Open, ongoing and organised dialogue contributes significantly to trust and transparency, which is a vital ingredient of a successful partnership. At Vedanta, we believe that such partnerships with stakeholders, with a focus on 'development where it matters most' can lead to economic, environmental and social well-being.
Diverse stakeholders necessitate varied modes of engagement. So, we deploy a range of engagement channels based on the nature of the stakeholder segment. These include public hearings to one-on-one discussions, information disclosures to feedback forms, and participatory sessions to satisfaction surveys, with a view to understand stakeholder expectations, aligning their interests and updating them on our intentions and actions.
All stakeholder engagements are anchored by our social responsibility performance standards with an aim to transform relationships into partnerships, provide adequate grievance mechanisms to help resolve situations of potential conflict and enhanced interaction with vulnerable communities such as indigenous people.
|Our dialogue begins with questions that solicit feedback. Our stakeholders have access to a number of platforms to reach out to Vedanta personnel and voice concerns.||We disclose not just because we want to be heard, but because we are responsible. We aim to provide a constructive response to feedback received.||We have established a robust investigation process for complaints reported via the whistleblowing mechanism, sustainability ID and group communications ID, involving senior management and relevant personnel.||We work hand-in-hand with stakeholders and align our goals and actions with their highpriority areas. The feedback from all our engagement becomes part of our materiality identification process.||We back up our words with demonstrable actions that move the needle towards promised outcomes.|
Our Group-level Stakeholder Engagement Standards have been formulated with an aim of ensuring effective and efficient engagement across multiple industries and geographies where we operate. Stakeholder identification and engagement analysis is done every year and the channels and periodicity of engagement for the identified stakeholders are updated to meet the changing requirements on the ground.
Local expectations are identified, impacts monitored, and engagement plans are finalised and implemented, with regular reviews and revisions. Dedicated stakeholder representatives facilitate stakeholder engagement at all our operations.
|3||Disclose information in a timely manner|
At Vedanta, we employ formal and informal channels to engage with our stakeholders. Each department is responsible for ensuring effective engagement with their primary internal and external stakeholders during their daily business functioning.
INTERNAL STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT
Vedanta has developed several communication channels to ensure that information about evolving ground realities reaches the organisation's decision-makers in a timely manner and the stand of the Company on an issue is communicated to all the internal stakeholders. We keep all lines of engagement open with our employees as well as contract workforce.
Communication channels such as Chairman's workshops, town hall meetings, daily leadership update forums, HSE Leadership and Sustainability Steering Committee meetings, site-level risk sub-committees, employee engagement surveys, and the various engagement forums at site - both formal and informal, allow us to keep a constant finger on the pulse of our internal stakeholders.
EXTERNAL STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT
Teams from across our businesses engage with our external stakeholders over various platforms.
|Media and Industry Associations|
|Vendors, Contractors and Suppliers|
|Governmental Ministries and Regulators|
Our social licence to operate was challenged this year by communities living around our Sterlite Copper Plant in Tuticorin. The protests were based on misinformation around the perceived pollution caused by the plant. The fears stem from historic incidents, for which the company received legal sanctions in 2013. However, it has since taken corrective and progressive measures to ensure that incidents of pollution are not repeated.
|Sterlite Copper has been operating in Tuticorin for the last twenty years|
|Produces approximately 1/3rd of the country's present demand for copper|
|Since 2010, contributed approximately USD 1.7 million (INR 110 billion) to the state exchequer|
|Provided direct and indirect employment to around 4,000 people|
|Till date, we have invested more than USD 77 million (INR 5 billion) in environment measures|
|Till date, we have invested USD 13 million (INR 850 billion) in social development measures covering 88 villages of Tuticorin|
|Leveraging technology to ensure operations are safe for employees and communities|
|Hazardous waste is transferred to a secure landfill as guided by the CPCB guidelines|
|Before plant was shut, it was operating well within regulatory limits for air emissions|
In 2013, the Honourable Supreme Court of India, asked us to deposit INR 1 billion with the District Collector. The money was to be used for remedial actions in case of any environmental damage due to the plant's operations. Till date, more than 90% of those funds remain un-utilised. After the 2013 verdict, we have implemented all 30 recommendations made by NEERI. We have also taken action on the 15 directions given by the National Green Tribunal.
We understand that pollution will remain a key issue in the region, which is an industry cluster with more than 60 manufacturing units (including thermal power plants, dyeing units, and other large, medium and small-scale industries), and we would like to play a key role in reaching longterm solutions that incorporate the views of all stakeholders.
We are deeply saddened by the shootings that occurred during in front of the District Collector's office (located 9 Km away from the plant) the protests of 22nd May 2018. The police in India and in Tuticorin are independent and they were responding to a very fast-changing situation. We had no role to play in the decisions taken by the police on that day. A much under-reported story was that the protestors attacked the homes and property of our employees, many of them saw their vehicles damaged and set ablaze. This is a situation that we would never like to see repeated. We remain open to sit and negotiate with the community on how to move forward amicably and within the legal framework. We remain hopeful for a positive outcome for all stakeholders.