Vedanta applies the UN Environment Programme’s Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool to screen for risk

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Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar planting sapling at Vedanta's Sanquelim Reclamation Mines, Goa

This Environment Day, Vedanta promoted awareness among employees and local communities on the importance of recycling and reusing resources

 India CSR News Network

NEW DELHI: Vedanta Limited, India’s leading diversified natural resources company, has a dedicated‘Biodiversity Policy and Management Standard’ that advises how disruption is to be avoided, minimized and compensated for, from project scoping to site closure and beyond.

Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar planting sapling at Vedanta's Sanquelim Reclamation Mines, GoaThe company strives to attain a minimum of No Net Loss of biodiversity and Net Positive Gain of biodiversity at all the operations. Vedanta has been applying the UN Environment Programme’s Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool (IBAT) to screen for risk, followed by site-specific assessments to identify sensitive habitats, important bird areas and key biodiversity hot spots. The results of risk screening and assessments are applied to develop Biodiversity Management Plans for the company’s sites.

In collaboration with Institute of Minerals and Materials Technology, Bhubaneswar (A CSIR laboratory), Vedanta developed a mineral cementation technology which utilizes fly ash (>80% by weight) in the brick manufacturing process and lime grit as a binder. The company encourages & supports brick making units situated close to the Jharsughuda plant by transferring the technology to them.

Since last three years, the company conducts ‘Fly Ash Manufacturing Enterprise Development’ workshop in partnership with District Industries Centre, Bhawanipatna, leading not only to a sustainable alternative usage of waste, but also creating sustainable and profitable livelihood for the community around our units.

vedanta LogoThe company follows the water conservation hierarchy of reduce, reuse and recycle. The company also focuses on rainwater usage and groundwater recharging through rainwater harvesting. Vedanta’s subsidiary businesses have a Water Resources Management Plan in place to eliminate, minimize, mitigate and manage impacts on water resources. Most of the operational processes have been designed to be ‘zero discharge’, where the generated waste water is treated and recycled for cooling and other applications. In addition to these initiatives, effluent and sewage treatment plants are installed at many locations for reusing water at primary locations.

Vedanta’s enhanced energy efficiency at the operations by leveraging a combination of new technologies. In order to give rigor to the energy programmes, the company’s plants are upgrading existing business management systems to allow accreditation to the energy standard ISO 50001. As of now 8 out of 19 operations are certified to ISO 50001 standard.

To commemorate World Environment Day on June 5, 2016, the company, across its businesses promoted awareness among its employees and communities on the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) selected theme for 2016, ‘Go Wild for Life’. Vedanta designed activities around the theme ‘Zero Tolerance for illegal wildlife trade’, with a focus on realizing the importance of biodiversity and environmental sustainability in day-to-day lives as well as at work.

The Iron Ore division of Vedanta, commemorated World Environment day with the visit of Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar at the Sanquelim Reclamation Mine in Goa. The Chief Minister was given an insight into the entire technical process of the reclamation and taken on a guided tour.

Speaking on the occasion the Chief Minister said, “Vedanta has done a commendable job and proved to the rest of the world how a mine closure can be nurtured and brought back to life protecting the environment for our future generations. A restoration effort like this cannot happen overnight. It demonstrates that mines can be restored and Sanquelim is proof of that.”

Addressing the gathering Pratapsingh Rane – Leader of Opposition said, “On World Environment Day there is no other place better than the Sanquelim Reclamation Mine to be visited. Sesa Goa Iron Ore by this restoration exemplifies what responsible mining is all about. The company has not only contributed to the state and the nation’s economy, providing employment to the local population, socio-economic development of the state but also taken care of the environment. This place should definitely be on the itinerary of every school child and tourist. I congratulate Vedanta for keeping up the tradition of Goa green.”

At Vedanta’ aluminium operations in Jharsuguda, Odisha the company held mass plantations and art & quiz competitions for children. At Lanjigarh, Odisha, Vedanta organized a community programme on environment with the company’s NGO Partners and the neighboring villages. Saplings were planted across the villages and awareness camps with Mobile Health Units (MHU) were conducted.

Hindustan Zinc Limited (HZL) in Rajasthan conducted a free pollution check-up at Kayad, a marathon themed ‘Run for Environment’ at Bhilwara, a bird photo contest and a short film screening for the employees on World Environment Day.

In Chhattisgarh, BALCO, a subsidiary of Vedanta Limited conferred the ‘Best Clean Department Award’ to the O&M department. A competition was held among employees to detect and eliminate leaks. Apart from a plantation drive, there was an awareness session for local communities in Korba and environment friendly bags were distributed.

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