villagers and 20 cubic meters of water was available through a water tank installation in Gujarat. 3,000 cubic meters of water became available Water tank Installation in school for 60 students in Gujarat. In Andhra Pradesh, 9,000 cubic meters of water was made available for 70 villagers through bore well pump installation. 19 cubic meters of water was made potable for drinking purposes in Andhra Pradesh through RO plants benefitting 25 villagers.
The health status of 3,000 patients was monitored through tablet computer support at 2 Primary Health Centres (PHCs) in Gujarat. 2,237 youths are using sports kits. 65 Anganwadis received equipment support covering 1,582 children. A community shed was constructed in Gujarat for get-togethers of villagers for one village benefitting 1,105 villagers. A play material kit was provided for 45 children at Anganwadi (child care centre) in Gujarat. 854 innovative products out of waste conversion were found to be useful by households, students, and birds. 3 closed-circuit television. (CCTV) cameras were installed in 3 police stations to detect crime/ accidents on roads. 61 specially-abled persons were supported with interventions like hearing machine, wheelchair, small shops, walking crutches and stick etc. for a better quality of life. They also received livelihood support in the form of sewing machines, cow, goat and buffalo
A cow shed was constructed for 300 cows in Gujarat. Goushala Support-Trolley for food was provided in Madhya Pradesh that benefited 1,200 cows
During the pandemic and the intermittent lockdown, activities to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and mitigate its impacts were implemented. During this year over 43,000 villagers received COVID-19 Control Kit support, which consists of hand sanitiser, hand gloves, pulse Oxi-meters Temperature Screening Guns, and Masks along with awareness sessions about this pandemic were conducted frequently. 937 persons were tested in PHC in Gujarat through COVID-19 Rapid Antigen kits that were provided and also Laboratory testing equipment support (AGD SEMI AUTO ANALYSER) was provided to Ayush Seva Sansthan Hospital Pandhro catering to the poor to conduct tests of COVID-19 and other patients. A refrigerator was provided to Health Department Gujarat to store different types of medicines to treat COVID-19 patients. 20 personal protective equipment (PPE) kits were provided to sanitary workers in Tamil Nadu. The training was provided to women for making Reusable cloth sanitary pads & reusable masks resulted which resulted in an increase in income. Reusable cloth masks were also distributed to 6,630 villagers. 357 women benefitted under Revolving Fund support for Providing Reusable Sanitary Pads.
Through its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability strategy, Suzlon is committed to achieving the UN- Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), UN Global Compact Principles, and National Voluntary Guidelines (NVGs) since 2008. Suzlon with its measurable, impactful and self-sustaining CSR activities, aims at supporting rural and underprivileged communities to become self-reliant.