While climate change affects business and
communities it impacts the developing
countries the most and they face the
challenges of dealing with the consequences.
World over women’s participation in labour
markets tends to be lower than men’s. In India,
female labour participation is less than 25%.
Public health concerns have an impact on the
health of a nation. Wage loss due to
preventable diseases such malaria and dengue
continue to plague many of the geographies
that we operate in.
We believe society, environment and business
cannot operate in silos. As a responsible
business we’re accountable for much more to
stakeholders besides our financial
In this increasingly uncertain world, we began
our sustainablity journey with the Good &
Green vision. Ten years ago, we made a
promise to build a more employable and
greener world, and put people and planet
In 2010, we laid out our sustainability vision
that made us look inward at our operations
and processes, and outwards at our
ecosystems, supply chain and communities.
We had three ambitious goals led by one
central team, guided by our company boards,
and implemented by numerous teams across
The issues we set out to tackle are too large
for us alone. Along our journey we
collaborated with quite a few implementation
partners who helped us improve our
understanding, provided solutions and
supported us in addressing specific issues.
We embraced the shared value approach in
sustainability that looks at business solutions
to stimulate social and environmental
We’ve trained and supported over half million
underprivileged people to improve their
incomes through better jobs, improved farm
practices, or building their businesses.
We enabled 3.5 million people to protect
themselves against vector-borne diseases.
Over half of the energy we use across our
companies is from renewable sources.
For every tonne of product manufactured we
now use 30% less energy.
We recharge four times the water we use in
our processes. Moreover, for every tonne
of product manufactured we now use
35% less water.
For every tonne of product manufactured we
now emit almost 50% less emissions.
For every tonne of our product manufactured
we now send 75% less waste.
Almost all homes built by GPL are green
certified with a minimum of LEED Silver rating.
It’s encouraging to see the social impact our
work has had. We’ve seen women too shy to
speak, start and run a successful business, dry
arid regions transform in to a green space, and
see malaria hotbed regions fight back to knock
out malaria deaths.
Our green investments in our manufacturing
operations have saved over INR 140 crores
over the decade. Our shop floor teams drive the
green initiatives and lead from the bottom up.
And we’re now working with our supply chain
to amplify our impact.
In 2010, when we first shared our targets
internally it seemed like a mountain of a task. It
took a mindset change over the next few years
to get people onboard. As teams saw direct
ROI of green initiatives, the confidence and
acceptance grew and it became a seamless
part of the manufacturing teams.
For social impact, all our programmes were
developed based on the community needs
and tweaked to local contexts. This ensured a
deeper engagement and successful outcomes.
We started out with the employability goal of
training ‘1 million people’. But along the way
we asked if our programmes are creating a
meaningful lasting impact? When we got our
answer, we pivoted our approach to a holistic
lens of livelihoods support.
We achieved just over half of our target but this
programme now means a lot more to the 192,000
women who entered the workforce for the first-time,
to the 100,000 farmers who improved productivity
and incomes, and to the 94,460 construction workers
registered to receive entitlements.
It’s relatively easy to keep emitting the same carbon emissions and offsetting them by carbon credits or mitigation projects elsewhere. But we choose to look inward first.
Like we started with reduced our specific water consumption at manufacturing and then implemented integrated watershed programmes that not only helped the environment but also ensured improved livelihood opportunities for thousands of farmers. We’re now a water positive Group.
Working on our manufacturing processes was a start. We wanted to make our products and the entire value chain environmental-friendly and responsible. Setting up the Sustainability Procurement Policy was our first big step towards empowering our supply chain to be sustainable.
There was an initial resistance, but we guided them to be more transparent as it would ultimately make them more efficient and productive. We chose gradual adoption over strict compliance and went on a collaborative mode. Today, sustainability has become an important part of our vendor selection process.
Our next five year sustainability vision focuses
on building an equitable and greener world
for over 20 million people.