Corporate Sustainability Practices

Corporate Sustainability Practices

Manish Beriwala Director Shyam Steel Industries “In the gradually evolving system, the ESG policy should encapsulate responsible investment, importance in conviction and a standardised manner of doing business.” — Manish Beriwala Sh...

Manish Beriwala Director Shyam Steel Industries “In the gradually evolving system, the ESG policy should encapsulate responsible investment, importance in conviction and a standardised manner of doing business.” — Manish Beriwala Shyam Steel Industries (SSIL) started its journey in 1953, only six years after the country achieved its independence and we are now one of the leading steel manufacturers in India with a diverse product range. This $45-billion group has emerged as a steel giant with its presence firmly placed in the infrastructure segments including Indian Railways, defence, ports, roads and highways, airports, power, oil and gas energy and other key areas of national importance. Apart from achieving cent per cent customer satisfaction through continual improvement of its product quality and contributing to the rapid economic growth of the country, the company is now in a steady expansion mode braving the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is equally committed to meaningfully engaging in the realisation of the national target of 300 MT steel production by 2030-31 in keeping with the National Steel Policy 2017. EGS pillars Of late, corporate sustainability has been increasingly gaining centre stage in companies world over with sustainability becoming the priority of carrying out business. In the Indian context, the ESG practices have come to play a dominant role post-COP-26 with the Prime Minister of India making a commitment to achieving net zero by 2070 and the nation is now readying itself for the gradual transition to the new ecosystem. As far as SSIL is concerned, the core of its business ethics comprises corporate sustainability practices falling under the broad canopy of ESG practices. The three pillars of ESG are embedded in the company's business model that has traversed a long journey of nearly seven decades since its beginning. We recognise that no company can afford to register sustainable growth unless it could improve environmental sustainability by reducing carbon footprint or wasteful practices, and reinforcing the social responsibility pillars. At the same time, pursuing the economic or governance pillar in terms of maintaining honest and transparent accounting practices and regulatory compliance embodies our ethical practices. We also emphatically hold that sustainability must not only meet the needs of the present generation, without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet theirs, but also encompasses the entire spectrum of human existence. We have to make collective efforts to implement sustainable practices by reducing our consumption of limited resources or finding alternative resources with lower environmental consequences. Driving force behind actualisation of ESG Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam is the guiding principle and May all be happy, may all be healthy, may all behold that which is good and auspicious, may no one suffer, the basic tenets of our work philosophy. We have been acting as an agent of change by translating into reality our ESG practices. In its mission for bringing about a qualitative change in the life of the people, through its CSR initiatives, the company covers a wider field of activities to combat a variety of inequities and unfreedoms afflicting society. Targeted interventions in focused areas To stand by the people in distress during natural disasters is deeply embedded in our ethos. Besides, creating awareness among the people for the protection and preservation of ecology, the flora and fauna, to ensure environmental sustainability is our focus priority on the ground. Our initiatives in tackling the issues like hunger, poverty, malnutrition, and infant mortality have been intensified through targeted interventions like health camps in underdeveloped areas, providing relief to people in distress and creating self-sustainable employment opportunities. We allocate a sizable portion of our profits for education, healthcare, and other key sectors where women empowerment, gender equality and sustainability constitute the basic features. Initiatives under corporate governance Aside from serving the community and meeting the needs of the stakeholders, we also enlist the participation of our employees in terms of their involvement in critical policy issues, appreciation of their good work, providing an employee-friendly work environment including subsidised transport facilities to and from work, facilities for differently abled employees, various in-house social and cultural programmes, frequent management-employee interface, talent recognition, flexibility in working hours in the changing ecosystem, free vaccination against COVID-19 and more. Apart from covering our employees under various welfare measures, we provide health insurance facilities. We recognise that satiated human resources in any organisation, apart from increasing their own productivity, are fundamental to its sustainable growth and beneficial to the company in terms of generating its goodwill. Roadmap for the future SSIL currently serves more than 1 billion customers. Our future vision encapsulates, among others: 1. To develop cost-effective products with increased access to the customers. 2. To achieve the highest level of regulatory compliance. 3. To attain the standard of robust corporate governance. 4. To ensure strategic suppliers are ESG compliant. 5. To go into phased transition to renewable energy sources. 6. To achieve carbon neutrality in all possible operations. 7. To work for the highest standard of waste management through rigorous implementation of statutory provisions. 8. To ensure proper disposal of hazardous wastes in accordance with statutory requirements. 9. To raise more green belts on a sustainable basis. 10. To increase energy efficiency. 11. To reduce water use to the extent practicable. In the gradually evolving system, the ESG policy should encapsulate responsible investment, importance in conviction and a standardised manner of doing business. Besides, every stakeholder has to be listened to. There has to be clarity as to how ESG is being implemented. One common language is to evolve towards converging all views in a single platform as far as ESG compliance is concerned. There is also a need for intensive advocacy for ESG where the Governments- both at the Centre and the States- have a major role to play. The Central Government should also frame a National Plan on ESG and transition to a new regime keeping in mind the imperatives and roll it out for effective implementation. Moreover, the country’s resource mapping and how to leverage that strength have got to be worked out for gradual transition. In addition, we need a monitoring mechanism and carbon pricing methodology for the full realisation of the ESG framework in the years to come. About the author Manish Beriwala, Director, Shyam Steel Industries, is primarily responsible for marketing, sales and logistics of the company as well as for planning, development and implementation of the organisation, marketing strategies, communication, and public relation activities.

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