Vedanta’s Odisha operations marked World Environment Day celebrations with a plantation drive and various awareness activities with employees, business partners and communities. Following social distancing norms and other COVID mandates, hundreds of trees were planted inside operations and townships.
Additionally, saplings were distributed among rural households in many villages of Kalahandi and Jharsuguda. To drive greater awareness among the children in township and community, various activities and competitions themed on ‘biodiversity’ like painting, slogan, quizzes, etc. were conducted by both units.
Speaking about Vedanta’s environment and sustainability initiatives, Rahul Sharma, CEO-Vedanta Ltd., Lanjigarh, said, “Our operations are governed by the robust Vedanta Sustainability Framework, drawn in line with the best international standards. Alongside this, our business imperatives and social duties are founded on the premise of ‘Zero Harm, Zero Waste & Zero Discharge’.” Adding to that, CN Singh, CEO-Vedanta Ltd., Jharsuguda, said, “Our business and social sustainability objectives are reinforced through our commitment to leverage global expertise, adopt green technology and use resources judiciously, to create a lasting positive impact on the environment, our communities, partners and customers.”
Dr. Niranjan Mallik, Env. Scientist-cum-Regional Officer, who attended the ceremony at Jharsuguda plant along with other OSPCB (Odisha State Pollution Control Board) officials remarked, “I am thankful to the Vedanta team for sincerely undertaking the plantation drive following all protocols amid the ongoing pandemic.”
As the country’s largest producer of aluminium, which is an eternally recyclable metal with minimal loss in quality and energy requirements, Vedanta integrates smart innovation, best-in-class technology, environmental safeguards and sustainability-focused operating procedures to create value for the nation. Some of the best initiatives and technology adoptions undertaken by the company’s Odisha operations, resulting in a significant environmental performance, are:
- Online and continuous Environment Monitoring Systems with real-time data acquisition for parameters like ambient air quality etc thus ensuring all parameters remain within stipulated norms.
- Robust Environment Incident Management & Notice System in place to direct action and strategy pertaining to causes of potential environment impact
- Continuous Ambient Air Quality monitoring systems in and around the plant premises
- First in the country to install Hybrid Electrostatic Precipitators (ESP) with bag filters in captive power plants to reduce particulate emission
- First in the state to hybridize ESPs in power plants for enhancing environmental performance
- First in the state to install High Concentration Slurry Disposal (HCSD) systems for fly-ash transfer from silos to ask dyke
- Effluent Treatment Plants (ETP) augmented with Ultra-Filtration and Reverse Osmosis (UF & RO) systems to ensure 100% treatment of water, which is then recycled for usage in ash-handling, horticulture, etc.
- Sewage Treatment Plants to recycle solid waste and wastewater for further usage in horticulture to keep operations and townships lush and verdant
- Natural draft cooling towers, state-of-the-art dry scrubbing systems, fume treatment plants, dry fog systems, water mist canons, soil blanketing, and many other innovations adopted across the operations for better environment footprint
- Collaboration with the country’s premiere technical institutes, global experts and technology consultants to assess and improve the company’s sustainability initiatives
- The company is exploring renewable energy sources like solar power, biomass and biogas to build capacity and potentially replace thermal power as the primary source of energy. Currently, both, the Lanjigarh refinery and Jharsuguda smelter are among the best of India’s energy efficient manufacturing units.
- Extensive digitalization of processes to minimize paper usage and ‘in-person’ monitoring
- Waste-to-wealth initiatives like fostering local brick-making enterprises, laying fly-ash roads, reclamation of low-lying areas with fly-ash followed by plantation, etc.
- Intensive audits and monitoring of processes and practices to continually streamline and improve the company’s sustainability performance
- Helping farmers in the community adopt drip-irrigation, treadle pump, solar powered water pumps, rainwater harvesting structures like percolation tanks, etc. to boost irrigation potential and reduce dependency on monsoons for cropping
- More than 10 lakh trees planted in and around the plants, in PPP mode to expand green cover in the periphery
Vedanta’s sustainability initiatives have earned global accreditation and numerous awards and accolades. Both units have been certified with the ISO 50001 (Energy Management Systems) and IMS, which includes ISO 9001 (Quality Management Systems), ISO 14001 (Environmental Management System) and OHSAS 18001. Together, the units have invested upwards of INR 3200 crores on environment safeguards in and around their operations.
Vedanta is one of the largest investors in Odisha, with investment of approx. Rs 50,000 crores over the years, of which over Rs 300 crores has been invested in community development initiatives. Both Lanjigarh and Jharsuguda operations have created livelihood opportunities to the tune of 5 lakhs in the state. With a contribution of Rs 11,000 crores to the state exchequer till date, Vedanta continues to be a transformative force in the state’s socio-economic landscape.