Since 1800, following the discovery of penicillin and the industrial revolution, the population of the planet has grown exponentially. Today, it stands at 7,000,000,000 people and is forecast to reach 9 billion by 2050.
Scientists have discovered that mankind's actions are now pushing the planet's systems into unsafe territories. It will be difficult to continue to grow our economies without limitations, because at some point, the planet will not be able to continue to support our activities. Many people say that this time has already passed, and we are using resources and degrading nature to an extent that the planet's natural systems may not be able to recover from.
We have to get the equivalent of a barrel today into a pint pot tomorrow.
Businesses work according to management systems. Today, these management systems are often designed to meet limits set by local laws. However, these limits are not sufficiently restrictive enough to control our cumulative impacts, such that we remain within the planet's safe operating limits.
This is the Aditya Birla Group Sustainability Vision set by Mr K M Birla in the year 2012 and the Group Sustainability Cell has the goal of supporting and facilitating the achievement of this vision.
Our priority is to follow the three steps of the ABG Sustainability model to help us adjust our performance to meet the ever tightening demands of a sustainable planet and society.
The first step “Responsible Stewardship” focusses on how we manage today and our goal is to building a framework of policies, technical and management standards aligned to international standards as defined by the IFC, OECD, UNGC ISO, OSHAS and many more. By introducing these standards into our systems we will manage our operations in the most responsible manner.
The second step defined by the model is to understand the external changes that will inevitably impact our companies in the future and this step of the model is called “Strategic Stakeholder Engagement". Our goal is to build strong relationships with our stakeholders and key technical experts on climate change, water and waste management, developments in human rights legislation, safety standards, health impacts and the like. By doing so we expect to learn what are the trends that will most likely affect our businesses in the future and how are they likely to change.
The third step we will take is, "Future Proofing”, here we will embed sustainability trends into our strategic business plans to minimise the risks and find new opportunities that will be presented by the requirements of a sustainable planet and society by 2030 and 2050 and make our businesses sustainable.
All our business leaders are involved in the challenge to meet the Group’s vision and a lot of progress has already been made. Each business has created a road map to 2017 by which time we hope to be able to demonstrate that we have reached international standards of performance and have a robust plan for 2030 and beyond.