The Aditya Birla Group (ABG) launched a group-wide Corporate Biodiversity Policy on 23 April 2018 with a commitment to achieve No Net Loss of Biodiversity at their areas of operation. Following their lead, Ultratech Cement Ltd (an ABG Company) also launched their Corporate Biodiversity Policy on the same day. This is an affirmative stride towards mainstreaming biodiversity into business operations.
Aditya Birla Group is one of the largest conglomerates in the world, and Ulratech Cement is the largest cement manufacturer in India. Over the years, Aditya Birla Group companies have been working to enhance the biodiversity in and surrounding their operating sites. In December 2012, the ABG Sustainability Vision was launched with the following commitment: “By 2017, the Aditya Birla Group endeavours to become the leading Indian conglomerate for sustainable business practices across its global operations.” In 2016, ABG became a member of IUCN’s Leaders for Nature (LfN) programme.
To create a scientific and systematic approach towards biodiversity management, IUCN assisted ABG to further develop their biodiversity policy as well as provided trainings to help their staff to implement the policy. In order to ensure that the policy was practically implementable, IUCN tested the same policy over the past two years at Ultratech Cement Ltd.
IUCN also conducted a biodiversity assessment, using the Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool, on BMP Ultratech’s unit in Gujarat, Sewagram Cement Works (SCW). IUCN carried out the comprehensive baseline assessment of biodiversity and ecosystem services by defining the habitats in and around SCW’s area of operations, including the mines. The results from the biodiversity assessment were used to develop a robust Biodiversity Management Plan (BMP) for Sewagram. The BMP includes a suite of measures designed to avoid, minimise, restore and offset impacts to biodiversity resulting from the development and operation of the cement factories and mines, and to restore biodiversity to areas that have already been degraded. From 2018 to 2019, SCW will initiate the implementation of the BMP.
Following this initial phase, the companies will continue to engage in biodiversity conservation through industry-level platforms, bodies, and knowledge-sharing forums on biodiversity.