The world has undergone much change in the name of development and progress, particularly over the past century. I think it is relevant to understand the fundamentals of the basic existential tenets of life and how ‘the self’ has come before ‘service’ or before ‘others’.
This thought is directly linked to individual responsibilities, responsibilities towards neighbours and towards the environment, and responsibility towards the businesses and work we are engaged in. I believe that we need to understand the rudiments of responsibility as embodied in the acronym I AM – that is, introspection, adoration and mutual respect.
If we truly ‘introspect’ on how we can improve the environment around our abode, the realisation will dawn that we have failed in our responsibilities over the years and should earnestly think about ‘what’ we need to do to change ourselves and our way of life. It is this driver which will lead to inner reflections on our habits and our lifestyles. Appreciation and ‘adoration’ of what we have and what we see around us will make us realise our responsibility towards preservation and help us to harmonise various actions like responsible consumption, responsible disposal, and responsible mutual understanding. This leads me to the third piece, mutual respect. Mutual respect is not limited to just another individual with whom we interact, but includes the environment as well. If we respect nature, then assuredly the converse will be visible.
There is a perceptible change in attitudes of people, with greater awareness being spread through various media. For example, do we really need to dispose of this, and if so, how? Such questions help us to, firstly, rethink on whether we need to procure a particular item, which may not be necessary, or if we have to purchase it, how do we optimally use and reuse it before we throw it away? Next, how do we dispose of it in a responsible way? Can we do with a little less and encourage local markets in producing quality products, which may be more expensive yet will have a direct impact on the lives of people through markets and in turn will create a healthier environment?
In sum, individual social responsibility has to flow from within. It is the small things that make a house a home – and our efforts must be on to make it happen, with passion and dedication.
–As leaders/decision makers
Leaders can make a significant difference to an institution, an organisation, or any group they represent by sharing their vision on collective responsibility. Firstly, we need to know our working environment, which is a critical component in decision making, where self-interests must always remain subdued to group interests and interests of all stakeholders. These stakeholders include the employees of the organisation, the supply chain, customers, government, communities, and so on. It is, therefore, important to assess a situation and blend the actions in such a manner that they are acceptable, sustainable, and stakeholder-driven.
A major initiative undertaken by JSL is to do with climate change and introduction of climate-resilient technology, resulting in reduction of carbon emissions. The process is presently work in progress and various initiatives have since been taken in the areas of reduction in power consumption. In addition, with detailed R&D various initiatives have been taken, like usage of liquid Fe-Cr, which again has facilitated in reducing power consumption, thereby further reducing carbon emissions. As per World Steel Association and International Energy Agency, with the various processes introduced by JSL, the corporation has been able to reduce 25,000 tons of CO2 emissions in 2018–19, which is a significant step towards CO2 mitigation. Efforts are on to reach further targets and be a leader in the space of environmental sustainability.