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The science of doing 'Good Business'

Mahindra has committed to being a carbon-neutral Group by 2040 and taken decisive steps towards the same on Carbon, Water and Waste Management.

On carbon

The combination of energy efficiency and renewable energy will help businesses achieve the Science-Based Targets they have committed to and get closer to the climate goal of becoming a carbon-neutral business by 2040, a commitment made at the Global Climate Action Summit in California in September 2018.

The journey to be within planetary boundaries will drive businesses to be energy efficient and reduce emissions. One example is Mahindra & Mahindra. Today, M&M consumes 25% lesser energy to manufacture a vehicle than it did five years ago. It has joined the Climate Group’s EP100 programme and committed to double energy productivity by 2030 on the baseline of 2016. Mahindra Heavy Engines Ltd. has achieved this 15-year target in a record time of four years! Suppliers of M&M Ltd. have adopted many of the energy efficiency programmes shared with them, such as the 100 per cent LED program and the energy-efficient motor programme to name just two.Adopting renewable energy is a very effective way to reduce emissions. Businesses in the Group are taking steps to embrace renewable energy at scale.

The afforestation initiative started more than a decade ago and christened Mahindra Hariyali will go a long way to sequester carbon from the air and offset the emissions that the business cannot eliminate. The 18 million trees planted already will be joined by another 20 million trees over the next 20 years and will, together, make a very large contribution towards Mahindra’s becoming carbon-neutral and India achieving its commitment to creating an incremental 2.5-billion-ton carbon sink. As a founder member of the India Business Bio-Diversity Initiative, Mahindra is a part of a team enabling a wider business group to adopt good bio-diversity practices and reap its benefits for business.

The Group is a Water Positive Group since 2014.

Water is an increasingly scarce commodity. It also has a nexus with energy as water use is inextricably intertwined with energy consumption. Efficiency practices in water not only helps a business be water-secure but also reduces emissions. Mahindra’s locations are working to become water-efficient and water-secure to reduce the impact of predicted water shortage on its business. Locations such as Igatpuri and Chakan operate for more than 200 days without taking water from municipal sources. Many locations have begun to harness water in situ, such as making check dams and rainwater harvesting.

On waste management

22 of our locations have become certified as zero waste to landfill locations

The Japanese had discovered value in waste many decades ago. One of the cornerstones of Total Quality Management (TQM) was eliminating waste in all its forms. As an organisation that had won the highest laurels in TQM and was pursuing the path of sustainable development, it is no surprise that we re-looked at all that we took for granted as waste and searched for ways to create value from it.

One trigger for this work was the desire to contribute nothing to the environmental nightmares called landfills. Awareness of the Pacific Plastic Patch and how waste materials often ended up in water bodies causing untold harm to the marine environment, made us more committed to the cause.

This commitment led us to convert food waste into bio-CNG and fertiliser, start a new business in making transformer cores from bits of scrap steel, make turpentine oil from paint sludge, send many industrial waste items to cement plants for co-processing, synergise the production of scrap steel in one company with the use of scrap steel for steel production in another company, look for ways to use the slag from a steel plant in the construction business and many other initiatives. Implementation of these initiatives has ensured that our locations have become certified as zero waste to landfill locations. One of the locations is the Mahindra World City at Chennai, a 1,500-hectare integrated city whose Bio-CNG project from food waste is being replicated across the country.