Since its foundation, the Group has recognized the greater role industry plays in the development of a country like India where large sections of society suffer from severe economic and social disadvantages.
Today, as a global enterprise the Group adopts a multi-pronged strategy to address the many aspects of sustainable and responsible business. 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 Foundation was set up by the Group to give its corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities greater focus and reach. The Foundation works within the the framework of the 3E model — Entrepreneurship, Education and Environment — to adopt a future-focused approach to sustainability. The Foundation's activities, divided across six focus areas — livelihoods and entrepreneurship, women's empowerment, health, education, infrastructure and environment — are based on the principles of good governance and equity. To improve its reach, it engages with government institutions and local NGOs as part of its fundamental strategy.
A large part of the Foundation's activities are focused on the development of the villages of India. Over the years, the Essar Group has invested significantly in the development of these rural areas, and in doing so, has strengthened the ability of those areas and their people to play a crucial part in the country's growth. The Foundation is now building on that history of community development to create a sustainable framework that allows Essar companies to amplify the positive impact they have.
Essar Group - Sustainability policy and objectives
It is a matter of great pride for Essar Steel to have 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.
|A million hours|
The Essar Foundation has set a target of one million hours of staff volunteering. Championed by Group Chairman Shashi Ruia, the community service program is one way that the group ensures it remains a people-driven and people-centric organization. The Essar Foundation relies on Essar's huge employee base to translate its CSR vision into reality. Employees are encouraged to participate in and contribute to social work.
It offers a platform through which people can sign up for community-related projects. Essar employees offer their skills and knowledge in areas such as education, health and livelihoods to NGOs that require assistance. Employees also work closely with the staff and beneficiaries of such organizations. The credits earned by its staff are one way in which Essar measures its CSR performance.
CSR in Hazira, Gujarat, India
The Essar Group has transformed Hazira and its neighboring areas by planting thousands of trees and laying water pipelines. Self-supporting schemes for women, schools, roads, and playgrounds and outreach programs supported by the Group, have established it as a committed corporate citizen. Today, its community support activities include building water pipelines, providing subsidized medical care, installing infrastructure (roads, water tanks, electric connections) and a variety of other initiatives.
CSR in Vadinar, Gujarat, India
The Essar Group's involvement in the development of the areas around its Vadinar facilities have addressed a variety of requirements ranging from basic amenities and infrastructure to special health, education and commercial activities. Rainwater harvesting ponds, school building renovations and health camps are just some of the initiatives undertaken and supported by the Group.
CSR in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada
As a founding industry and the largest employer in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Essar Steel Algoma takes proactive interest in advancing and preserving the quality of life in our community. In addition to a sustainable approach to minimizing environmental impact, the company has a long history of charitable giving and corporate sponsorship with numerous community-based causes. In particular, Essar Steel Algoma's history with the United Way dates back more than 54 years as both a founder and a leading corporate supporter.
In 2011, Essar Steel Algoma established a $5 million Community Investment Fund that aligns the company's philanthropic investments with the Essar Group's core values and community needs. The Fund focuses on four priority areas — health, safety and environment; education; social services; and recreation and culture.
Through this Fund, Essar Steel Algoma is investing in Sault Ste. Marie's economic vitality and social fabric. The Fund's first contribution was a $1-million donation towards the community college's Inspiring Growth Capital Campaign. In recognition of the gift, Sault College's new academic wing now bears the name Essar Hall.
In 2008, Essar Steel Algoma won the bid for the naming rights for the Sault Ste. Marie Sports & Entertainment Centre. Now the Essar Centre, this premier sports and entertainment complex lies at the heart of the community and is home to the Soo Greyhounds, members of the Ontario Hockey League.
Essar Steel Algoma is an integral part of the Sault Ste. Marie business community as demonstrated through active membership with the Chamber of Commerce, the Community Quality Initiative, Destiny Sault Ste. Marie and the Safe Communities Partnership. The people at Essar continually strive to offer a responsible balance of time and resources to the community where we work and live.