April 23, 2018: Protecting and conserving biodiversity through biodiversity management practices are a priority for the Aditya Birla Group, and at UltraTech, it is integral to our commitment towards environment stewardship. UltraTech Cement today launched its Biodiversity Policy along with the launch of the Aditya Birla Group Biodiversity Policy. The policy reflects UltraTech’s commitment to protect and conserve biodiversity.
UltraTech is committed to conduct its business in a responsible manner and recognizes the importance of biodiversity and associated ecosystem services for long-term sustainability of its operations. Over years, it has worked to enhance the green cover in and around its quarry sites, manufacturing units, residential colonies and nearby villages. UltraTech’s green belt comprises more than four million trees of various species.
Our engagement with IUCN
UltraTech has been working with International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) over the past two years to create a scientific and systematic approach towards biodiversity management. IUCN is the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it.
UltraTech’s engagement with IUCN was in two parts – at the ground level through its unit Sewagram Cement Works (SCW) in Gujarat, and at corporate level to develop policies and technical standards.
Sewagram Cement Works – where it all began
UltraTech along with Aditya Birla Group, entered into an agreement with IUCN for developing detailed biodiversity and ecosystem services management plan for one of its sites. Sewagram Cement Works in Gujarat was selected for conducting the study based on the Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool report.
IUCN carried out the comprehensive baseline assessment of biodiversity and ecosystem services in and around SCW’s area of operations, including the mines. This included defining habitats inside and outside the mines and operational area. The results from biodiversity assessment were used to develop a robust Biodiversity Management Plan (BMP) for Sewagram. The BMP includes a suite of measures designed to avoid, minimize, rectify, and/or compensate for impacts to biodiversity resulting from the development and operations of the cement unit and mines area. SCW is now in the process of initiating the implementation of BMP from 2018-19 onwards.
The approach and learnings from this study were also the basis to develop Aditya Birla Group’s and UltraTech’s Biodiversity Policy, in line with global biodiversity standards.
The way forward on biodiversity
Over the next few years, UltraTech will work towards implementing the measures identified under the biodiversity management plan from SCW. The learnings from SCW would be shared with all integrated units to guide them towards identifying their biodiversity risks and develop a time-based strategy towards creating biodiversity management plans.
In parallel, UltraTech will work on raising awareness amongst value chain partners on biodiversity and related ecosystem services. UltraTech will continue to engage through industry-level platforms, industry bodies and knowledge forums on biodiversity to enhance knowledge and contribute to these platforms from our learnings.