Employees volunteer funds to provide fuel efficient ‘smokeless’ chulhas to community
Lanjigarh, Kalahandi district, Odisha; June 7, 2022: Vedanta Aluminium’s Lanjigarh unit, India’s premier producer of metallurgical grade alumina, sensitized communities on the need to transition from traditional chulhas (cooking stoves) to cleaner and eco-friendly cooking methods for better health and environmental preservation on World Environment Day. Employees personally contributed funds to purchase fuel-efficient ‘smokeless’ chulhas, which were then distributed to 30 households at Kasibadi and Jamchuan in Lanjigarh.
The initiative is part of the several employee volunteering programs that Vedanta Aluminium drives across its locations to foster the direct participation of its employees in aiding the transformation of the local community. Recently, on World Biodiversity Day, Vedanta Aluminium’s employees also volunteered their time for supporting the cleaning of local water bodies, community ponds, and setting up bird shelters to aid in nature conservation.
The drive to promote the use of smokeless chulhas has a two-fold objective – improving the overall health of local community members and reducing emissions arising out of the usage of traditional fuels such as firewood. Many community members, especially those in rural areas, continue to rely on fuel wood and traditional chulhas for their cooking needs as LPG connections are not prevalent. A single household can consume as much as 200 kgs of firewood each month, discharging nearly 380 kgs of CO2 per month. Besides the impact to environment, the women in the family are severely affected by smoke inhalation.
Transition to the fuel-efficient cooking stove in these households is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by at least half and mitigate health risks for women. Changing from traditional chulhas to fuel efficient chulhas can result in a 50% reduction in the rate of carbon emissions. On the whole, it will help achieve a reduction in carbon emissions by 1950 kgs monthly, achieved through the increased adoption of fuel-efficient cooking and a nearly 50% reduction in the usage of firewood every month by each household. Therefore, a cumulative annual reduction of 23400 kgs of carbon emissions will be potentially achieved through this initiative.
Speaking about the initiative, Mr. GG Pal, Dy. CEO – Vedanta Limited, Lanjigarh, said, “We can all do our bit to help protect the environment through incremental but important changes within our own lives and circles. Helping our community members adopt cleaner cooking practices is an opportunity to safeguard their health against smoke inhalation and make them equal stakeholders in our environment preservation efforts and work together for a better future for all.”
Sharing the positive impact of the project, Sanabaya Majhi, a resident of Kasibadi village, said “We have been using traditional chulhas in our households since time immemorial. However, women in our households are facing respiratory health issues due to their use and the cost we bear for wood consumption is quite high. Through Vedanta’s efforts in bringing effective clean energy solutions to our doorstep, our cost input in wood consumption and the amount of smoke emission has also come down by almost half. We thank Vedanta for their continued support and efforts.”
Vedanta Aluminium, a business of Vedanta Limited, is India’s largest producer of aluminium, manufacturing more than half of India’s aluminium i.e., 2.26 million tonnes in FY22. It is a leader in value-added aluminium products that find critical applications in core industries. Vedanta Aluminium ranks 4th in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) 2021 world rankings for aluminium industry, a reflection of its sustainable development practices. The company operates a 2 MTPA (million tonnes per annum) capacity alumina refinery in Lanjigarh (Kalahandi district, Odisha), India since 2007 and an associated 90 MW captive power plant. With its world-class aluminium smelters, alumina refinery and power plants in India, Vedanta Aluminium fulfils its mission of spurring emerging applications of aluminium as the ‘Metal of the Future’ for a greener tomorrow.