When it comes to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), one company which has made a clear commitment is Ingersoll Rand India Ltd. Their ‘2030 Sustainability Commitment’ is designed around supply chain and operations, world-leading products, systems and services, and enhancing the quality of life. The CSR Journal asked the firm’s Chairman and Managing Director, Amar Kaul, to elaborate.
Tell us about the CSR policy of Ingersoll Rand India.
We are passionate about creating a better future and are committed to innovation, building advanced technology and sustainability. Complying with the revised Companies Act and changing paradigm of CSR in India, Ingersoll Rand India formulated a comprehensive CSR Policy that continues to focus on initiatives covering Education, Healthcare, Livelihood and Sustainability.
We are working towards achieving our goals and building a sustainable society around us. We believe in collaborating with and converging the resources of the government, private sector, social enterprises and the communities through Public-Private-Partnership approach to deliver solutions that will improve lives.
Each year, Ingersoll Rand contributes both time and financial support to the communities in which we live and work. We will continue to align our philanthropy and community outreach efforts with our core business strengths.
Which implementing partners is Ingersoll Rand India working with?
Through NSDC, we are working with multiple training partners such as Orion Edutech (PMKK Center), Amass Skill Venture and IL&FS to implement our projects. The youth have been placed across automotive and healthcare sectors. Some of the major employers are MAX Hospital, Care 24, Hema Engineering Industries Ltd., Rockman Industries, Falcon Force Pvt. Ltd., Eglo India Pvt. Ltd and Acme Locks Ltd.
How could CSR help India achieve the SDGs?
In September 2015, India along with 192 other countries signed the SDGs. Around the same time, India became one of the early countries in the world to roll out a CSR law on eligible corporations under the Companies Act 2013.
The SDGs and the Indian CSR regulation have a tremendous potential to develop a cohesive sustainable growth model. In fact, according to a KPMG India report titled ‘Leveraging CSR to achieve SDGs’ in December 2017, it has been noted that CSR trends in the top 100 NSE listed companies (as per market cap) show a significant increase in the initiatives that are aligned with national priorities.
The SDG goals bring together players from all sectors for pursuing the common vision of sustainable development and address socio-economic and environmental challenges. This calls for collaborative action by government and business and the civil societies wherein they can mutually foster solutions for a common goal.
The SDGs have thus helped in shaping CSR discussions as a strategic retort rather than philanthropy. Some of the top national priorities as stated by the government include skill development, health and hygiene, clean and safe water, thus providing an opportunity for businesses to contribute to social development and sustainability as they can channelize their spending towards achieving SDGs by 2030.
Which of your company’s goals are aligned to the SDGs?
At Ingersoll Rand, sustainability is at the very foundation of our business. In addition to reducing the impact of our operations and portfolio, we prioritize the SDGs that are most relevant to our expertise, business objectives, and citizenship goals and use them as part of our sustainability targets.
Aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), our priorities help us contribute to the work of governments and communities and other businesses around the world. Globally, the company will continue momentum and create positive impact through three actions by 2030:
– Scale technology, innovation and sustainability strategies to enable more efficient customer solutions. This includes reducing the customer carbon footprint by one gigaton1 CO2e– equivalent to the annual emissions of Italy, France and the United Kingdom combined.
– Transform its supply chain and operations to have a restorative impact on the environment including achieving carbon neutral operations, zero waste to landfill and a 10% absolute reduction in energy consumption, and giving back more water than we use in water-stressed areas.
– Increase opportunity for all, strengthening economic mobility and bolstering the quality of life of our people and those in the communities where we operate and serve. This includes achieving gender parity in leadership roles and a workforce reflective of our community populations, maintaining livable market-competitive wages and progressive benefits; and broadening community access to well-being services including food/nutrition, housing and shelter, transportation, education and climate comfort.
Please explain your partnership with NSDC to train youth. What is the module of the training and who decides it?
As a part of our CSR interventions in India, Ingersoll Rand has partnered with National Skill Development Fund, a special fund set up under the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, to support vocational training at three National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) partner centers in Delhi and Gurgaon. This is part of a three-year commitment to train more than 1,100 youth with a contribution of approximately INR 2.2 crores.
This flagship youth training program is designed to enable a large number of Indian youth to take up industry-relevant skill training that will help them secure a better livelihood. Three key job roles have been earmarked, including CNC Operators, Quality Controller (QC) and General Duty Assistant (GDA). So far, around 700 trainees have completed their course for these roles. Further, we are also working towards pre-defined targets to include 500 women trainees to help them gain financial independence.
NSDC, through its skill ecosystem, works on the module of the training to ensure that the courses run in these centres are aligned to the National Skill Qualification Framework (NSQF), a competency-based framework that organizes all qualifications according to a series of levels of knowledge, skills and aptitude.
The Sector Skill Councils, which are an autonomous industry-led body set up by NSDC and come under the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, are responsible for this. The program also embeds soft skills as well as digital and financial learning modules. Post this, the Sector Skill Councils prepare and validate the content across small, medium and large industries to ensure that the curriculum is as per industry demand. The NSDC also ensures the quality of the training and management of the structured skill development programme.
Tell us about other CSR projects by Ingersoll Rand India.
We have partnered with Akshaya Patra to support their mid-day meal program for school children. This partnership aims to promote basic education of underprivileged children by addressing the root cause of illiteracy, poverty and hunger.
In the field of education, we have partnered with Agastya Foundation to facilitate hands-on science education among underprivileged children. Dating back to 2013, the partnership aims to address the challenges in the rote-based learning system by propagating a creative temper among the disadvantaged student community.
We realize that besides quality education, the need for employment for the educated-unemployed youth of our country is another critical area to focus and leverage India’s demographic dividend. That’s what led us to include livelihood generation through skill development as one of our focus areas for community development.
Continuing our focus on community development through environmental sustainability, Ingersoll Rand India has adopted areas of land in Gurgaon for supporting green plantation and maintenance. This project is run in association with Uthaan NGO. We also support some chosen projects of Sulabh International Social Service Organisation in support of Government of India’s Clean India Movement.
What measures has the company taken for more diversity and inclusion?
In March 2017, Ingersoll Rand joined the Paradigm for Parity coalition, the first of our peer group to do so. By joining the coalition, we pledged our commitment to bring gender parity to our global corporate leadership structure by 2030.
We followed up by pledging to cultivate diversity and inclusion in the workplace through the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion. We have a CEO-level goal tied to our winning culture and diversity and inclusion. The goal encompasses core leadership development for all levels and implementation of Progressive, Diverse and Inclusive (PDI) action plans in our businesses and functions.
We have institutionalized some focused policies and initiatives aimed at hiring, growing and retaining diverse talent. One such initiative is the Sponsoring Women to Success program, where a senior leader is mapped with chosen potential women talent.
To encourage women in the industry and community, we have a special focus on furthering diversity across our CSR interventions in the country. All our projects constitute a minimum 30% representation of women. Under our skill development project, we are training around 500 women for industry placement to gain financial independence. We are also focusing on the girl child in our other projects through interventions in STEM and mid-day meal programs.
Elaborate on how the company practices responsible business in India.
Our commitment to sustainability extends to the environmental impacts of our people, operations, and products and services. With this aim, we have recently introduced the Next Generation EcoWiseTM portfolio of products, using HFO refrigerants with near zero ODP & very low-GWP refrigerants without compromising on energy efficiency and safety. In India, we are the market leaders and first movers in offering Low GWP sustainable chillers.
Our focus on sound environmental, safety and health operating practices is leading to decreased use of hazardous substances; reduced waste and emissions; improved energy and water conservation; greater reuse and recycling of materials; and prevention of accidents and injuries across our operations.
Ingersoll Rand India undertakes various initiatives in the endeavour to achieve its sustainability commitments. Sharing an example from our Sahibabad plant, we are working towards improving water management in the operations and have created four rainwater harvesting wells, which have collected over 1.2 million gallons of water since 2017, helping to offset 75% of the water used in the facility.
We continue to find ways to reduce the company’s impact on the environment and follow sustainability throughout our businesses.