Carbon mapping | Engagement
| Strategic collaboration
The Tata group is facing up to the challenge of climate change and making
it integral to its processes. The broad idea is to develop a common approach
to the critical questions confronting the group's businesses on the environmental
front, and formulate policies that can deal effectively with issues that impact
climate change. Across the Tata group, there has been considerable progress
in terms of developing abatement strategies, increasing awareness and determining
The group embarked on its climate change journey in July 2008, with the formation
of the Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Tata Quality Management Services (TQMS),
a centrally administered organisation that draws on the experience and expertise
of senior Tata leaders. The CoE works under the direction of the high-level
Climate Change Steering Committee that is led by Prasad Menon, director, Tata
Industries, and chairman, TQMS. It is also supported by the Climate Change Working
Group (WG), comprising chief sustainability officers of key Tata companies.
Carbon mapping and abatement
A climate change policy has been articulated at the group level. This functions
as a common framework for change and ensures that the changes taking place are
institutionalised and implemented in more companies. The policy also takes note
of the unique identity and market conditions of the industries that each company
operates in. The policy has been adopted by all Tata companies and importantly,
every company has benefited from the deep commitment of its senior leadership.
The carbon footprint of the 50 largest Tata companies has been estimated and
their carbon management strategy articulated. The remaining smaller Tata companies
are being mapped through the administration of a questionnaire. Early estimates
indicate that specific emissions can be brought down by 10-15 per cent if Tata
companies adopt abatement measures, instead of going down the business-as-usual
What's interesting is that several new business opportunities have emerged,
such as green power from Tata Power, nanotechnology applications from the innovation
centre of Tata Chemicals and the supply of special steel for offshore wind farms
by Tata Steel Europe.
Engagement and awareness
A total of 35,000 Tata managers have been exposed to the basic concepts of climate
change and about 300 climate change 'champions' have been created to propagate
the message across the group.
Climate change was incorporated as one of the areas of emphasis in the Tata
Business Excellence Model (TBEM) assessment from 2010. Today there is greater
engagement with thinkers in the areas of technology, policy and business models
that are relevant to a low-carbon world.
In order to gain experience on various issues related to climate change (listed
below), collaboration and engagement is undertaken with institutes (such as
IISC and IITB), forward-thinking companies and global organisations (such as
UNEP / UN Global Compact Caring for Climate Initiative). The themes, in general,
- Evolving knowledge on climate science
- Collaborative projects on sustainability (greening Bombay House, electric
vehicle systems, green townships, improvements in steel processes, etc.)
- Generating knowledge and sharing best practices for evolving a strategic
tool for climate change
- Exploring technical solutions for a low-carbon economy
The group is also part of the Prime Minister’s Committee of Low Carbon
Strategies for India chaired by Dr Kirit Parikh, and it also leads the sub-committee
on the transport sector.
While there are several issues that will need to be tackled in the coming
months and years, one thing that has become clear is that what is good for the
climate is also good for business; the two are not mutually exclusive. For example,
energy efficiency not only cuts emissions, but it also brings costs down. Similarly,
alternative energy is a growing business opportunity in Europe and India, and
if companies can develop sustainable models, it would benefit both the climate
Thus while the journey began with the intention of doing the right thing as
a socially responsible corporate house, it may well turn out that this has been
the right thing to do from a business perspective as well.
|Climate change policy for Tata companies
Tata companies will play a leadership role in climate change by being knowledgeable, responsive and trustworthy, and by adopting environment-friendly technologies, business practices and innovation, while pursuing their own growth aspirations and the enhancement of shareholder value.
Tata companies will measure their carbon footprint and will strive to:
- Be the benchmark in their segment of industry on the carbon footprint, for their plants and operations.
- Engage actively in climate change advocacy and the shaping of regulations in different business sectors.
- Incorporate ‘green’ perspective in all key organisational processes.