Companies covered: Amrita University | Blue Dart | Canon India | HDFC Bank | Ramky Enviro | VAHDAM® India

Note: The statements, claims and numbers are as per the press releases shared with CauseBecause.

Amrita University’s Coimbatore campus now has 1.75 lakh trees of more than 200 species
The carbon-positive Coimbatore campus of Amrita University, one of India’s leading multi-campus, multi-disciplinary teaching and research institutions, located in a sprawling 450 acre land has crossed the milestone of adding one lakh trees to its green cover of over 7 lakh square metres.

With the survival rate of the saplings at 95%, the planting drive is set to increase the green cover of the campus incrementally. The university is also taking up planting projects in its other campuses to replicate the success of the Coimbatore campus.

Once a barren and deserted land in 1998, when the university acquired it, the area at the foothills of Western Ghats now boasts thick vegetation, rich in biodiversity with trees and medicinal plants of over 200 species. A result of 18 years of hard work by a dedicated team of environmental scientists, landscape artists, gardeners, and the staff and students, apparently the green cover has brought down the average temperature of the campus by around 3 degree Celsius (from about 28 degree Celsius, the average for the city during summer months). The extensive rainwater-harvesting initiatives have also increased the groundwater table.

Regarding the green mission of the university, Dr M Aravindakshan, Coordinator, Environmental Studies, Amrita University – Coimbatore, says, ‘The green initiatives, which also include rainwater harvesting, solar power, biogas plants, and other sustainability projects, are taken up with participation of students and staff. On average we roll out 50+ projects a year, providing opportunities for our staff and students to contribute to the environment. Another unique aspect is that environment management and sustainability is a mandatory subject for all our students, irrespective of what engineering or management courses they have enrolled in.’

The university has a policy of not cutting trees to make way for buildings. It draws water for irrigation from its wastewater-recycling systems, comprising four sewage-treatment plants with a combined capacity of 8 lakh litres per day, and freshwater from its rainwater-harvesting facilities which include 16 check dams and 12 storage tanks.

The university is spread across six campuses in three states—Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka—with headquarters at Coimbatore. 

Blue Dart embraces paperless technology
Blue Dart, part of the Deutsche Post DHL Group (DPDHL), has announced paperless transactions on their new digital portal for all its vendor partners.

Manufacturing paper is energy-intensive – one A4 sheet requires approximately 50 watt-hours. Going paperless will help conserve energy, reduce CO2 emissions, avoid deforestation, protect the natural habitat, and strengthen forest-based livelihood opportunities for the surrounding communities. Through this initiative, Blue Dart will not only protect the environment but also commits to planting a significant number of trees every year. Currently, Blue Dart plants 111,000 trees every year, in order to offset 2,220,000 kg carbon per year on maturity.

The company aims to make all their owned or leased facilities operate at net zero carbon by 2025, drive increased efficiency and use cleaner fuels within their fleet of 6 Boeing 757 freighters, support customers with sustainable and optimised packaging solutions, and design greener products and services through their comprehensive solutions.

Canon India’s ‘Green Environment Together’ – 20,000 trees in 2 years
Canon India announced the successful planting of the 20,000th tree as part of its ‘Green Environment Together’ (GET) initiative. As part of the initiative, Canon India plants a tree on the purchase of every laser copier/multi-function device (MFD) on behalf of its direct customers. 

HDFC Bank commits to becoming carbon-neutral by 2031–32
The bank is looking at reducing its emissions and energy and water consumption, while continuing to incorporate and scale up the use of renewable energy in its operations. As part of its ESG strategy, the bank will also focus on offering loans for green products like electric vehicles at lower interest rates and incorporating ESG scores in its credit decisions. The Bank is also working on a framework for issuing green bonds.

This announcement is a part of the bank’s overall commitment to embed ESG principles in its business. The bank has a three-pronged strategy to achieve its objective to become carbon neutral: reduce consumption, transition to renewable energy, and offset carbon footprint. As a part of this strategy, it is planning the following initiatives, amongst others:

-Decrease absolute emissions and energy consumed, from current level of 315,583 MT CO2 emissions
-Increase rooftop solar capacity in large offices
-Convert 50% of our total sourced electricity to renewable energy
-Create single-use plastic-free corporate offices
-Plant 25 lakh trees
-Reduce water consumption by 30%

Ramky Enviro announces end-of-life vehicle-recycling facilities
An integrated player in the waste management and recycling space, Ramky Enviro’s (REEL) nationwide network of end-of-life vehicle (ELV) facilities supports this year’s World Environment theme #GenerationRestoration, as per their official statement.

As per industry reports, by 2025 India will have over two crore vehicles nearing the end of their lives. Over the past 15–20 years, a significant amount of research and development has enhanced the recycling rate of ELVs, including enhancing dismantling techniques and improving remanufacturing operations. Recycling of automotive materials can have a very positive sustainability impact via conservation of materials, lower energy use, and lower greenhouse gas emissions.

REEL’s nation-wide network of ELV facilities can accelerate fleet renewal based on cleaner fuels, newer technologies and zero-emission alternatives such as electric vehicles; this protects the environment and public health on one hand and ensure sustainable resource and material recovery on the other. These facilities will deploy automated technologies towards dismantling, depolluting and shredding to maximise recycling and resource recovery.

In the first phase, these recycling facilities are being developed at locations near Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Adityapur and Chennai. In the next phase, the network will expand to over 25 locations across India. REEL will also partner with leading automotive companies in both passenger and commercial vehicles segments as part of this initiative.

VAHDAM® India releases its 2020–21 sustainability impact report
In 2020, VAHDAM® India became one of the first tea brands in Asia to get a Climate Neutral certification in line with its long-term goal of aligning with the UN SDGs by 2030. The same year, VAHDAM® India worked with ‘rePurpose Global’ to measure and offset its plastic usage, and became one of the first tea brands to get the Plastic Neutral certification too.

In 2020, VAHDAM® India took its first steps to measure its carbon footprint by measuring emissions under Scopes 1, 2 and 3 as per the Greenhouse Gas Protocol for the year 2019.

–       Scope 1 – covers direct emissions from owned or controlled sources
–       Scope 2 – covers indirect emissions from the generation of purchased electricity, steam, heating and cooling consumed by the company
–       Scope 3 – includes all other indirect emissions that occur in a company’s value chain

Post measurement and verification of its carbon footprints by ClimateNeutral USA, the brand shortlisted projects for its carbon credits, from platforms verified by a global carbon-credit platform (such as GoldStandard, Switzerland). It purchased credits in projects that work at reducing, removing, or avoiding emissions or carbon from traditional fossil fuels.

The brand’s carbon footprint for the year 2020 was 2,954 tCo2e under the 3 scopes mentioned above and was offset in the following projects:

– Biomass power project at Godawari Power and Ispat Limited, Chhattisgarh
Credits purchased: 954

– Wind power project in Madhya Pradesh, India
Credits purchased: 1100

– Improved wood stoves in Udaipur
Credits purchased: 900