ITC Bhadrachalam plant gets GreenCo Platinum+ rating

India's leading paperboard manufacturer is GreenCo Platinum+

ITC - Bhadrachalam

ITC’s Paperboards and Specialty Papers Business (PSPD) world-class integrated facility at Bhadrachalam has been conferred the GreenCo Platinum+ rating by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Green Business Centre, as part of the Green Company rating system. It is the only facility in the pulp and paper sector and the second company overall in the country to have received this prestigious rating. The revered rating, which is given to industries for demonstrating leadership and commitment towards environment conservation, is recognition for ITC’s core commitment to sustainable business practices and efforts to combat climate change. ITC has been carbon positive (15 years), water positive (18 years), and solid waste recycling positive (13 years).

The GreenCo Platinum Plus rating puts ITC’s Bhadrachalam unit at par with green standards of other world-class facilities. It is a testimony to the Business’ large scale efforts in achieving environmental excellence. ITC’s Paperboards and Specialty Papers Business as a leading manufacturer of packaging and graphic boards in South Asia has long endeavored to become an icon of environmental stewardship.

Commenting on the achievement, Sanjay Singh, Corporate Management Committee member, ITC said, “In line with ITC’s Triple Bottom Line philosophy, PSPD’s commitment towards being at the forefront of environmental resources conservation and replenishment has helped it to synergize environmental and economic sustainability. The GreenCo Platinum + rating is a recognition of our Bhadrachalam unit’s large scale efforts towards combating climate change. We are delighted that our consistent green endeavors has made us the only company in the pulp and paper sector to have received this accolade. This honor encourages us to further strengthen our interventions and programs that contribute to creating a positive environmental footprint.

The Green Company rating system is the ‘first of its kind in the world’ with a  comprehensive framework that evaluates the performance of green features of companies on 10 broad green parameters like energy efficiency, renewable energy, CHG emissions, water conservation, waste management, material conservation, green supply chain, product stewardship, and life cycle assessment, innovation for the environment and green infrastructure. The rating system has been acknowledged in India’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) document, submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2015, as a proactive voluntary action of Indian industry/ private sector towards combating climate change.

ITC’s Paperboards and Specialty Papers Business has implemented an inclusive and sustainable forestry value chain that has created a large green cover and livelihoods for tribals and marginal farmers. The business has adopted a fiber-sourcing strategy through growing plantations owned by marginal farmers and tribal villages. This has enabled ITC to encourage green cover for over 8,00,000 acres of land and provide 147-million-person days of sustainable livelihood to farmers. The efforts made by ITC to promote responsible sourcing and sustainable plantations has led to the Forest Stewardship Council certification as well as membership of WWF-Global Forest and Trade Network. Previously, ITC has also been recognized for achieving the lowest Green House Gas emissions in the Indian Pulp and Paper Industry.

The Paperboards and Specialty Papers Business also commissioned the first-ever Bleached Chemi-Thermomechanical Pulp Mill in India, which for the first time made the conversion of hardwood into softwood pulp feasible, enabling import-substitution and agroforestry promotion for this purpose. ITC has also implemented the ‘Well Being out of Waste’ (WoW) initiative, a large-scale waste management effort that today extends to over 1 crore citizens in the country.  All these initiatives spearheaded by the Business have indeed contributed to ITC’s position as a global exemplar in sustainability.

ITC is only the second company in the country to have achieved the feat of first-class platinum plus rating. Over 550 companies spread across 18 sectors are currently working to receive a GreenCo rating with more than 260 companies already having received it.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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