A company's performance should be measured by its contribution to society as well as by financial metrics. It is encouraging to see investors and non-financial stakeholders value firms that have social and responsible ways of working. We want communities to feel that they are an integral part of Vedanta's growth story.
Zero Harm, Zero Waste, Zero Discharge
In recent years, we have put our energies into improving our safety performance and environmental standards. Our vision is to have an organisation that works on the premise of 'Zero Harm, Zero Waste, and Zero Discharge'. We have made good progress in both areas; however the loss of nine of our colleagues in work-related accidents in the past year is a reminder that further improvement is required. I am encouraged by the response of our organisations leadership to these incidents - whether it is emphasising improved training methods, enhancing leadership presence on the ground, or inducting global experts into our workforce. I am confident that we will become a significantly safer organisation in the years to come.
Waste from extractive operations is significant and our endeavour has always been to create value from this waste. We have put considerable efforts into programmes such as 'waste to wealth'.
AT VEDANTA JHARSUGUDA,WE DEDICATED THE 1ST 'GREEN ROAD' MADE USING FLY ASH AS THE PRIMARY COMPONENT.
We are also cognizant of the role large businesses such as ours need to take in combating climate change. We remain fully supportive of the outcomes from the Paris Agreement from three years ago. Internally, we have constituted a 'Carbon Forum' to help steer the group towards a less carbon-intensive way of operating.
Renewable energy can help us reduce our carbon footprint. Our zinc business in India has installed 324 MW of renewable energy and has plans of installing an additional 110 MW in the near future. As a group, we are also excited by the rise of the renewable economy, because our products - copper, zinc, lead, aluminium, silver, and iron - will play a crucial role in helping this industry achieve scale.
A talented, diverse and an inclusive workforce has helped make us one of the leaders in natural resources. At Vedanta, we respect merit and have nurtured a culture, which enables our employees to realise their full potential. We have identified 500+ young leaders across the organisation and entrusted them with leadership opportunities to drive the next phase of business growth.
Vedanta Group is also rapidly moving to become more gender inclusive. Today, women constitute nearly 11% of our total workforce and 14.3% of our Board. We have set ourselves a target to achieve 33% women representation at the Board-level by 2020.
Commitment to Society
Over the course of the last year, Vedanta invested over US$ 39 million in social programmes. Our efforts have touched the lives of 3.4 million people in over 1,400 villages. Our flagship programme, 'Nandghar' aims to transform pre-primary education and healthcare in rural India. We have committed to construct 4,000 state-of-the-art child welfare centres across the country to support women and children by providing nutrition, education, skills development and healthcare they need.
VEDANTA, THROUGH THE VEDANTA MEDICAL RESEARCH FOUNDATION, ALSO INAUGURATED CENTRAL INDIA'S FIRST WORLD-CLASS CANCER FACILITY IN NAYA RAIPUR, CHHATTISGARH IN THE PAST YEAR.
This initiative aligns with the larger vision of Vedanta Group's commitment to give back to society, and I look forward to many more research & development initiatives from the foundation going forward.
Our programmes in children's well-being & education, women's empowerment, healthcare, drinking water & sanitation, skilling of youth, environmental protection, sports & culture, community infrastructure development, and agriculture & animal husbandry will continue to enhance lives of those who live around our operating sites.
I am happy to note that in the last year our work in sustainability is being recognised by global organisations.
BOTH VEDANTA LIMITED AND HINDUSTAN ZINC IMPROVED THEIR RANKINGS IN THE METALS & MINING SECTOR AND MOVED UP TO THE 17TH AND 11TH PLACE RESPECTIVELY IN THE DOW JONES SUSTAINABILITY INDEX.
Vedanta Limited was again ranked as India's leading publicly listed company in the India Disclosure Index 2017 after having achieved the same recognition in 2016. I am proud of our transparency and commitment to welfare of all our stakeholders.
As we look out into the next year and beyond, Vedanta will continue to operate under the highest standards of corporate governance and deliver value to all our stakeholders. There is much potential in the markets where we operate and Vedanta is positioned well to create an impact not just for ourselves but also for the communities, regions, countries and industries where we operate.
It is an exciting journey to be part of!
CHAIRMAN, VEDANTA RESOURCES