The 6th edition of The CSR Journal Excellence Awards is all set to be held on the 9th of December 2023 at the Bombay Stock Exchange in Mumbai. The CSR Journal Excellence Awards aims to honour innovative and best practices in Corporate Social Responsibility, recognising the best practices in six categories. These are Education & Skill Training, Women Empowerment & Child Welfare, Environment, Agriculture & Rural Development, Health & Sanitation and Sports.
As the world grapples with pressing environmental challenges, world leaders are convening at COP 28 to address climate change and emphasise the importance of environmental conservation. Against this global backdrop, the CSR initiatives nominated for the Environment category gain heightened significance, reflecting a collective commitment to sustainable practices.
This year’s top three nominees in the Environment category, DCB Bank Limited, Coca-Cola India Foundation, and Dabur India Limited, stand out for their exceptional contributions. Each nominee, driven by a dedication to environmental sustainability, has implemented impactful CSR projects. These initiatives not only align with the urgent global discussions at COP 28 but also exemplify a commitment to fostering positive change on a local and global scale.
Transitioning from the global context to the specifics of the nominated CSR projects, let’s delve into the details of how DCB Bank Limited, Coca Cola India Foundation, and Dabur India Limited have distinguished themselves in the realm of environmental conservation and CSR.
Climate Mitigation Project by DCB Bank Limited
DCB Bank Ltd. is dedicated to operating and expanding its business in an environmentally sustainable and socially responsible manner. The bank emphasises maintaining a high level of corporate behaviour towards investors, customers, employees, and the community it serves. Recognising the urgency of addressing environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles, the bank is actively engaged in promoting a sustainable future.
DCB Bank Ltd.’s exceptional CSR project, the “Climate Mitigation Project,” has secured its place in the top three contenders for The CSR Journal Excellence Awards 2023 in the Environment category.
The “Climate Mitigation Project” distinguishes itself with its focus on installing biogas plants in rural households in Telangana, India. This initiative goes beyond addressing environmental concerns by significantly improving various aspects of life, including health, education, and economic empowerment, particularly for women. The project’s holistic approach is a testament to its comprehensive nature, covering social, economic, and environmental dimensions.
Key Highlights of the Project
Between July and October 2022, 100 biogas plants were installed in rural households in the combined Adilabad District. This initiative aimed to provide bio-fertilizer, or “black gold,” to tribal and indigenous marginal and small farmer households, promoting the adoption of cleaner energy sources for cooking and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The project successfully decreased the reliance on wood fuel from nearby forests, consequently lowering Human-Wildlife Conflict (HWC). By transitioning rural women from unclean cooking fuel to biogas, the quality of indoor air improved, positively impacting the long-term health of women and children by eliminating indoor air pollution.
Additionally, the installation of biogas plants reduced the burden on women and children who previously had to collect and carry firewood. This improvement in household chores led to better school attendance for children, as meals could be prepared on time. The project also contributed to forest conservation by avoiding the need to cut trees for firewood. Families benefited from enriched organic fertilizers provided by the biogas plants, offering an alternative to chemical fertilizers and pesticides. This not only reduced agricultural expenses but also protected farmers from falling into debt.
Furthermore, the initiative had positive effects on the economic and social conditions of women in the family, enhanced biodiversity in both forests and farmland and decreased the frequency of irrigation needed for agricultural lands due to the improved water retention capacity of the biogas slurry. Overall, the installation of biogas plants had multifaceted benefits, ranging from environmental conservation to socio-economic improvements in rural households.
The project received a positive impact assessment that highlights its success in reducing indoor air pollution, saving firewood, enhancing women’s economic conditions, and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. The consideration of various indicators aligns seamlessly with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), showcasing tangible benefits experienced by project beneficiaries.
By contributing to SDGs such as No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Gender Equality, Decent Work and Growth, Sustainable Consumption and Production, Climate Action, and Life on Land, the project actively pursues immediate positive changes and sets the foundation for long-term sustainability. The bank’s commitment to Gold Standard certification underscores its dedication to ensuring lasting positive impacts and fostering partnerships for future replication. The “Climate Mitigation Project” stands as a shining example of DCB Bank Ltd.’s unwavering commitment to environmental sustainability and social responsibility.
Clean Destination – Solid waste management project for villages in the Panna National Park buffer zone and gates of the park by Coca Cola Foundation
Coca-Cola’s holistic sustainability approach addresses social, environmental, and economic dimensions, emphasising that enduring and transformative change necessitates a comprehensive strategy. Coca-Cola’s commitment extends to minimizing its environmental footprint and empowering diverse individuals and communities connected to the brand, including farmers, employees, and local communities.
In the race for The CSR Journal Excellence Awards 2023 in the Environment category, “Clean Destination” initiative by Coca-Cola Foundation has emerged among the top 3 projects, standing out for its solid waste management initiative.
The “Clean Destination” project stands out for its strategic positioning within the precincts of a national park and its outreach to 30 surrounding villages, where the absence of waste management infrastructure presents a pressing issue. This unique location is not only a testament to the project’s foresight but also a conscious effort to address the challenges posed by tourism-related waste generation in such ecologically sensitive areas. Leveraging the pristine beauty of the surroundings, the initiative aims not only to manage waste effectively but also to serve as a powerful platform for spreading awareness about the importance of sustainable living and environmental conservation.
The implementation approach of the project is characterized by its comprehensive, end-to-end strategy. This encompasses various facets of waste management, from collection and transportation to infrastructure development and responsible disposal. In strict adherence to the Solid Waste Management Rules of 2016, the project emphasizes decentralized waste management and resource recovery. Key components include the establishment of waste collection centres, the deployment of motorized vehicles for door-to-door collection across 30 villages, the installation of waste segregation bins at tourist spots, and the incorporation of wet waste composting units. To catalyze behavioural change and promote waste segregation among tourists, the project employs extensive Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) campaigns.
The partnership model adopted by the project is noteworthy, as it fosters collaboration with multiple stakeholders. The involvement of the Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board, alongside various state government departments, underscores a shared commitment to the initiative. Moreover, aligning with larger national missions such as the ‘Clean Destinations’ initiative under the Ministry of Tourism, Madhya Pradesh, and the ‘Swachh Bharat’ mission of the Government of India, the project integrates itself into a broader ecosystem of sustainability and cleanliness efforts. This multi-stakeholder approach not only ensures the successful implementation of the project but also emphasizes community engagement as a key factor for its long-term success.
In terms of impact and achievements, the project has already demonstrated significant strides. Specifically, Coca-Cola’s door-to-door collection efforts have effectively diverted 5.2 tonnes of dry waste from improper disposal in 11 villages during the year 2022-23. The meticulous sorting process implemented by the project identified 2.3 tonnes of recyclable waste out of the total 2.5 tonnes of dry waste, underscoring its dedication to responsible waste management practices. As of now, the dry waste collection process is actively operational in 24 out of the targeted 30 villages, signalling ongoing progress and indicating the potential for a more extensive positive impact in the future.
My 10 kg Plastic by Dabur India
Dabur, as a purpose-led organization, emphasizes sustainability by adapting to evolving consumer needs while prioritizing environmental preservation. The company is dedicated to reducing its environmental footprint and has set ambitious goals in the Environment, Social, and Governance (ESG) domain. In the fiscal year 2022-23, Dabur achieved the milestone of being the first Indian consumer goods company to become Plastic Waste Positive, recycling 35,000 MT of post-consumer plastic waste nationwide. The integration of electric vehicles for last-mile distribution aligns with their mission for Net Zero by 2045. Dabur also aims for a 30% reduction in Water Intensity by 2025-26 and becoming a Water Positive Enterprise by 2030. Their community development initiatives have positively impacted 2.7 million individuals, with plans to reach 5 million by 2030.
The My 10 Kg Plastic campaign is a community-driven initiative aimed at combatting plastic pollution in cities. With over 150 housing societies in Delhi-NCR actively participating, the project has cultivated pollution warriors within communities. Over 300,000 individuals, predominantly led by women, are associated with the initiative. In the 2022-23 period alone, 41,329 Kg of plastic waste from households in Delhi-NCR was collected. The project has amassed a total of over 100,000 kg of plastic waste, sent for recycling or processing. Expanding its impact, the campaign has reached Jammu (J&K) with local municipality support. Initiated in response to the significant per capita plastic waste generation in India, the project empowers households to actively participate in plastic waste recycling, urging citizens to collect and send their plastic waste for recycling through the program’s collection agents, fostering Plastic Waste Neutral Citizens.
The CSR project was initiated in response to the significant per capita plastic waste generation in India, currently standing at 10 kg, according to CPCB. Despite household awareness about waste segregation, there was a lack of knowledge regarding the various types of plastic waste generated. Additionally, households faced challenges in accessing proper disposal solutions, leading to the mixing of plastic waste with wet waste destined for landfills.
In conclusion, the CSR Journal Excellence Awards 2023 are set to honor exceptional commitments to environmental sustainability by DCB Bank Limited, Coca Cola India Foundation, and Dabur India Limited. Join us on December 9th at the Bombay Stock Exchange in Mumbai to celebrate these impactful initiatives. Your presence will add to the significance of acknowledging and promoting corporate social responsibility.