Vedanta Aluminium engages ERM India to bolster Biodiversity Management Plan
Bhubaneswar, 22ndMay 2023:On International Day of Biological Diversity, Vedanta Aluminium, the largest aluminium producer in India, announced its collaboration with ERM India, a renowned environmental consulting firm, to enhance its Biodiversity Management Plan (BMP). The collaboration will aim to reinforce the implementation of biodiversity management practices across the operations of Vedanta Aluminium,marking a significant step towards its commitment to sustainable and responsible business operations.
As part of the collaboration, ERM India will assess and bolster Vedanta Aluminium’s biodiversity conservation efforts focusing on operations across different locations and evaluating the overall impact using metrics and tools of global standards. Based on the assessment, ERM India will suggest actions to further strengthen the company’s efforts to foster biodiversity around its operations which will ultimately lead to generating positive actions and help mitigate climate change. This will help Vedanta Aluminium create a roadmap with enhanced actions to nurture biodiversity and establish new goals, including Science-Based Targets for Nature, reinforcing the company’s commitment to sustainable development.
Vedanta Aluminium strives to incorporate the principles of ‘Lifestyle for Environment – LiFE,’ an initiative by the Government of India and enhance its efforts to help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals 14 & 15 focusing on conserving aquatic and terrestrial biodiversity.
Mr Rahul Sharma, CEO, Vedanta Ltd – Aluminium Businesscommented on the announcement, “At Vedanta Aluminium, we recognize the critical role of biodiversity conservation in sustainable business operations. We always strive for more sustainable and environmentally conscious practices, demonstrating our firm commitment to the preservation of nature for generations to come. We look forward to ourcollaboration with ERM India to bolster our Biodiversity Management Plan and strengthen the implementation of biodiversity management practices. This partnership reflects our unwavering commitment to responsible environmental stewardship. Together with ERM India, we aim to assess and enhance our biodiversity conservation efforts, aligning them with global standards and best practices. This collaboration marks a significant milestone in our journey towards a more sustainable and environmentally conscious future.”
Speaking about the collaboration,Dr Arun Venkataraman, Technical Consulting Director, ERM Indiasaid,”We are delighted to collaborate with Vedanta Aluminium in their commendable efforts to bolster their Biodiversity Management Plan and strengthen biodiversity management practices. We aim to deploy tools and metrics of global standards to help the company enhance their repertoire of biodiversity initiatives. Vedanta Aluminium’s commitment to sustainable business operations and its recognition of the critical role of biodiversity conservation is remarkable. We also wish to learn from the success of their approaches in establishing sustainable practices and ensuring inclusive development.”
On the occasion of International Day of Biological Diversity, Vedanta Aluminium embarked on a range of projects across its business units in Odisha and Chhattisgarh:
· Over the past few years, Vedanta Aluminium has made substantial contributions to the wildlife conservation of species protected under Schedule 1 of the Wildlife Protection Act across Balco and Jharsuguda.
· Awareness sessions for the local villagers were organized to protect the endangered Yellow Monitor Lizard that is hunted to make traditional medicine.
· The company launched a conservation project to protect over 30 species of butterflies, several protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, through the establishment of a new butterfly park at Jharsuguda.
· To protect the vulnerable Chloroxylon swietenia, commonly known as Ceylon Satinwood, the company planted saplings of this species at Jharsuguda.
· The company also undertook the restoration of several local waterbodies around its business units to rejuvenate the aquatic life and support the livelihoods of the local communities. So far Vedanta Aluminium has restored over 40 local water bodies in areas of Odisha and Chhattisgarh for community use.
· Several women under the Vedanta Sakhi project at Lanjigarh in Kalahandi districtwere selected to participate in the apiculture (beekeeping) training, where they learnt about different honeybee species, beekeeping equipment, and the installation of bee colonies.
· Installation ofbirdhouses and nests in the company’s operational areas was undertaken to support thelocal avian species. Watering stations were installed across peripheral areas to provide hydration for birds and animals during hot weather.
· Vedanta Aluminium also collaborated with school students to organize plantation drives, where the students pledged their dedication to conservation efforts.