Feature

“We are giving back to society 8 times the water we are consuming”

23 March, 2020

Ambuja Cement is now Eight Times Water Positive Company as per the assessment carried out for the year 2019 by DNV GL – an international accredited registrar and classification society. With this certification, Ambuja Cement retains its spot among the leading water positive cement companies in the country with such a high score. This means the Company is giving back to society 8 times the water it is consuming. In the previous assessment conducted for the year 2016, Ambuja Cement recorded a factor of being 5.5 times water positive.

Ambuja Cement continues to march ahead in its Sustainability journey, and this latest milestone strongly reinforces the Company’s stewardship in water management on the occasion of World Water Day(22nd March). While our all-round approach to improve water resource management across India has delivered desired results, our Rabriyawas plant in Rajasthan – a parched state where water is acute – alone clocked a commendable 34 times water positive footprint.

Neeraj Akhoury, MD&CEO, said, “This is yet another great achievement that reflects our approach to sustainable operations covering water, climate, circular economy, nature, people and communities. I am also delighted to announce this milestone on the occasion of World Water Day which focuses on the importance of strengthening water security and establishing access to a sustainable water supply in the face of changing climate conditions”.

Our collaborative efforts over the years have not only set new benchmarks but also helped build water sufficient communities in rural India. Achieving 8 times water positive factor inspires us to continue the excellence journey and brings us closer to our vision – To be the most sustainable and competitive Company in our industry – while consolidating our position among the world’s most water positive companies,” Mr Akhoury added.

Ambuja Cement continues to implement triple-bottom-line accounting method – encompassing people, planet and profit – that has played a significant role in enabling the Company to improve the Water Positive status.

At Ambuja Cement, an estimated water withdrawal volume was recorded at 6.5 million cubic metres while the estimated water given back society stood at 52.2 million cubic metres in 2019. Increased water efficiency, integrated water management tracking at all locations, environment friendly products & services have significantly contributed to this water management drive.

Ambuja Cement’s CSR arm Ambuja Cement Foundation undertakes robust water resource management by collaborating with various stakeholders – government, NGOs, academic institutions and experts. Its ongoing water resource management model focuses on three areas – Water Harvesting (check dams, interlinking rivers and watershed development, etc.), Drinking Water (Rooftop rainwater harvesting structures, pond deepening, in-village distribution system and water quality surveillance, etc.) and Water Conservation (water user association, participatory irrigation management and promotion of micro irrigation). The Company implements innovative approaches to capture rainwater and prevent runoff so that it is not wasted, and also harness old mined out pits as large water storage facilities. These endeavours are also helping foster prosperity in the communities in rural India.

Ambuja Cement was first certified by the DNV GL in 2011 as 2 times water positive followed by 4.03 times in 2014 as against the Company’s ambition to become 3 times water positive in the same year. In 2016, the Company was 5.5 times water positive, surpassing its water balance index target of 5 that had been set in its ‘Sustainability Ambition 2020’. Over the years, the Company was conferred several awards and accolades for its pioneering water management initiatives; even as it continues to scale up efforts through these interventions with independent experts implementing a robust assessment audit in conformance on best water management practices.

Total water estimated debit 6.5 million cubic metres
Total water estimated credit 52.2 million cubic metres
Water Balance Index 8 times Water Positive

Top Five Contributors (Water Index)…

Rabriyawas plant in Rajasthan 34 times
Ambujanagar plant in Gujarat 21.1 times
Bathinda plant in Punjab 17.1 times
Surat plant in Gujarat 12.5 times
Nalagarh plant in Himachal Pradesh 5.9 times

– By Vijay Malepu

Corporate Communications

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