UltraTech’s parent company, the Aditya Birla Group, has institutionalised a sustainability framework that defines three strategic pillars which should be embraced by the Group businesses to achieve a common sustainability vision. The three strategic pillars are: Responsible Stewardship, Stakeholder Engagement, and Future Proofing. At UltraTech we follow this framework in everything we do to make our business sustainable.
UltraTech is committed to driving sustainability across the value chain of its operations. Our focus areas are carbon emissions, energy reduction, water management, waste management, biodiversity management, resource management, community relationship management, occupational health and safety, labour management, employee well-being and product development.
Innovation and technology play a major role in driving our efforts in these areas and developing sustainable business solutions. With this objective, our R&D Centre provides comprehensive technical and analytical support to the business.
UltraTech also benchmarks its sustainability practices with global players through Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA). As the founding member of the Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA), UltraTech has played an instrumental role in launching GCCA India operations. UltraTech is a part of ‘Innovandi’ – the Global Cement and Concrete Research Network project run by GCCA, with anobjective to accelerate global collaboration on cement and concrete innovation as an important step for the sector in taking climate action.
At UltraTech business is done in harmony with the environment. We understand our responsibility towards environmental sustainability, and we are committed to minimizing our impact on the environment.
Our Environment strategy focuses on four key areas:
We realise that cement is a carbon-intensive industry. That is why we have integrated low carbon strategy into our business roadmap to address SDG 13 (climate change goal) based on COP21 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Our strategy is governed by energy and carbon policy which is adopted by all our units. We have undertaken a voluntary strategy to reduce the impact of our operations on climate change. As a member of the international and national organizations like GCCA, FICCI, CII and CMA we are committed to publishing our emission data and set environmental performance targets. UltraTech has committed to Science Based Target and has aligned it business plans to requirements of Paris Agreement.
At UltraTech, energy efficiency drives business efficiency. Improving energy efficiency is also closely linked to reducing the carbon intensity of our operations. That is why we constantly review our energy performance and invest in energy efficient technologies. Initiatives like cooler upgradation, calciner modification, voltage variable frequency drive (VVFD) installation and burner modification across our manufacturing plants have drastically improved our energy productivity.
Additionally, we generate power from cleaner sources of energy. This reduces carbon emission and provides higher energy security. UltraTech has joined the EP100 initiative which brings together a growing group of energy-smart companies committed to using energy more productively, to lower greenhouse gas emissions, and accelerate a clean economy. UltraTech has committed to double its energy productivity by becoming a member of EP100.
Water is critical for the continuity of our operations. Few of our cement plants are in water-stressed regions of the country and we consistently work towards rejuvenating resources through our 3R approach – reduce, recycle and reuse. Our efforts in this direction have led to UltraTech becoming more than two times water positive
In line with the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 – clean water and sanitation, we not only conserve water but we also rejuvenate its sources. Initiatives like rainwater harvesting, groundwater recharge, water recycling, pond deepening, integrated watershed management etc are standard operating procedures across our manufacturing units. UltraTech also builds capabilities on water and sanitation-related programmes to ensure the availability of this precious resource
The circular economy is a concept that goes much beyond just recycling. It is a restorative and regenerative process where very few resources are used in the first place and they are used until the complete value is derived from them. Once the value is derived, the material is used for something else. Only when the material fully degrades, it is recycled into another form.
The circularity of materials is a priority for UltraTech in tackling the issue of overutilization of resources, the rising cost of natural raw material and disposal of waste generated from it. UltraTech has developed systems in its units where it is utilizing waste materials safely and efficiently in a circular economy fashion.
The future of our business and the community is linked to the survival of land ecosystems. UltraTech recognizes the importance of biodiversity and associated ecosystem services for the long-term sustainability of both and takes concerted action to protect, restore and promote all forms of life in the ecosystem.
Biodiversity management is governed by our Biodiversity policy. UltraTech is committed to maximizing biodiversity around its plants and quarry sites. We have started monitoring the ecological evolution of our sites to help identify risks and opportunities. We are also committed to No Net loss which is in line with our Aditya Birla Group Biodiversity Policy. We have completed biodiversity assessments for five of our integrated plants till date and plan to do so at all our integrated plants by 2024. UltraTech entered into an agreement with IUCN and other expert consulting organizations for developing detailed biodiversity and ecosystem services management plan for its sites.
Health and safety of our workforce is a core value in UltraTech. Safety is at the center of everything we do, from the daily routines in our plants to our customers’ work sites and our actions in our neighboring communities. We are aspired to conduct our business with zero harm to people we work with and to create a healthy and safe environment for our employees, contractors, communities, customers and all stakeholders. We have 'zero tolerance' policy in place and we conduct business with vendors who are approved on our stringent safety parameters.
Our Safety excellence programs are driven by line function engagement through well-structured governance model from corporate to units. Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Board is chaired by Managing Director and nine subcommittees are chaired by Cluster Heads/Functional Heads. OH&S Board is the decision making body of UltraTech to oversee that the Safety Standards are implemented in letter and spirit across the organization by line management ownership.
We are aligned with Global Cement & Concrete Association (GCCA), wherein we make sure that global practices on safety from cement industries are integrated in our safety excellence journey and we strive to achieve them through concrete actions and piloted solutions so as to make UltraTech a safer place to work.
We believe that “if we are good in safety, then we are good in achieving new milestones in business”. Safety is a critical success factor for our operational performance and it is integrated in all our business decisions including green field/brown field projects, mergers, acquisitions, performance evaluation, hiring new recruits etc.
At UltraTech, our efforts are concentrated on ensuring that our supply chain keeps evolving into a more responsible and sustainable one. We value our network of suppliers and contractors who carry out their operations in alignment with our vision on Sustainability.
Aditya Birla Group’s Supply Chain and Procurement Policy for building a supply chain that sustains business and is resilient with regard to risks. We work in close collaboration with our suppliers, who play an important role in imparting strength to our supply chain and making it efficient.
We have our supplier code of conduct in place which needs to be adhered by all our suppliers. The vendors we choose to work with are selected based on robust criteria to ensure ethical, healthy work practices on their end. We assess them for issues such as Child Labour, Forced & Compulsory Labour, Environment Management, Health & Safety, Working Hours, Statutory compliances among others. The process of monitoring and evaluation is carried out regularly even after the vendors are onboarded. Further, we prefer prioritise local vendors over others in order to encourage responsible sourcing.
We have developed a Sustainable Supply Chain Framework for working with our suppliers and extending our sustainability efforts and expectations to them. It sets our vision, policy and codes. This specifies the steps to be taken for having sustainable procurement practices. We have created a methodology for engagement, evaluation and disclosure of supplier’s sustainability efforts.
Use of technology in our procurement and logistic practices has enabled us to create a transparent and efficient system. Local sourcing is always given priority to compliment the economic growth of the local community.