Published on August 22, 2018
Tata Business Excellence Group (TBExG), being a knowledge centre, does not directly consume non-renewable resources as raw material for its operations. However, in line with the Tata Group Sustainability Policy, the organisation does its bit to contribute to the environment. To offset its carbon footprint, TBExG partnered with Grow Trees in 2016-17, an organisation that facilitates corporate gifting of tree saplings. By replacing the process of distributing printed certificates with that of planting tree saplings for its internal as well as external rewards & recognitions (R&R), TBExG has planted more than 1700 trees in the past two years, resulting in a projected carbon abatement of 115 MT of carbon dioxide.
The first step
In 2016-17, TBExG started calculating its carbon emissions and drafted a carbon abatement and offset plan. The objective was to contribute positively towards reduction of climate change impact through business activities that are more carbon positive. The carbon footprint mapping was done in accordance with the GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting standard prepared by the World Resource Institute (WRI). As part of this activity, data was collected across activities such as travel, use of paper, and consumption of electricity and diesel. Through focused monitoring and a host of efficiency-driven measures, TBExG managed to bring down its total emissions by 9% in 2017-18, compared with 2016-17.
One step that the organisation took as part of this initiative was the creation of a unique R&R programme in partnership with Grow Trees. As part of this programme, every year, on special occasions like birthdays, each TBExG employee receives a Green Certificate confirming that a sapling has been planted by TBExG in their name. The planting of the saplings is done with the help of Grow Trees in the Sundarbans region, where villagers are employed to identify, plant and grow the saplings. This approach has helped provide livelihoods while instilling a carbon-conscious thinking among employees and people from local communities.
To create a much larger impact across the Tata group, in 2017-18, TBExG decided to expand the green certification process to all the external recognitions related to TBEM assessment, Best Practices and Deep Dives engagements.
This generated pride and curiosity among Tata employees, with many CXOs of Tata companies congratulating TBExG on this unique programme. Many Tata companies are also currently exploring the possibility of replicating the sapling plantation exercise in their own organisations. This unique programme created lot of excitement among the recipients as they can even track the status of the trees planted online.
So far, TBExG has gifted 1700+ saplings in total, and has taken ownership of their planting, nurturing and caring over time. The organisation’s effort for making the world a better place continues, and in the coming years, the focus will be to do even more through creative and sustainable interventions.