The Group recognizes the role that the business conglomerates play in a developing country like India and has constantly tried to be a role model to be emulated in conducting business in a sustainable way. Whether it is the safety and health of its employees, business practices that affect the environment or the welfare and development of neighboring communities and the wider society, the Essar Group constantly strives to move beyond regulatory standards and do more.
The Essar Group has formulated a group-level Sustainability Policy to serve as a beacon for sustainability activities across group. Group company Essar Steel achieved the highest rating of A+ on its first Sustainability Report (2009-10). Ernst & Young provided Independent Assurance on the report as per ISAE 3000 and AA 1000AS.
Additionally, the Essar Foundation drives the Group's CSR initiatives across diverse geographies and communities. The Foundation was set up to give the Group's corporate social responsibility activities greater focus and reach. It works within the framework of the 3E model — Entrepreneurship, Education and Environment — to adopt a future-focused approach to sustainability.
With activities are spread across six focus areas: livelihoods and entrepreneurship, women's empowerment, health, education, infrastructure and environment, the Foundation engages with government institutions and local NGOs to ensure that the benefits resulting from its initiatives reach a larger section of the population. Companies across the Group coordinate with the Foundation initiate various sustainability programs under the focus areas. A look at some of the many sustainability initiatives undertaken in and around Essar facilities:
All Essar facilities take pride in going beyond statutory requirements in the area of emission control and environmental conservation, and have been recognized by global forums for their commitment to the cause.
In 2012, Essar Steel, Hazira, won the Three Leaves Award instituted by the Centre for Science and Environment's Green Rating Project, sponsored by Ministry of Environment & Forest and UNDP, for its green credentials. The company received this recognition for its adherence to various parameters such as stakeholder perception, technology to process efficiency, occupational health and safety, percentage of carbon emission and solid waste disposal, usage of electricity and water, efficient use of land and so on.
Essar Steel (a member of several of worldsteel's committees on sustainable business) also won top honors at the Water Digest Water Awards 2011-2012 under the 'Best Water-Efficient Project' category. This is the second consecutive year that the company has won the distinction.
Bhander Power, Hazira, was presented the Water Efficient Unit (Within Fence)
award at the 8th Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) National Award for Excellence
in Water Management 2011.
Two Group companies, Essar Steel and Essar Shipping, were recognized at the 4th FE EVI Green Business Leadership Awards 2011-12. Essar Steel was recognized as the sustainability leader in the metals sector; Essar Shipping received special recognition for its unique initiatives for promoting sustainability, combating climate change and promoting disclosure of non-financial performance.
The Essar Foundation, for its part, works closely with communities living near its facilities to protect the environment. The Foundation pays special attention to preserving natural ecologies and ensuring that the environmental balance is maintained. Traditional knowledge of local communities is blended with contemporary technology to achieve this. Additionally, tree plantation drives and eco-awareness camps are regularly organized in neighboring villages and schools.
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