Natural resources companies like ours have the potential to become leading partners in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Through our direct operations, we generate profits, employment and economic growth. And through partnerships with communities, the government and the civil society, we ensure that benefits of mining extend beyond the life of the mine itself, so that the mining industry has a positive impact on the natural environment, climate change and social capital.
At Vedanta we stand committed to contribute to the growth story by following the triple bottom line – People, Planet and Prosperity.
We at Vedanta operate on the belief that businesses are not isolated entities. The ultimate goal of Vedanta is to create long-term sustainable value for our host communities. This underpins our approach to preserving our Social Licence to Operate. Our endeavour is to build a platform for transparent dialogues on sustainability communication with all our stakeholders. We see the importance of sustaining ‘social license to operate’, through understanding social, economic and environmental performance that is linked to community consent. The focus is on proactively building trust for the business, and further the practice of engaging with stakeholders. In every decision, we place special emphasis on our principles of stakeholder dialogue and mutual respect. Hence community-initiated and owned programmes are stronger and more sustainable in the long-run.
A significant project of Vedanta has been pioneered by Anil Agarwal, the Chairman of Vedanta. Named Nand Ghar, it is a first-of-its-kind corporate partnership in India with the Ministry of Women and Child Development, India. 4000 Nand Ghars will be built to benefit 2.5 million people across India. Adopting a multi-pronged approach towards child development, the Nand Ghars aim at fulfilling the nutritional, educational and social needs of pre-school children and delivering skill development for empowering women.
To further our understanding of social license to operate we conducted a peer benchmarking study in partnership with Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs. This exercise was extremely useful as it gave us the assurance that we were well positioned among our peers.
The world today is evolving at a rapid pace, with the advent of new technology making possible innovations and subsequently more entrepreneurs. The constant flux of development, results in new rules, new conventions, new perceptions, ethics and governance. To build a powerful identity with strong ethics, governance and purpose is the challenge.
The world is looking closely at corporate citizens to ensure business responsibility. Any combination of breakdown in capability, judgement or motive will see trust in a brand destroyed. At Vedanta, we are stakeholders in each other’s future – while employees and communities strengthen the company’s future prospects, we make sure that they thrive. Vedanta as an entity empowers and nurtures the ethos. So that we can capitalise on individual traits to meet the broader corporate objectives.
Our Chairman, Anil Agarwal has committed 75% of wealth created to social good. Let me end with what he continues to say; ‘I believe in ‘trusteeship’. The ultimate aim of Vedanta is to empower people and eradicate poverty.’