The Essar Foundation is promoting environmentally responsible living among India’s rural and tribal communities
As environmentally conscious business activities and lifestyles gain significance globally, Indian government and private sector organizations are adopting focused initiatives to reduce the environmental impact of development.
To further this goal, the Essar Foundation works closely with communities living near its facilities to protect the environment. The Foundation pays special attention to preserving natural ecologies. It ensures that the environmental balance is maintained by blending the traditional knowledge of local communities with contemporary technology.
Some of the activities of the environment program include conserving water through harvesting wells, developing wastelands and constructing check dams. It also provides community water storage in order to improve the ground water conditions in water-scarce areas and providing equipment such as solar panels to encourage the use of renewable energy.
- Increase environmental awareness
- Conserve natural resources and improve waste management
- Promote villages as an integrated eco-system
- Encourage use of alternate sources of energy
ACTIVITIES & PROJECTS
Environment awareness project
The Essar Foundation conducts awareness sessions at schools, colleges and through community meetings on the need to protect the environment and conserve scarce natural resources. Educational videos, posters, competitions and campaigns are employed to explain topics of local significance to rural communities that live near Essar facilities. Additionally, ‘No Plastic’ drives are undertaken at Jamnagar (Gujarat) and other sites to spread the message to employees and neighboring communities.
Conserving natural resources and encouraging better waste management
The Essar Foundation recognizes the key role traditional knowledge plays when it comes to environmental sustainability in tribal and rural areas. Although tribal communities may not have access to modern technology, they have still managed to maintain the ecological balance of their activities. This is rooted in their deep understanding and respect for their environment.
The Foundation’s activities support these communities in maintaining and preserving their natural surrounds by promoting better waste management and preventing environmental degradation through sustainable living.
Encouraging alternate sources of energy
Essar Foundation’s environment program creates awareness among employees and rural communities about the benefits of adopting renewable sources of energy. The Foundation provides solar panels at its project sites and in neighboring villages. Where necessary, Essar companies subsidize the cost of such equipment. The program also enables access to various government projects that promote the use of alternate energy.
The success of the Foundation’s environment program is measured by the:
- Increase in community participation in environmental management activities: Essar has educated more than 10,000 students on environmental responsibility.
- Number of trees planted: Essar has planted more than 1 million plants across its operating sites. It has preserved more than 20 plant species that were in danger of becoming extinct.
Essar Agrotech, a floriculture company, aims to preserve and sustain the environment around the Lonavla-Sahyadri region. It has introduced coco-peat farming which preserves the soil, ensuring the sustainability of the ecosystem. Waste water is also recycled in an eco-friendly manner. The company initiates drives for sapling plantations and promoting nurseries. In 2010, around 20,000 shade-giving saplings were donated to villages in the region. Essar Agrotech is the only company in India to have gained the Milieu Programma Sierteelt (MPS) certification awarded for promoting a balance between the environment, people and profit……