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A case study of the TATA group in India

Business , being an integral part of Society at large ,is entwined in the web of sustainability..
According to World Business Council for Sustainable Development Corporate

Social Responsibility is the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large.

Though India is home to 18% of the worlds population, it only has 2.4% of the planets landmass, 4% of the fresh water resources and about a percent of the worlds forest. Indias ecosystems are already highly degraded.

Action in CSR in India largely spans a diverse set of thematic areas health, education, livelihood, poverty alleviation, environment, water, housing, energy and microfinance, women empowerment, child development and infrastructure .

Mainly confined to global companies especially in the manufacturing sector that engage in manufacturing tangible goods (consumer and industrial) . Hardly any research done to study the sustainability in service industry espacially in the hospitality sector. A lot of global research is done on global oil companies like BP & shell and its impact worldwide. Some research is being done in areas of Rural marketing, green marketing as determinant for sustainable business growth In India. Most CSR activities in India are focussing on community development , education , rural management , education with now a trend towards Environmentalism. Recently KPMG in collaboration with CII has done a comprehensive CSR survey in India. Trend towards research on Sustainable business came after the Kyoto protocol & UN conventions on climate change

There are currently over 500 international treaties and other agreements related to the environment. An average 300 days per year are spent in intergovernmental negotiations to further develop and enhance implementation of environmental law. Kyoto Protocol -This international protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) requires signatories in industrialized country to meet GHG emission reduction targets relative to 1990 levels.

THE UN- Global Compact, a voluntary initiative is concerned with building the social legitimacy of business alongwith , Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), which operates under the aegis of the United Nations.

The paper is based on desktop research and case study analysis which represents corporate social responsibility trends in India based on the to discern the status of CSR and sustainable development initiatives and trends in India.

The focus of this paper is to showcase the sustainable development initiatives of the TATA group(A case study of 5 group companies) , a leader in the area of owning up environmental responsibility and setting benchmark practices for other corporate all over the world

Tata Group is one of the largest companies in India by market capitalization and revenue.

The Tata Group has operations in more than 80 countries and Tata Group comprises 114 companies and subsidiaries in eight business sectors, 27 of which are publicly listed.
In June 2011, based on market value Tata Group has become India's wealthiest group with $98.7 billion.

The Tata Council for Community Initiatives (TCCI) is a unique initiative that lends structure to the Tata group's approach of sustainable development while driving its community engagement and improvement programmes

Let industry established in the countryside adopt the villages in its neighbourhood; is also clearly in the interests of industry that surrounding areas should be healthy, prosperous and peaceful.
1938- 1993 J R D Tata, Chairman, Tata Group

I do believe that we, in the Tata Group, have held a view and sense of purpose that our companies are not in existence just to run our business and to make profit but that we are responsible and good corporate citizens over and above our normal operations
Ratan N Tata, Chairman, Tata Group

The organisation has launched EARTH (Environment Awareness and Renewal at Taj Hotels), a movement that works to minimise the impact of its businesses on the environment. At Lake Palace, Udaipur, which stands in the middle of the famous Pichola Lake, the Taj hotel uses battery-operated boats powered by gasoline, and wastewater is recycled and used for irrigation. The Taj Garden Retreat at Kumarakom,The hotel uses special lighting to reduce the glare so as not to disturb animal life, and wastewater is treated before being discharged. the Taj Exotica, Maldives the use of plastic bags is restricted and hazardous substances such as lead acid batteries are sent to Thilafushi Island, a landfill area allocated for refuse. The Taj Coral Reef, located on a tropical atoll, takes great care to protect the delicate ecosystem of the coral reefs. Trees are planted near the beach and extraction of sand from the beach is not permitted. Organic wastes are processed and converted to fish food. Taj hotels use CFL lights, which consume 78 per cent less energy; Taj Coromandel, Chennai, generates energy from windmills; solar water heating systems at the Taj West End, Bangalore, have saved over 51,000 litres of fuel over the last three years;

Tata Chemicals has assessed the carbon footprint of all its operations and has embarked on a programme to reduce its carbon footprint by 20 per cent by 2020. It has invested in developing biofuels such as biodiesal and bioethanol; it offers Briskarb - a sodium bicarbonate-based product for flue gas treatment. At Mithapur, where TCL's Indian soda ash plant is located, vast acres of salt pans are nurtured as a nesting habitat for thousands of migratory birds. The whale shark project is a very successful programme under the joint efforts of Tata Chemicals, Wildlife Trust of India and the government of Gujarat.

The company has been at the forefront of safeguarding the incredibly rich flora and fauna in and around Munnar, Kerala, the hub of its huge planting operations and a region that has been classified as one of the worlds biodiversity hotspots.
The company maintains about 1,100 hectares under swamps and streams in south India as a protected habitat. This plays a crucial role in the availability of water for groundwater recharging and water harvesting. The Eravikulam National Park is jointly managed by Keralas Department of Forests and Wildlife, and the High Range Wildlife and Environment Preservation Association (HRWEPA) and TATA tea .The Eravikulam National Park houses a large number of endemic and endangered life forms, including the largest population of the Nilgiri tahr, around 700 of which graze here. ,Nilgiri Marten, ruddy mongoose, small clawed otter, dusky stripped squirrel and of large mammals such as elephant, gaur (Indian bison), deer, tiger, panther, wild dogs, etc. It also harbours about 120 species of birds. Tata Tea also funds and supports the High Range Angling Association, which maintains a hatchery for raising rainbow trout fish. The fingerlings raised are released in the streams that flow within the companys holdings.

Has created a lake district in a once arid area of maharashtra with 6 water bodies , a green habitat for flora and fauna , in short a sustainable biosphere. Their first step was to create a perennial source of water by constructing a 350-metre-long stone dam to contain rainwater that came in through the natural watercourses within the perimeter. Today, the six ponds and lakes are fed by rainwater and also by treated effluence of the factory. These lakes have become an extension of the effluent treatment plants (ETP), with the treated wastewater being retained by two ponds and two lakes, while allowing the excess to overflow from one water body to the next. The once arid scrubland with cupfuls of quickly evaporating rainwater has now become home to broods of birds and aquatic creatures. They have created a lake district in Maharashtra where once there was wetlands and wastelands. In recognition of the work done for conservation and rejuvenation here, Tata Motors, Pune, has been awarded the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) Green Governance Award 2006 in the Conservation and Restoration of Habitat category.

Tata Powers Energy Club has Mr Ener-ji as its mascot. Being a power company, it encourages school children to become energy champions, committed to sustaining and expanding the cause of energy conservation. Today, the club has over 10,000 students as members, who have brought energy conservation awareness to another 38,000 people and hopes to exponentially increase its membership in the coming year.

Teachers are encouraged to conduct field trips to the Tata Power gardens, play edutainment games with the children that widen their knowledge of the environment .
Tata Power has partnered with Bharati Vidyapeeth, a university in Pune, that runs educational programmes for the teachers

The earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of the earth. The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth. Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it. We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors.. we borrow it from our children."

We generate wealth for the people. What comes from the people must, to the extent possible, therefore get back to the people. - Bharat Ratna, J R D Tata