MUMBAI, India—Birla Carbon has committed to sustainable business practices that demonstrate stewardship in key areas such as environment, employee engagement and community building. For the sixth straight year, the company has assessed its efforts and released a sustainability report detailing the progress it has made.
Throughout the last year, Birla has kept its focus on its Sustainable Operational Excellence strategy, which was developed around three key pillars: People, products and process.
The newest report highlights steps and accomplishments that have been recorded within the last 12 months. Among them was the September 2017 opening of a greenfield facility in Jining, China. The plant, in its first phase, produces 120,000 metric tons of carbon black. A second-phase expansion will double that capacity, according to the report.
The Jining plant, designed with Birla Carbon's SOE approach, depends on the latest technology to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and it continuously operates at maximum efficiency.
Further, the plant is "energy positive," cutting back on the use of traditional fossil fuels. The energy management system installed at the facility uses high pressure steam and electricity to fuel daily operations, while also producing a surplus of electricity that can help to supply the state grid.
In its report, Birla notes that 60 percent of its plants are energy positive.
In recognition of its aim to continue as a leader in sustainability, Birla Carbon recently received a gold rating from EcoVadis for the progress it has made in promoting fair business practices and through sustainable procurement policies. This marked the second consecutive year Birla has received the recognition, according to the report.
Company officials see the award as confirmation that they are making strides.
"Operating sustainably means balancing many challenges and priorities. We continue to achieve world class safety performance, but there is even more we can do," Joe Gaynot, Birla Carbon's chief legal, sustainability and risk officer said in a statement. "We're exploring innovative ways to minimize our environmental impact and making significant investments in air emission abatement equipment and energy recovery technologies."
In 2015, Birla pledged to do its part to support the United Nations' sustainability development goal focused on clean water and sanitation. To achieve this, Birla sought to ensure the availability of safe, clean water at the workplace and in the surrounding community. In addition to seeking ways to measure and conserve water usage, the company conducted 143 awareness campaigns and implemented 46 of the 53 plans of action dedicated to the clean water goals.
"We want our employees to feel that we have a positive working environment," the sustainability report read. "Their wellbeing, and our care for it, is an integral part of our relationship with our people. We continually look for ways in which we can help them to lead healthy lifestyles."
More about Birla Carbon and the steps it has taken to uphold its principles of stewardship can be found at sustainability.birlacarbon.com.