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The Sustainability and CSR of Vedanta Aluminium Limited

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Vedanta Aluminium, a business of Vedanta Limited, is India’s largest producer of aluminium, manufacturing more than half of India’s aluminium at 2.26 million tonnes in FY22. Vedanta is a leader in value-added aluminium products that find critical applications in core industries. With its world-class Aluminium Smelters, Alumina Refinery and Power Plants in India, the company fulfils its mission of spurring emerging applications of aluminium as the ‘Metal of the Future’ for a greener tomorrow.
Vedanta Aluminium has unveiled its Sustainable Development (SD) Report for FY 2021-22, titled ‘Accelerating to Net Zero’, on National Energy Conservation Day. The report encapsulates the company’s performance across key dimensions of sustainability, such as economic performance, supply chain management, climate change & energy management, air quality & emissions control, water management, biodiversity management, waste to wealth, safety, health & well-being, people excellence, community welfare, etc.
Vedanta Aluminium has also launched its maiden report on climate change, titled ‘Road to Net Zero Carbon’, aligned to the Taskforce for Climate-related Financial Disclosures or the TCFD framework. Through the report, the company aims to inform its stakeholders about business-related opportunities, climate management strategies, commitment and performance in the context of climate change.
Launching the reports, Mr Rahul Sharma, CEO of Aluminium Business, Vedanta Ltd., said, “We are pleased to launch the Sustainable Development Report and TCFD Report of Vedanta Aluminium for FY 2021-22, both of which highlight the progress in our climate action endeavours. We are on a mission to align incentives of growth with imperatives for the planet. Our determination to build a Net Zero climate-resilient aluminium business is equally matched by our commitment to improving the quality of lives of those around us, with the knowledge that both are contingent on the environment. And therefore, we have redesigned our ESG (Environmental, Social & Governance) roadmap with 2030 and 2050 milestone targets, with a focus on increasing renewable energy consumption, carbon reduction, water conservation and waste utilisation.”
In our series of Sustainability and CSR reports, let us look at the highlights of Vedanta Aluminium’s CSR initiatives in FY 2021-22.

1. Vedanta Skill School – Creating Livelihood Opportunities

The Vedanta Skill School program focuses on imparting vocational training to rural youth, dropouts, and the unemployed population of Chhattisgarh, with a special focus on our operational areas and linking them with gainful employment opportunities. The skill schools impart free residential training in six trades, including food & beverage, welding, sewing machine operation, solar PV technician, etc., through a 45-65 days training programme designed as per the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) guidelines of the Government of India. The first skill school was established in 2010 at Korba, and its resounding success led to the establishment of two more centres at Mainpat and Kawardha in the year 2017 and 2018, respectively. Till date, more than 10,000 youth from Chhattisgarh have been trained at the three skill schools and have found employment in various industries across the country. The project is aligned with 1 and 8 goals of sustainable development, i.e., No Poverty and Decent Work and Economic Growth

2. Nand Ghar

Nand Ghar is the flagship programme launched by Vedanta Limited in partnership with the Ministry of Women and Child Development, which aims to transform the lives of millions of women & children from socially disadvantaged sections of society. Nand Ghars are modernised anganwadis, working in the areas of eradicating child malnutrition, ensuring primary education of children, making quality healthcare accessible, and enabling women through skill development programmes. In Lanjigarh, the first Nand Ghar was established in November 2018 and in this reporting period, Vedanta has crossed the milestone of 218 Nand Ghars in Kalahandi, Rayagada, Ganjam and Dhenkanal districts of Odisha.
These Nand Ghars are positively impacting 7,883 children and 2,176 women from local communities. Three of these Nand Ghars are also ISO 9001:2015 certified. The ISO certification has been provided to the centres for offering quality facilities for healthy nutrition, immunisation, health check-ups, pre-school education and skilling for women after a comprehensive evaluation by UK-accredited Forum Limited.

3. Project Jeevika Samriddhi

At Jharsuguda, Vedanta launched Jeevika Samridhhi, a farm-based livelihood program, in 2017, with the objective of securing the economic prosperity of farming communities with improved land & water management and sustainable agriculture practices. The program aims to introduce small and marginal farmers to better, more efficient, and sustainable methods of farming, thereby increasing the quantum of yield and sustained return on agricultural investment. This project also augments irrigation infrastructure and promotes advanced agricultural practices and application of bio-fertiliser and pesticides, with an objective to make farming a remunerative profession.
Through this project, the Company has mobilised and impacted 330 farming households enrolled in 13 Farmers’ Producer Groups (25 farmers in each) in 5 villages of Jharusguda, namely Siriapali, Keldamal, Gudigaon, Katikela and Kurebaga. In FY 2022, more than 20 impactful trainings (4,400 training hours) were imparted to these farmers on topics such as crop planning & management, post-harvest management, package of practices, etc.
The impact of the project is evident in the increase in income levels of these farming households by 50% (from INR 25,000 to INR 40,000). 71 per cent of the farmers are engaged in cultivation round the year due to better irrigation facilities, which was earlier 45 per cent as they could only farm for about 180 days (6 months). Around 77 per cent of farmers have adopted cash crop cultivation, from 39 per cent. More than 89 per cent of the farmers have responded to an impact assessment survey stating that the trainings given to them are beneficial.

4. BALCO Medical Centre

While cancer treatment capabilities in India have increased over the past few decades, most facilities are concentrated around urban pockets. Looking at the rising incidence of cancer as a health threat and the lack of quality cancer care centres in tier 2 and 3 cities, Vedanta established BMC to provide affordable, comprehensive cancer care to all sections of society. The BALCO Medical Centre (BMC) is a state-of-the-art 170-bed ultra-modern, multi-modality diagnostic and therapeutic facility hospital in Raipur, Chhattisgarh. The hospital is sought-after for its advanced medical care facilities and renowned oncologists. It provides affordable, world-class, comprehensive cancer care to patients from all strata of society and treats them under various corporate and government schemes, including the Government of India’s Ayushman Bharat and the Government of Odisha’s Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana (BSKY).
To date, the hospital has treated 98,913 patients from across the country. With its substantial and impactful work, the hospital is on a mission to help create a cancer-free society, dedicating its expertise and resources to address the country’s massive demand-supply gap in cancer treatment, low awareness, lack of infrastructure and shortage of oncologists.

5. Net-Zero Commitment

With climate change impacting communities, ecology, and economies around the world, Vedanta Aluminum has taken up the ambitious target to become Net Zero Carbon by 2050 and Net Water Positive by 2030. In FY 2022, Vedanta Aluminium became India’s largest industrial consumer of renewable energy. The Company has achieved a 24 per cent GHG intensity reduction target of FY 2025, over the 2012 baseline, this year itself. Vedanta Aluminium’s net zero carbon commitment also includes plans to work with neighbouring communities on integrated watershed management and climate-smart agricultural practices to help them stay resilient in the face of climate change-related impact.

In Conclusion

Vedanta Aluminum is in line with the Vedanta Group’s commitment to participate in nation-building by contributing to sustainable development goals and carrying out impactful CSR initiatives.