2017 saw the global economy grow by 3.8% according to the IMF's World Economic Outlook (WEO). This was a 0.5% increase over the previous year and the fastest growth rate since 2011. This global uptick was driven by resilient growth in advanced economies combined with a continued pick-up in growth in emerging markets. Key drivers included an increase in investment spend, supported by an improved outlook and a rise in private consumption.
Changing climate can have a dual impact on the natural resources industry. It can directly impact operations and performance and indirectly can affect supplies and increase energy costs. Vedanta is sensitive to the impact we have on the environment.
Vedanta is committed to addressing the challenges posed by climate change. Our energy management approach hinges on a two-pronged strategy:
Diversifying our energy portfolio to the extent possible
We continued to take sustained actions to address climate change. Our Sustainable Development Framework is in place, which includes an Energy and Carbon Policy, and an Energy and Carbon Management Standard. As responsible stewards of sustainable development, we report our GHG emissions as per the requirements of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), World Resource Institute (WRI) GHG Protocol and Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP). Our zinc and lead mining operations are transitioning from open pit to underground mining. This will help us in reducing our carbon footprint.
Our Carbon Forum - a group-level body led by the CEO-Diversified Metals comprises of business COOs and representatives from Corporate HSE and Sustainability. We have formulated a Carbon Strategy and are planning to initiate carbon pricing. By putting a price on carbon, we will be able to reduce emissions while encouraging sustainable and robust growth.
THE RIGHT TALENT
As Vedanta grows across sectors and geographies, we want to ensure that we are able to do so in the most sustainable manner possible. To be able to deliver on this ambition, we need people who have global exposure and a proven track record of delivering sustainable solutions in the mining industry. We are also mindful that as we create new opportunities, we do so in a manner that enables gender diversity within the workforce as well as allows local communities to become part of this workforce - whether directly or with our multiple suppliers, vendors, and partners.
Vedanta has been attracting the right talent from across the globe due to our employee-centric human resources policies and culture that fosters entrepreneurship. The new, diverse talent that we attract is given the freedom to innovate and create.
We routinely induct a large numbers of university graduates, which gives us an influx of fresh minds, while providing them with lucrative growth opportunities. Our Global Leadership Programme provides an ideal opportunity to develop mutual appreciation for the best practices across the Group companies and leverage the synergy. This programme also helps the organisation create talented global resource pools that can bring out the best and excel in a multicultural environment.
Internal growth workshops identify young leaders through a structured process, in order to develop them into highly competitive leaders and provide them growth and recognition. We attract female candidates as our policies are progressive and women-friendly. We provide leadership development, women-networking forums and enhanced parental leave policy.
RETAINING OUR SOCIAL LICENSE TO OPERATE
The metals & mining industry has always walked a fine balance between creating new economic value, ensuring that local communities benefit from the presence of the industry and minimising the impacts on the environment. In areas with indigenous populations, additional care needs to be exercised to ensure community buy-in. Given the nature and scale of the industry, challenges to social license to operate by local communities have been common in the metals & mining sector. In response companies and industry organisations such as IFC and ICMM have developed several guidelines and best practices to aid greater acceptance of the industry in communities.
Vedanta connects with the community even in the remotest areas where we operate. As responsible stewards of sustainable development, we create direct and indirect employment, empower local communities through initiatives in health and living standards; and add value to the economy. We also provide employment to candidates from the community in senior management and other positions to empower them and enable economic activity in the region
Apart from providing employment to the youth, we work for children's well-being & education, women's empowerment, healthcare, drinking water & sanitation, agriculture & animal husbandry, skilling the youth for new opportunities, environment protection & restoration, sports & culture and community infrastructure.
We are also committed to ensuring that indigenous communities have the opportunity to give free, prior, informed consent for new projects that we plan to undertake.