UN recognition for HCC’s sustainability practices
HCC’s two projects have been featured in a case study conducted by the United Nations Global Compact and United Nations Environment Programme. The construction major is the only Indian company to be featured alongside nine other global companies including Coca Cola, Nokia and Eskom.
The UN report titled “Caring Business and Climate Change Adaptation: toward Resilient Companies and Communities” presents ten case studies to illustrate how businesses are responding creatively and effectively to address climate change opportunities, risks, and impacts in developing countries and emerging economies.
The HCC case study highlights its efforts towards water neutrality and showcases its initiatives at two HCC projects—the Strategic Oil Storage Cavern project at Visakhapatnam and the Delhi-Faridabad Elevated Expressway.
In Visakhapatnam, HCC installed a wastewater treatment plant to utilize the seepage waste water for construction thus completing construction without external water supply to the project even during severe water scarcity in the region. Installation of the plant enabled HCC to recycle and reuse nearly 95 percent of the waste water for the project for drilling, dust suppression, concrete curing and other activities, saving an amount of water equivalent to nearly six months of water consumption of the city of Vizag.
In the Delhi-Faridabad expressway project, water resources were of particular concern in this low-rainfall part of the country. HCC implemented several measures to conserve, recycle, and reuse water, including creation of an artificial rainfall-fed pond and rooftop rainwater harvesting. The most notable of HCC’s efforts was a unique model for harvesting run off rainwater from the expressway itself as a way to recharge aquifers in the surrounding area.
Ajit Gulabchand, chairman and managing director, HCC said, “It is indeed a great honour for the HCC group as well as India that an Indian company features among the 10 companies at the global level. As a responsible corporate, HCC has recognized that sustainable and responsible development is absolutely inevitable and is committed to the cause of nurturing environment along with the economic development and be a role model.”
HCC works with a designated point person at each project site —a “water champion”— to assess water impacts; conduct technical, social, and cost analysis of feasible water interventions; agree on measures to be implemented; and monitor and evaluate progress.
The company conducts public consultation processes to collect primary data, inputs, and perspectives from local communities, sometimes in collaboration with local civil society groups. HCC takes a “4 R” approach to water interventions (reduce, reuse, recycle, recharge) at its construction sites, where it is typically on the ground for two to six years, and also in longer-term BOT (Build, Operate, Transfer) projects.
HCC is the first Indian signatory to the CEO Water Mandate, comprising more than 80 companies whose chief executives have committed to individual and collective action to advance water stewardship in their own operations as well as in their supply chains, watersheds and communities.
Launched in 2000, the United Nations Global Compact is a both a policy platform and a practical framework for companies that are committed to sustainability and responsible business practices. As a multi-stakeholder leadership initiative, it seeks to align business operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, and to catalyze actions in support of broader UN goals. With 7,000 corporate signatories in 135 countries, it is the world’s largest voluntary corporate sustainability initiative.