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Top CSR Projects in Chennai

Chennai, also known as Madras, is one of the major cities of India in the state of Tamil Nadu. The city is nicknamed the ‘Detroit of India’ as it houses more than one-third of India’s automobile industry. The city is also home to the Tamil film industry, making it a major film production centre. The presence of such economic centres has also made Chennai a favourable destination for CSR initiatives.
In FY 2021-22, Chennai was the top recipient of CSR funds in Tamil Nadu. The district received a total of Rs. 673.95 Cr. from 962 companies in the last fiscal year. The top three sectors of focus for CSR initiatives in the district were Health, Education and Environment, which received Rs. 356.12 Cr., Rs. 206.39 Cr., and Rs. 76.15 Cr. respectively. The top three spenders in the district were SPL Infrastructure Private Limited (Rs. 146.3 Cr.), Zoho Corporation Private Limited (Rs. 34.02 Cr.), and Cholamandalam Investment and Finance Company Limited (Rs. 20.79 Cr.).

Top CSR initiatives in Chennai


CSR of REC Limited

REC Limited, a Central Public Sector Enterprise under the Ministry of Power and a leading NBFC has installed a 2 MW rooftop solar plant at IIT Madras. The solar plant generates around 3.15 million units of clean energy every year, thus helping IIT Madras reduce its carbon footprint. For this initiative, REC Limited was honoured with the ‘Innovative Technology Development Award’ at the ‘Building India 2047: Technology for Better Tomorrow’, an IIT Madras Corporate Social Responsibility Summit in February, 2024.
REC Limited, through its CSR arm, REC Foundation, maintains a strong commitment to CSR and prioritizes projects that have a profound impact on society, with an impetus on sustainable development goals and national priorities.


With the aim of supporting India’s commitments towards a cleaner, greener, and healthier tomorrow; and as outlined in UN SDG #12, Sunfeast YiPPee! is creating awareness amongst school children on plastic waste management in line with its Brand mission of creating ‘A Better World’. Through the ‘YiPPee! Better World Programme’, 2.5 lakh students across 400 schools in Chennai have been educated on plastic waste management practices, as per an announcement by ITC.
This initiative is designed to bring behavioural change in students across Chennai through on-the-ground awareness programmes in schools about plastic waste, its impact on the environment, and strategies to reduce, reuse, and recycle plastic waste. Students are encouraged to collect household plastic waste and to deposit it at designated collection points in schools. The plastic waste collected contributed towards the creation of benches and desks made from recycled plastic. These benches are being deployed in schools that need this infrastructure. One such school is Rani Meyyammai Girls Higher Secondary School in Chennai, where 100 benches and desks made from upcycled plastic waste have been deployed.

CSR of Thryve Digital Health

Community dogs, often referred to as stray dogs, are a major part of every Indian city’s ecosystem. However, with the passage of time, there is a decreasing attention toward the welfare of these canine neighbours who voluntarily and selflessly guard the cities, especially the residential areas.
Thryve Digital Health recently set a new World Record for vaccinating the largest number of community dogs in a single day. Organized in partnership with Heaven for Animals – a Chennai-based NGO focused on animal welfare, the company undertook the vaccination of about 1111 dogs as a part of Canvax 2023 on 8th October 2023 at Crescent Ground, Shenoy Nagar, Chennai, as per an announcement.
As a part of its TALL (Thryve Animal Lifeline League) initiative, “Thryve For Good”, Thryve’s CSR arm supports the care of community animals with such interventions including smaller activities like the installation of water bowls across the city of Chennai. As part of this drive, over 1000 community dogs were vaccinated with a 9-in-1 vaccine that included anti-Rabies, DHPPI (7-in-1) and deworming.

CSR of Equitas SFB and Sringeri Sharada Math

Sringeri Sharada Equitas Hospital Multispecialty & Cancer Care was inaugurated by Ma. Subramaniam, Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of TN in November 2023. The 100-bedded hospital will provide advanced cancer treatment at the most affordable rates to economically challenged segments.
The hospital is a joint initiative of Equitas Healthcare Foundation, a part of Equitas SFB’s CSR program and Sringeri Sharada Math. Apart from Oncology treatment, the hospital has a 24-hour modern laboratory, Imaging and cancer screening facility and pharmacy along with three ultra-modern operation theatres and ICU. It also has a lifestyle disorder and diabetes clinic where regular wellness and health check-ups can be conducted.
Sringeri Sharada Equitas Hospital, focussed on Cancer cum Multispecialty, is equipped with state-of- the-art facilities and technologies to provide comprehensive cancer care, including surgical oncology, medical oncology, radiation oncology, immunotherapy, paediatric oncology targeted therapy, physiotherapy and cancer rehabilitation, medical and surgical gastroenterology, critical care, cancer pain management, wellness and lymphedema clinic.


CSR of Grundfos

Grundfos India partnered with the Environmentalist Foundation of India (EFI) to restore a mid-sized waterbody, the Annaikeni Pond in Sholinganallur, as a CSR project in Chennai. While this pond was built to be one of the sources of water for people residing in the area and contributed to maintaining the water table, over the years it was neglected and eventually became a breeding ground for mosquitos and even turned into a garbage dump yard.
The restoration work included the excavation of the water holding area to increase the capacity by 18 – 20%, the strengthening of the circumference embankment, fencing and the planting of native plant species around the pond. As part of the restoration efforts, the entire lake was cleared of garbage and more than four tonnes of water hyacinth and Prosopis Juliflora shrubs (weeds).
The pond, which is under the jurisdiction of the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) is estimated to cater to the needs of around 8,000 to 10,000 individuals directly and indirectly within the vicinity of a one-kilometre radius. This cleaned water pond will now be able to reduce and prevent any waterborne diseases and ensure the rejuvenation of the groundwater levels in the area.
The company has also partnered with Cognizant to commit CSR funding of 4.4 crores for the restoration of Sembakkam Lake in Chennai. Expected to be completed in 2021, the work will involve cleaning the inlets and outlets, improving the lake’s connectivity with upstream and downstream water bodies, building an eco-friendly wastewater treatment system, and constructing walkways and green buffer zones along the lake.
The CSR lake restoration project will help clear the lake of solid wastes, silt and invasive plant species, improve the lake’s storage capacity by 50%, enhance groundwater recharge and improve water quality. It will benefit over 10,000 households living around the lake and conserve the local biodiversity consisting of around 180 plant species (including 11 aquatic species) and more than 65 bird species. One of the goals of the project is to provide a natural recreational space to the local community and involve them in the maintenance of the water body.


HCL Foundation (HCLF), the CSR arm of HCL Technologies, has collaborated with the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) and Environmentalist Foundation of India (EFI) to launch the ‘Revive Chennai’s Coasts’ initiative. The campaign aims to sensitise the resident population along the coast about the hazardous impact of ocean pollution and initiate localised community-based solutions through a participatory model for behavioural change.
The year-long campaign that started on World Oceans Day 2020 consists of coastal clean-up and bringing about awareness in Chennai, which is home to the world’s second-longest beach. In the first phase of the campaign, HCLF, GCC, and EFI will kick start clean-up and sensitisation activities in and around the 5-km beach stretch between Ashtalakshmi Temple in Besant Nagar and Kottivakkam in Chennai, India.
Further, as part of its commitment to help improve the coastal ecosystem in 25% of Chennai’s coastline by 2025, HCL Foundation will create ‘Young Community Leaders’ in the form of ‘Ocean Fellows’ as an innovative and sustainable solution to ensure the prevention of waste accumulation. The role of Ocean Fellows’ is to become a role model among the local communities to ensure the prevention of waste accumulation and to improve the coastal & marine ecosystem. The ‘Ocean Fellows’ will undergo rigorous training by EFI in the areas of Leadership, Management and Social Innovation. Post-training, the fellows will join in various activities like community volunteering efforts such as adoption and maintenance of a beach stretch, sensitizing visitors on the use of plastic, introducing ocean-friendly fishing practices, enhanced management of harbours and fish landing sites, eco-sensitization amongst fishing villages etc.

CSR of American Express

American Express has launched a Data Analytics, Risk and Technology (DART) Laboratory at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras under its CSR initiatives. The Lab will establish itself as a world-class hub of research in risk analytics and behavioural sciences by leveraging Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence (ML/AI) and related technologies.
The field of Data Analytics and Data Science is growing at a very fast pace creating a huge number of job opportunities in this field. Learning with Data Science Courses online can help professionals and new-age learners build their careers as Data Scientists. The lab would focus on risks that originate from human behaviour and decisions. The overarching goal of the lab is to engineer technologies to best manage risk by developing a science-based understanding of humans’ strengths and weaknesses. It will also build talent for the industry by partnering with academia.
The establishment of the lab has been undertaken through a grant by American Express to promote talent and diversity in Technology. American Express has also instituted annual scholarships for economically disadvantaged and meritorious students, including the ‘Ambition Awards’ for deserving women students at IIT Madras.
The Lab at IIT Madras will explore a range of verticals with a key emphasis on manufacturing, finance, healthcare, operations management and smart cities. The DART lab seeks to become a leader in the risk and behavioural sciences eco-system. Most real-world systems ranging from aviation, finance, manufacturing, public health, and smart cities, rely on sophisticated automation; but people play a critical role in operating, monitoring, and managing them.
The research at the DART lab will focus on the human dimension – developing a science-based understanding of humans’ strengths and weaknesses in various contexts. The research at DART will develop technologies to measure the cognition and attention of the decision-makers and prevent potential accidents in high-risk industries.

CSR of Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages

Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Private Limited (HCCB) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Govt of Tamil Nadu, under the Naan Mudhalvan scheme, to skill 5,000 individuals through a Sales and marketing training program. The strategic partnership will be executed over a period of 1 year, in collaboration with the Tamil Nadu Skill Development Corporation (TNSDC).
The program will include a diverse range of participants, from recent graduates to students currently pursuing their degrees and college dropouts aged 18 and above. Structured over three months, the program will consist of a comprehensive 30-hour curriculum and will provide the participants with an intensive learning experience, combining 6 hours of direct face-to-face interactions and 24 hours of engaging online sessions.
HCCBPL will serve as the main point of contact for TNSDC, oversee orientation and awareness sessions, ensure electronic provision of program materials, and conduct both face-to-face and online training sessions. It will also facilitate interactions with industry experts, provide online platforms, conduct assessments, and connect learners with local industries and entrepreneurial opportunities – at zero cost to the aspirants. Meanwhile, TNSDC will introduce learners to HCCB and its programs, aid with orientation sessions, and ensure the availability of infrastructure like computer labs and classrooms. They will also monitor program attendance and provide assistance with assessments.