New Delhi;1st August 2023 Observing World Nature Conservation Day (July 28), Vedanta Aluminium, the largest aluminium producer in India, commenced extensive afforestation efforts, based on the unique Miyawaki method, for the first time ever in the vicinity of its Jamkhani coal mines in Sundargarh district, Odisha. Following this up on International Tiger Day (July 29) with widespread awareness efforts among community members on the crucial need to conserve the magnificent feline, Vedanta Aluminium is deploying comprehensive efforts to raise awareness and intensify actions around nature conservation.
Pioneered by noted Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki, the Miyawaki method of tree plantation is an effective way to create dense, multilayered plantations using native species within a very short span. Commencing the initiative on 1 acre of land on the periphery of its Jamkhani coal mines, the company intends to quickly scale this up to cover over 61 hectares of land within just two years’ time. The resultant plantation will be self-sustaining in nature with an estimated 12,50,000 plants, including several fruit-bearing species.
In addition, on the occasion of International Tiger Day recently, employee volunteers at Vedanta Aluminium’s units across Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh conducted engaging awareness sessions in multiple schools in the vicinity of their operational locations. They focused on educating young minds about the importance of preserving tigers, which are an important keystone species that help preserve several other species, thereby conserving entire ecosystems. The awareness sessions were also undertaken for community members at several Nand Ghars, which are modernized anganwadis supported by Vedanta that act as free hubs of women and child development.
On the occasion, Mr. Sunil Gupta, COO, Vedanta Limited – Aluminium Business commented, “At Vedanta Aluminium, we wholeheartedly embrace nature conservation as a fundamental of sustainable business practices. We proudly call ourselves ‘green hearts’ as we pursue impactful initiatives to conserve and foster thriving natural ecosystems while simultaneously sensitizing communities about the best practices for the same. With unwavering dedication, we strive to pioneer eco-conscious approaches that safeguard our planet for the legacy of generations to come.”
Adding his views, Mr V. Srikanth, CEO (Mines), Vedanta Ltd – Aluminium Business said, “Preserving nature is not just an environmental imperative; it’s also a crucial, shared obligation and a strategic interest for both businesses and society. As joint stewards of this planet, we are consistently focusing on embracing sustainable practices and championing conservation efforts. This will help build a thriving future that respects and protects the precious resources nature has to offer.”
Vedanta Aluminium is establishing scientific targets towards resource efficiencies and conservation, reinforcing its commitment to sustainable development. The company undertakes its environmental stewardship efforts aligned with the philosophy of ‘Lifestyle for Environment – LiFE’ a Government of India initiative and the UN Sustainable Development Goals 14 & 15 focusing on conserving biodiversity and natural ecosystems.
The company’s mega aluminium smelter at Jharsuguda, world-class alumina refinery in Lanjigarh, iconic subsidiary BALCO at Korba, Chhattisgarh and its extensive mining and port operations are also spurring collective community action to conserve nature. Recently, the company established a lush new Butterfly Park within its premises at Jharsuguda, featuring over 100 meticulously curated selections of plant species that will attract and nurture more than 30 rare and exquisite butterfly species providing them with a nurturing habitat.
Vedanta Aluminium consistently organises mega plantation drives, while actively engaging employee volunteers and local communities in extensive city clean-up efforts across its operations. Furthermore, the company has also deployed electric vehicles for on-site travel alongside organising awareness rallies and online workshops aimed at fostering informed, sustainable lifestyle choices to conserve and foster nature. The company undertook the restoration of over 40 waterbodies around its business units to rejuvenate the aquatic life and support the livelihoods of the local communities.
The company has embarked on an extensive range of natural conservation projects across its business units, achieving several milestones in the journey:
- Planted around 2.5 lakh saplings in FY23 towards enhancing community access to green cover
- Recycled 13.69 billion litres of water in FY23, in the journey towards water-positive operations
- Partnered with global environment conservation firm ERM, to bolster the company’s biodiversity management plan
- Conservation awareness talks for employees, their families and community members, led by notable conservationists such as Ramveer Tanwar (Pond Man of India) and Rakesh Khatri (Nest Man of India)
- Planting saplings of Chloroxylon Swietenia, commonly known as Ceylon satinwood, to help conserve the vulnerable species
- Substantial contributions to the conservation of Schedule 1 species, such as through community awareness sessions on the need to protect the yellow monitor lizard species.
- Training women under the Vedanta Sakhi project in beekeeping and honey production as a remunerative avenue for livelihood
- Installation of birdhouses and nests in the company’s residential townships to support bird conservation at and around operations. Watering stations were installed across peripheral areas to provide hydration for birds and animals during hot weather.
Vedanta Aluminium, a business of Vedanta Limited, is India’s largest producer of aluminium, manufacturing more than half of India’s aluminium i.e., 2.29 million tonnes in FY23. It is a leader in value-added aluminium products that find critical applications in core industries. Vedanta Aluminium ranks 2nd in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) 2022 world rankings for the aluminium industry, a reflection of its sustainable development practices. With its world-class aluminium smelters, alumina refinery and power plants in India, the company fulfils its mission of spurring emerging applications of aluminium as the ‘Metal of the Future’ for a greener tomorrow. www.vedantaaluminium.com