BUILDING SUSTAINABLE BUSINESSES FIT FOR A SUSTAINABLE WORLD 34 // BIODIVERSITY MANAGEMENT Biodiversity management is relatively new for businesses in India where traditionally the government has led activity and driven initiatives. This is therefore also a new area of engagement for the Group’s India based businesses. We recognise that our businesses can have an effect on the local ecology of the areas where we operate and that we have an important role to play in protecting the fragile ecosystems around us. Effective biodiversity management means protecting our future capacity to operate in the most basic ways. For example, we rely on cotton crops for our apparel business, healthy ecosystems for our manufacturing industries to thrive and as an active member of an inter-connected world, the responsible management of our biodiversity means helping to secure a healthy society. No Net Loss approach Our Group-wide biodiversity policy, technical standard and guidance notes set out our target to manage biodiversity based on a No Net Loss (NNL) approach. NNL calls for negative biodiversity impacts caused by projects to be balanced by biodiversity gains through compensation measures implemented in the region. These gains are evaluated against a baseline (a reference point or trajectory without the project occurring, or prior to the project occurring) of the relevant biodiversity values being impacted. While the NNL approach applies to all projects, for operational projects, steps for assessing biodiversity risks and past instances of biodiversity loss and ecosystem services will be carried out. These will identify mitigation actions and introduce obligatory additional conservation actions to compensate for past losses. Our Technical Standard requires biodiversity assessment and management to follow five stages of i) Biodiversity Screening; ii) Biodiversity Inventory Assessment and Ecosystem Services Review; iii) Biodiversity and Ecosystem Impact Assessment; iv) Biodiversity Risk Assessment; and v) Biodiversity Mitigation and Management Plans. By adopting a biodiversity policy based on the NNL approach, our businesses commit to understanding biodiversity risks at all their sites over time. For high risk sites, the business will review the ecosystems services, conduct assessments to establish baselines, identify biodiversity risks and impacts and then use this to develop appropriate biodiversity action plans. Effective collaboration to drive our performance With a view to understanding the linkages between biodiversity and business, we have entered into a partnership with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), a global conservation organisation. The IUCN experts reviewed our framework documents so that we can promote the adherence to international standards and expectations across our operations. UltraTech has worked with the IUCN to create a scientific and systematic approach towards biodiversity management for its operations. The organisation carried out the comprehensive baseline assessment of biodiversity and ecosystem services in and around Sewagram Cement Work’s area of operations, including the quarries. This included defining habitats inside and outside the quarried and operational areas. 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, rectify, and/or compensate for impacts to biodiversity resulting from the development and operations of the cement unit and mines area. SCW is now in the process of initiating the implementation of BMP from 2018-19 onwards. The approach and learnings from this study were also the basis to develop the Group’s biodiversity policy and technical standard, in line with global biodiversity standards. In the long-term, the goal is for the Group biodiversity policy to be implemented across all of UltraTech’s high impact sites and for this engagement to lead to similar pilots in our other businesses. In addition, we have adopted the use of IUCN’s screening tool, the Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool (IBAT). This assessment tool has enabled our operations around the world to map biodiversity challenges in relation to the exact location of the site. The results that we have obtained from IBAT form the starting point of biodiversity risk assessment at our operations. Responsible Stewardship